Nova Scotia Budget 2018

The 2018 budget for Nova Scotia was announced on March 20, 2018 and has a particular focus on the province’s continuing investment in healthcare and education. The budget covers the following key areas:

Innovation Equity Tax Credit

The budget introduces a new Innovation Equity Tax Credit which will take effect from January 1, 2019. The specific details are not yet set out but the budget states that the existing Equity Tax Credit will be phased out and the new program will have a less broad focus and the threshold will be more in line with comparable programs across Canada.

Cannabis Tax

The budget covers the agreement made by Nova Scotia to adhere to a structured tax framework with the Canadian government for a period of two years after the legalization of cannabis for recreational purposes. Specifically, excise duties will be imposed on the flowering material that is used to create cannabis at $0.25 per gram federal excise duty and $0.75 per gram provincial excise duty, both to be collected by the federal government.

Medical Expenses Tax Credit

In relation to the Medical Expenses Tax Credit, the $10,000 cap on eligible medical expenses that an individual can claim on behalf of a dependent relative has been eliminated in this year’s budget.

Basic Personal Amount

The budget confirms that, effective January 1, 2018, the basic personal amount, as well as the spousal amount and that for an eligible dependent, will rise from $8,481 to $11,481, with those earning a taxable income of under $25,000 receiving the maximum benefit.

Age Amount

Also effective January 1, 2018, the age amount credit for seniors with a low income will increase from $4,141 to $5,606 and the maximum benefit will apply to those with a taxable income of less than $25,000.

Newfoundland and Labrador Budget 2018

The 2018 budget for Newfoundland and Labrador was announced by its Finance Minister Tom Osborne and features very few new spending commitments, taxes or cuts, with the focus being balancing the books and managing and coping with what Obsorne refers to as a “tough phase” in its finances.

Provincial Debt

The province aims to balance the budget within the next four years, from a deficit of $812,000,000 in the 2017-18 tax year to a surplus of $56,000,000 in the 2022-23 tax year.

 Corporate

Provincial Payroll Tax

The exemption threshold for payroll tax will be increased in this budget from $1.2 million to $1.3 million, with employers whose annual payroll is below the threshold not required to pay the tax.

Personal

Automobile Insurance

Tax on automobile insurance will be reduced to 13% from January 1, 2019 and will continue to reduce by an extra 1% across the following 3 years to 2022.

Search and Rescue Volunteer Tax Credit

A new tax credit will come into force for first responders, whereby such volunteers will be eligible to claim a $3,000 non-refundable tax credit from January 1, 2019.