Harper Government Reduces Taxes for Seniors

Ottawa, ON— Dave MacKenzie, Member of Parliament for Oxford, announced today that more Canadian seniors than ever are claiming the tax credits and benefits available to them by the Harper Government.

“Our Government has made support for Canadian seniors a priority. We want to make sure that they are claiming the credits and benefits to which they are entitled to,” said Minister Shea. “We are very happy to see that the number of Canadian seniors claiming credits and benefits designed specifically for them is increasing year after year.”

Close to 4.8 million seniors aged 65 or older claimed the Age Credit amount in the 2011—almost 10 per cent more than in 2008. The Harper Government has increased the Age Credit amount by $2,000 since 2006, providing greater tax relief to seniors.

More than 2.2 million eligible individuals took advantage of pension income splitting in 2011, an increase of 10 per cent between 2008 and 2011. The split-pension amount reported last year reached about $11 billion.

Pension income splitting was introduced by the Harper Government in 2007. It gives eligible Canadians the opportunity to split up to 50 per cent of their pension income with their eligible spouse or common-law partner, reducing their overall family tax burden.

“Our seniors have made, and continue to make, significant contributions to our country. They have played a primary role in shaping the way of life we all enjoy today,” said MP MacKenzie. “On behalf of all Canadians, our Government is showing our appreciation by introducing measures that improve their quality of life. It is very important that we communicate with Canadian seniors about the credits and benefits available to them at tax time”.

As a result of actions the Harper Government has taken since 2006, 380,000 seniors have been removed from the tax rolls. In 2012, asingle senior can earn at least $19,542 and a senior couple at least $39,084 before paying federal income tax. For more information on the age amount, pension income splitting, and other credits and benefits available to seniors, please go to www.cra-arc.gc.ca/seniors/ on the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Website.

These measures are part of the Harper Government’s strong record of providing tax relief to Canadians. Thanks to these efforts the average family of four now receives more than $3,000 in extra tax savings. The federal tax burden for all Canadians is now the lowest it’s been in half a century.

The CRA encourages Canadians to take advantage of its safe, secure, and convenient electronic services to file their returns. In most cases, with direct deposit, individuals can receive their refund in as little as eight business days, compared to four to six weeks for a paper return.