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Taxes 'Are Largest Canadian Household Expense'

by Mike Godfrey, Tax-news.com, Washington

25 August 2017


The average Canadian family spent more on taxes in 2016 than on housing, food, and clothing combined, according to new research from the Fraser Institute.

The think tank's latest Canadian Consumer Tax Index tracked the total tax bill of the average Canadian family from 1961 to 2016.

It found that in 2016, the average family spent nearly twice as much of their income on taxes (42.5 percent) as they did on housing costs (22.1 percent). In total, costs relating to the "basic necessities" amounted to 37.4 percent of income.

The Institute explained that in 2016 the average family earned CAD83,105 (USD66,424) and paid CAD35,283 in taxes. By contrast, the same family spent CAD31,069 on housing, food, and clothing combined.

Charles Lammam, the Institute's Director of Fiscal Studies and co-author of the report, said: "Many Canadians may think housing is their biggest household expense, but in fact the average Canadian family spent more on taxes last year than on life's basic necessities – including housing."

Lammam added: "With more than 42 percent of their income going to taxes, Canadians might ask whether they're getting good value for their tax dollars."

Taking the long view, the Institute also said that the average family's tax bill has increased 2,006 percent since 1961. Housing costs have risen by 1,527 percent, clothing by 677 percent, and food by 639 percent. In 1961, the average family spent 33.5 percent of their income on taxes and 56.5 percent on the basic necessities.

TAGS: tax | sales tax | goods and services tax (GST) | food | tax rates | Canada | revenue statistics | individual income tax | services

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