Well, the 2015 Federal budget was announced earlier this week and at 518 pages – it’s pretty dry. There’s a lot of content, but most of it doesn’t directly apply to the average person. However, this article will focus on the biggest policy initiatives that will likely affect you. Keep in mind that if the Federal Conservatives lose the upcoming election, this budget will be rejected or amended.
So in simple point-form, here are the main points in the budget;
- The annual tax-free contribution limit has been increased from $5,500 to $10,000 beginning retroactively on Jan 1st, 2015. This would increase your total limit to $41,000.
- An increased payment of $160 monthly to parents with children less than 6 years of age. For children aged 6 to 18, there will be a new benefit of $60 a month.
- An increased limit to the Children’s Fitness tax credit from $500 to $1000.
- The annual amount that must be withdrawn from a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) account has decreased to allow for a longer preservation of funds and a reduced impact of other government pensions (CPP and OAS).
- The creation of a new home renovation tax credit for seniors (65 and over) and disabled Canadians. This credit will be 15% of renovations valued up to $10,000 (up to $1,500/yr) on your primary dwelling.
- The Employment Insurance (EI) benefit period for individuals that are taking care of the sick and elderly increases from 6 weeks to 6 months.
- Gradual reduction of small business income taxes (earnings under $500,000) from 11% to 9% by Jan 1st, 2015.
- Redesigning aspects of the Bank Act to include consumer protection from high-pressured sales techniques and the addition of a cooling off period that will allow individuals to “return” recently agreed upon financial products.
- A prerogative to increase customer knowledge on mortgage prepayment penalty fees.
Well, that’s all of them! Again, thank you for reading, and as always, if you have any questions please contact me at email@example.com or 647-289-0012.
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Link to the 2015 full Federal budget