'Tax Freedom' comes a day later, again
The average Canadian family can mark Tax Freedom Day today, June 10, one day later than in 2014, according to the Fraser Institute.
The think tank calculates Tax Freedom Day every year, measuring the total annual tax burden on Canadian families, comprising federal, provincial and municipal taxes.
The day represents when the average Canadian family has earned enough money to pay all of its taxes, and can "start working for themselves, not the government," according to the institute's calculations. The later Tax Freedom Day falls on the calendar, the heavier the tax burden.
This year, the average Canadian family with two or more people will pay $44,980 in total taxes, or about 43.7 per cent of its annual income, the institute said in a statement.
According to the calculations, this amount marks more than five months of income.
Charles Lammam, Fraser Institute's director of fiscal studies and co-author of the Tax Freedom Day report, said he believes many Canadians will be surprised to discover how much of their income goes towards taxes.
"Certainly some Canadians will be shocked to find out that they're working until June 10 to pay for the government," he told CTV's Canada AM.
"That's not to say that we don't want to pay taxes, but it's a question of is this the right level? Are we working too late in the year to be paying taxes? Can we provide the same services that we have now, but at a more efficient and lower tax dollar?
The institute said Tax Freedom Day falls later this year because the average family's total tax bill will increase at a faster rate (3.1 per cent) than the average growth in income (2.1 per cent).
The day is creeping later into the calendar year, as last year’s Tax Freedom Day fell on June 9, and Tax Freedom Day in 2013 fell on June 8.
No matter the date, Kevin O'Leary of the O'Leary Financial Group and star of the TV program Shark Tank, said Tax Freedom Day is a reminder to Canadians of the incremental upward creep of their taxes.
He said that if Canadians want to see lower or steady taxation rates, they need to elect politicians that commit to finding efficiencies and saving money.
O'Leary said that, other than the fear of losing an election, politicians have no incentive to cut costs, and Canadians shouldn't be scared of holding them to this task.
"What's wrong with asking government officials that work for us --- they're my employees, I pay them with my person taxes – to do a better job?" he told CTV News Channel. "Everybody is being asked that."
In its accompanying report, the Fraser Institute calculates Tax Freedom Day for each Canadian province, showing that tax burden varies across the country.
Each Canadian province marks Tax Freedom Day as follows: