Taxes are divided in many categories and vary from province to province. (Fraser Institute)

Tax bill paid for the year, you’re working for yourself

B.C. in the middle of the Canadian pack for Tax Freedom Day

After five months of paying for various levels of government service, Canadians are on average working for themselves this week.

Tax Freedom Day 2018 arrived Sunday, June 10, based on the Fraser Institute‘s annual calculation of total tax paid to all levels of government across the country. By that calculation, the average Canadian family pays 43.6 per cent of its annual income in payroll, income, health, sales, property, fuel, carbon, liquor, tobacco and other taxes, equivalent to more than five months of the year if all the taxes were paid up front.

“Tax Freedom Day helps put the total tax burden into perspective, and helps Canadians understand just how much of their money they pay in taxes every year,” said Charles Lammam, director of fiscal studies at the Fraser Institute.

B.C. is currently in the middle of the taxation pack for provinces, due to its mix of provincial sales and income taxes. B.C.’s Tax Freedom Day was June 5 this year, fifth behind Alberta (May 22), Saskatchewan (June 1), Prince Edward Island (June 2) and Manitoba (June 3).

Next is Ontario (June 9), New Brunswick (June 10), Nova Scotia (June 15), Quebec (June 26) and the highest taxes province, Newfoundland and Labrador (June 26).

The dates are based on averages, and the Fraser Institute has an online calculator for people to enter their own province and family income to determine their personal Tax Freedom Day.

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B.C.’s new NDP government inherited a large surplus when it took office last summer, allowing it to proceed with planned reductions in small business tax and hold the line on income taxes, except for adding a new top bracket for high income earners.

B.C.’s main shift was an increase in carbon tax on fuels that took effect April 1, with a policy change that carbon tax increases would no longer be offset by reductions in personal income tax rates.