As winter drags on into March, most Canadians are already looking forward to their favourite time of the year: tax season! With Canada entering the third month of 2015 and an upcoming election, it is time to revisit the wonderful Family Tax Cut, complete with income splitting. The honest, genuine, and Right Honourable Prime Minister Stephen Harper detailed this tax cut last fall, and it will finally come into effect.
The tax cut allows couples to transfer up to $50,000 of income from one partner to the other in order to qualify for a lower tax bracket. It is a Conservative dream bill that cuts $26.8 billion over six years and sounds as though it allows every couple in the country to save money in return for creating more patriotic Canadian children.
Given that the average Canadian income is $49,700 for men and $29,300 for women, and the lowest Federal tax bracket is set at $43,953, the effectiveness of transferring up to $50,000 is limited. The average Canadian couple’s combined income is $81,980 and the benefits are more substantial at higher income levels. Biggest gains go to the lower-middle class of Stephen Harper’s supporters, those earning $233,000 a year or more. Why? Because, as Christopher Wallace explains in “Mo Money, Mo Problems,” they need it most. The Conservative Cabinet seems to have taken this theory to heart.
Families in Canada are faced with tuition rates that, by 2017, will have tripled since 1990. As the cost and necessity of post-secondary education increases, the “Family Tax Cut” provides an essential $0 for families whose kids are over the age of 18 and require tuition funds. The only thing more fun than university is student loans!
The gender wage gap in Canada is still alarmingly high as well, and the “Family Tax Cut” is here to help. The solution: all those underpaid ladies should get hitched to someone rich and start having babies to quality their husband for a lower tax bracket. Because the tax cut is useless if you are in the same tax bracket as your partner. Progress by any other name would smell as sweet.
Critics say the majority of the benefits apply to only 15% of Canadian families. When discussing his plan, Stephen Harper said, “when it comes to the cost of raising a family, Canada’s moms and dads deserve all of the help that we can give them.” Dictionary.com defines “all” as the “whole of.” It also defines “bullshit” as “nonsense, lies, or exaggeration.” In the Prime Minister’s defense he did not say that “all of Canada’s moms and dads deserve all” the help the government can give. He simply said “Canada’s moms and dads [in some undefined quantity that best suits the interest of the government and its PR team] deserve all the help” the government has to offer. The name of the Family Tax Cut isn’t a lie, there is a tax cut for couples with children. It is, however, a misleading name; it isn’t for all families, and the families it helps are not even close to being the ones who need the most support.
Some Commie sympathisers have also been quick to point out there is no support for a mom or a dad who does not have a partner in parenting, which makes up 16% of families in Canada. But those detractors are the real monsters; they oppose something as beautifully named as the Family Tax Cut like the pinko Stalin-ites they are.
The Family Tax Cut is here to help average Canadian moms and dads—provided that they are together— better supply their child or children (there is no added benefit for having multiple kids) as long as they are in different tax brackets and they can work out the 85 added steps required to file for this break. A report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives predicted the Family Tax Cut “will almost certainly be misunderstood by tax filers.” Adding one last tiny wrinkle to the all-encompassing, family-relieving wonder program Stephen Harper has blessed Canadians with: you’ll need to be able to afford an accountant in order to benefit from it.