Politics

86% of middle-class families face higher federal personal income tax burden


Measuring the Impact of Federal Personal Income Tax Changes on Middle Income Canadian Families since 2015


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VANCOUVER—Contrary to rhetoric from Ottawa, the vast majority of middle-class Canadian families pay higher federal personal income taxes due to tax changes made by the federal government, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“The federal government has repeatedly asserted that it lowered personal income taxes for the middle class when in fact it increased the personal income tax burden on most middle-class families,” said Jake Fuss, senior economist at the Fraser Institute and co-author of Measuring the Impact of Federal Personal Income Tax Changes on Middle Income Canadian Families since 2015.

Ottawa paints an incomplete picture of the overall impact of their tax changes

In 2015, the government reduced the second-lowest personal income tax rate (from 22 per cent to 20.5 per cent)—but also scrapped income-splitting for couples with young children and eliminated a series of tax credits, which more than offset the savings from the tax rate reduction.

As a result, the study finds that 86 per cent of middle-class families experienced an increase in their federal personal income tax burden—$800 annually (on average).

The study compared federal personal income taxes for families with children in 2015 versus 2019 using a tax and transfer model by Statistics Canada, which includes information for more than 1 million Canadians in over 300,000 households with approximately 600 variables included for each individual.

“By promoting one income tax change and downplaying others, Ottawa paints an incomplete picture of the overall impact of their tax changes, which have imposed a higher personal income tax bill on the vast majority of middle-class families,” said Fuss.

Media Contact:
• Jason Clemens, Executive Vice-President, Fraser Institute
• Jake Fuss, Senior Economist, Fraser Institute

To arrange media interviews or for more information, please contact:
Drue MacPherson, Fraser Institute
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Fraser Institute — Bio and Archives

The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and educational organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal and ties to a global network of 86 think-tanks. Its mission is to measure, study, and communicate the impact of competitive markets and government intervention on the welfare of individuals. To protect the Institute’s independence, it does not accept grants from governments or contracts for research. Visit fraserinstitute.org.

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