Thursday, February 22, 2024

5 ways Canada’s Budget 2023 could save you some cash


The federal government just published their Budget 2023 and with it, their promise to bring affordable dental care to all Canadians is one step closer to becoming a reality. 

In addition, they also want to bring universal device chargers to Canada, provide a grocery rebate to offset food prices and much more.

According to the government, inflation rates across Canada are beginning to decline, but people are still feeling the burden on their bank accounts.

Here are five interesting and money saving things to know about what Canada has in store for its citizens:

Universal Canadian dental care

The rollout of the new dental care plan for Canadians began in 2022 with more affordable access for children 12-years-old and under.

Families making $90,000 and under would be eligible for tax-free payments on a sliding scale for their children’s dentist visits.

Now, the Canadian government is expanding this program to all its citizens. $13 billion will be invested over five years beginning in 2023-24. 

The second phase of the rollout will be to provide funds to uninsured Canadians making less than $90,000, no matter their age. 

The plan will begin before the end of 2023 and will be administered by Health Canada. Details on eligible coverage will be released later this year, according to the federal government. 

CRA’s automatic tax filing

As part of the Canadian government’s efforts to make life more affordable to its people, they are introducing a new way for citizens to file their tax returns. 

According to the feds, up to 12% of Canadians do not file their tax returns. Most of these people are low-income and would pay little to no income tax.

By not filing their tax returns, they miss out on tax credits and payments from the government such as their GST credit. 

Currently, low-income Canadians are offered free access to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) File My Return phone-in service. People who qualify are invited to call the File My Return service and answer a few short questions in order to get the payments they are entitled to. 

Budget 2023 will expand upon those who are eligible to use this service and will work toward the automation of it. 

By 2024, it will have a more detailed plan on the automatic tax-filing pilot project but this year they will work with stakeholders and put the wheels in motion to make this accessible to Canadians. 

Grocery store rebate

Groceries have never been more expensive and supermarket CEOs have never seen larger profits than the last few years, which the Canadian government is actively assessing, but for now, a rebate is coming down the line to people who need it. 

11 million low and middle income Canadians will be eligible for a rebate to be delivered to them via their GST credit.

Couples with two children will get up to $467, single Canadians without children will get up to $234 and seniors will get $225 on average.

This food cost rebate will be given as a one-time payment as soon as possible following the passage of legislation.

Universal device chargers

Planned obsolescence is what happens when companies constantly change the cords you need and launch new devices every year with menial updates. This is the leading contributor to electronic waste in the world. 

The Canadian government wants to take action against planned obsolescence by making all devices use a common charger. 

There are many charger types for laptops, phones, tablets and other devices that have been made, but almost every time a Canadian gets a new device, they have to get a new charger.

Recently, the European Union made moves toward mandating companies produce devices to be charged by USB-C type charges.

Budget 2023 announces that the federal government will begin to work with companies to explore implementing a standard charging port in Canada. 

Tax-free new home savings account

House prices have climbed steadily over the last few years, making it especially hard for first-time buyers. 

As of April 1st, 2023, a Tax-Free First Home Savings Account will be available to all Canadians and will be tax-deductible. 

Similarly to how a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) works, contributions will be tax-deductible. Withdrawals from the Tax-Free First Home Savings Account to purchase a first home will be non-taxable just like a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA). Tax-free in, tax-free out. 

Those are just five of the ways that the Budget 2023 aims to move Canada forward into a future that can benefit everyone. 

The full 270-page Budget 2023 is available online.

What are you most looking forward to from the Budget 2023? What do you wish was included? Let us know in the comments!

Curtis Blandy

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