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Why a later Tax Freedom Day is a good thing

Monday was Tax Freedom Day, according to the Fraser Institute of Canada.

While Canadians take stock of the new federalbudget, it's worth keeping in mind that - according to the private economic think tank anyway - the average Canadian family has nowearned enough money to pay the taxes from all three levels of government.

In other words, if Canadians paid all of their taxes up front, each and every dollar they would have earned until Monday would have gone straight to the government.

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The Fraser Institute calculates that in 2011, the average Canadian family (with two or more members) will earn $93,831 (which includes not just wages and salaries, but interest, dividends, private and government pension payments, old age pension payments, and other transfers from governments) and pay a total of $39,960 in taxes.

The total tax bill amounts to 42.6 per cent of income.

Tax Freedom Day occurred two days later than last year, because of the improving economy (a good thing!) - but that means there are more taxes to pay off (assuming average incomes increase and with them, more taxes to pay; plus you are spending more and have more fuel, retail, wine and alcohol taxes to pay for too).

As in previous years, the Fraser Institute accompanied its advisory with a silly YouTube song, a vaguely Hank Snow-esque country twanger, with goofy lyrics about Snuggies and poutine belted out by a guy in a cowboy hat. Not quite Saturday Night Live, but we appreciate the effort to catch the average taxpayer's attention. A taxpayer who is, according to the Fraser Institute, finally working for him- or herself for the rest of the year.

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