Provincial and Federal Budgets
There were many announcements made by both our provincial government and the federal government during the month of March. Here are a few items that will affect our personal income taxes and some benefits tied to taxable income.
Carbon Tax Relief Fund
The provincial government has been issuing rebate cheques to individuals and families. The payments are $225 for individuals and $375 for couples, with the lower income earner receiving the payment. The cheques were sent to the address on file based on your 2021 taxes. Only those with family income under $175,00 in 2021 will receive the payments. The payments are taking several weeks to be mailed out so you may not have received yours yet.
If you have moved in the past year and did not have your mail forwarded, you may not have received the cheque and need to call MB Finance. If your marital status has changed and you are now separated, you may need to call to find out more. If you have not received your cheque by now, you can call to inquire. Call the Manitoba Inquiry Line: 204.945.3744 or 1.866.626.4862.
If you did not file your 2021 tax return by December 31 2022, you are not eligible to receive the payment.
Hearing Aid Grant Program for Seniors
A new hearing aid grant of up to $2,000 will be available to all Manitobans who meet the following eligibility criteria:
- age 65 or over
- family income below $80,000 in the previous year
- have documented hearing loss
- have been prescribed hearing aids by an audiologist
The Manitoba government will begin accepting applications later this spring. We are waiting for more details on how to apply for the grant.
2023 Basic Exemption
The Manitoba basic exemption will increase from $10,145 to $15,000 for 2023. That means for everyone, the first $15,000 will not be taxed. This will save the average Manitoban about 400+ per year.
Unfortunately, there are many low-income seniors and other low-income taxpayers that will not see any tax savings since they already pay no provincial taxes.
I think there could have been better ways to help lower-income Manitobans by having this basic exemption on a sliding scale so higher income taxpayers would not see as much tax savings and it would not reduce the tax revenue the provincial government will receive in years to come.
2024 increasing tax brackets
The changes to when you pay more in taxes will come into affect in 2024: the first tax bracket is currently $37,000 and will increase to $47,000 in 2024, the next tax bracket is $80,000 and will increase to $100,000. These new tax brackets are more in line with what the current federal tax brackets are already.
Education Property Tax Rebate
The Education Property Tax Rebate will increase from 37.5 percent to 50 percent for 2023 for residential and farm properties. The rebate for other properties will remain at 10 percent.
Those who have low property taxes will not see any tax savings since they already pay no school taxes with both available rebates. So only those with higher property tax bills will see savings.
Federal “Grocery Rebate”
The Federal government announce another doubling of the GST credit for lower income Canadians, up to $467 for a family. Single taxpayers should receive up to $234 and for seniors up to $255. No date has been announced for these extra GST credit payments, but likely in May 2023.
Canada Dental Benefit
The Canada Dental Benefit will be expanding to include more children. The current benefit is for children under 12 with the first benefit period ending June 30 2023 (see our previous articles at DawsonTrail.ca or AnniMarkmann.ca). No details yet, but the expanded program will include children under 18 and other lower income Canadians.
There are so many more programs and benefits to keep track of now and seniors and families may want to review their taxable income to see if there is any way to reduce the net income to qualify for upcoming benefits. Families can use RRSPs to reduce net income. Seniors can reduce income from their RRIFs. Get some professional help before making any decisions to reduce your net income.
Anni Markmann is a Personal Income Tax Professional and Certified Financial Planner; living, working, and volunteering in our community. Contact Ste Anne Tax Service at 204.422.6631 (phone or text!) or 36 Dawson Road in Ste Anne (near Co-op) or firstname.lastname@example.org