If there’s any way to describe the 2018 Ontario budget, it’s the word “free”. From free preschool daycare to free university tuition, to free drugs for those age 65 and over, there’s freebies for everyone—and lots of tax credits too.
Low-income earners and social assistance recipients
For those on social assistance, limits on savings in TFSAs and RRSPs will be eliminated and new applicants will not have to spend down these accounts before qualifying for payments.
Allowable limits on cash and other liquid assets (outside of TFSAs and RRSPS) for those receiving social assistance will now increase from $10,000 to $15,000 for singles, and from $15,000 to $20,000 for couples.
The amount of time that qualifies as “living together” for the definition of a “spouse” will change from three months to three years. As a result, someone receiving social assistance will be able to live with a partner they’re not married to for three years before the income and assets of the partner are taken into account in determining eligibility for social security…
ONE. Let’s start with a number: $72,500
Most people who make more than $72,500 are going to pay more personal income tax. As part of the Liberals’ efforts to add fairness and transparency to income taxes, new tax brackets are coming in and the surtax (which has shortcomings as it acts as a tax on a tax) is headed to the dustbin. Here are what the new tax brackets will look like:
Budget documents didn’t get to that nugget (because who wants to read about their taxes in an election budget?) until the back of the 308-page book, and emphasized that 83 per cent of Ontario’s 11 million tax filers would see no tax increase. What’s more, the government revealed the changes would score a windfall of $275 million this coming year as a result. That money would come from new brackets for those who make between $71,500 and $220,000 a year. The surtax targeted high incomes but the new bracket regime actually makes no difference for those earning $220,000 or more. The budget says 1.8 million Ontarians will pay $200 more in income tax, while 680,000 lucky souls will pay on average $130 less…