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Potential Effects of Sales Taxes in Canada


Like several others, our friends to the North are struggling with the high added cost of sales taxes in Canada. Canadians are faced with a provincial and federal sales taxes, and in New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia, they also face a 14 per cent harmonized sales tax, which is a combination of the goods and services tax and certain provincial taxes. With all of these various sales tax, the average Canadian can pay as much as 16 per cent between federal and provincial sales taxes in Canada, and if you live in one of the provinces where the harmonized tax is included, you will pay another 14 per cent.

With sales taxes in Canada being so high, there is little wonder why the minimum wage currently at $8 per hour is under consideration for a raise to $10 in some provinces. With taxes in restaurants sometimes as high as 12 per cent, the average Canadian family can ill afford to take his or her family to a restaurant very often. This can cause a damper on family life as well as on the economy, at least in the restaurant community. On the other hand, however, is the fact that the Canadians are used to the high cost of goods, and as such, their employment opportunities substantiate it with teachers often starting right from college making over $40,000 per year (Canadian dollars). In the United States, in most places a teacher would have to work well over ten years to make that kind of money—at least in the elementary to high school levels.

The question a non-Canadian might ask is why sales taxes in Canada are so high and why there is a need for federal and provincial taxes that almost match one another. Here in the United States we have some cities within a state that have different taxes, but the difference is minimal in comparison to sales taxes in Canada—perhaps a one or two per cent different at the most except for some of the bigger cities like New York where there is a four per cent difference. Even that amount is lower than the additional amounts charged by the provincial governments in Canada. As people, both here and up North, we have to begin asking our governments where the money is going, what additional services they are providing in order to justify such high taxation.

Sales taxes in Canada as well as the United States have obviously gotten out of control, and we need to find out why—we need to exercise our constitutional right to know what our governments are doing with our tax dollars.

Christine Gray is a recognized authority on the subject of Online Taxes. Her website Taxes Exposed provides a wealth of information on everything you will need to know about Sales Taxes. All rights reserved. Articles may be reprinted as long as the content and links remains intact and unchanged.

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