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FEDERAL ECONOMIC ACTION PLAN 2015


Blog by Joe Campbell | May 28th, 2015


Here’s a look at what the federal government’s new budget, Economic Action Plan 2015, offers.

Social housing

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- $150 million (over 4 years) so co-operatives and social housing providers can prepay, without penalty their long-term, non-renewable mortgage.
- $2.3 billion (over 4 years) to support affordable housing. Of this, Canada Mortgage and Housing will invest $1.7 billion to support 570,000 households who depend on social housing.

Transportation

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- $750 million (over 2 years), starting in 2017 and $1 billion every year after, for a new Public Transit Fund to promote investment in transit.
- $5.35 billion per year under the New Building Canada Plan for provincial and municipal infrastructure.

Seniors

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- A New Home Accessibility Tax Credit of up to $1,500 for eligible seniors and disabled individuals who spend up to $10,000 on home renovations or alterations to age in place.
- A reduction in the minimum withdrawal limits for Registered Retirement Income Funds so seniors keep more of their retirement savings.

Families

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- An increase to the Tax-Free Savings Account annual contribution limit to $10,000 from $5,500.
- An extension to Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefits to 6 months (from 6 weeks) to Canadians caring for ill or dying family.
- The enhanced Universal Child Care Benefit will increase to $160 per month for families with children under six, and add a benefit of $60 a month for children ages 6 -17.
- A tax break with a $1,000-increase to the maximum amount that can be claimed under the Child Care Expense Deduction, which comes into effect next year.

Small business

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- A reduction in the small business tax rate to 9% from 11% by 2019.

Did you know?

A typical two-earner Canadian family of four will receive tax relief and increased benefits of up to $6,600 in 2015 due to tax cuts and increased benefits.
Exempting donations of Shares of Private Corporations or Real Estate from Capital Gains Tax

As of 2016, the Economic Action Plan 2015 proposes to exempt individual and corporate donors from tax on the sale of private shares or real estate to an arm’s length party if:

- cash proceeds from the disposition of the private corporation shares or real estate are donated within 30 days after the disposition; and
- the private corporation shares or real estate are sold to a purchaser that is dealing at arm’s length with both the donor and the qualified donee to what cash proceeds are donated.

If a portion of the proceeds is donated, the exemption from capital gains would apply to that portion.

These budget proposals do not have the force of law until passed by Parliament. This is unlikely to take place before the federal election in the fall. The proposals should therefore be considered part of the Harper government's election platform.

For information, see Economic Action Plan 2015, pages 270, 453, 454.

Source: Thanks to Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver