OPINION: Tax Freedom Day

Tax Freedom Day was June 7, from now till the end of the year your money is your own.

  • Jun. 10, 2016 6:00 p.m.

Tax Freedom Day

It is fitting Tax Freedom Day usually falls in mid-June.

After all, it’s one of the saddest days of the year, so it makes an odd sort of sense it happens opposite the happiest time of the year, the winter holiday season.

June 7, according to the Fraser Institute, was Tax Freedom Day in B.C. this year. That’s the day, they say, when you start working for yourself, instead of the government. Taxes are, in reality, spread throughout the year. But if you had to pay all your taxes at once, from municipal on up to federal, every source of income you had coming in, up to June 7, would have been for governments only.

We’re not certain whether this should be a day of celebration or one of lamentation over the level of taxes we pay. Though the day varies from year to year, it usually falls in early June. According to the Fraser Institute that is the case across the country this year — Newfoundland and Labrador has the latest date, June 14, and only Alberta bucks the June trend with their Tax Freedom date on May 17, possibly due to the lack of a provincial sales tax.

Around the world, Tax Freedom Day varies considerably, and Canadians, with about 43 per cent of their income supporting the government sits in about the middle of the pack. The US beats us by several weeks — April 24, 31 per cent — while the Swiss are finished paying their taxes on Feb. 6 (16 per cent). And what does tiny Belgium do with the 60 per cent they claim from their people’s taxes? Pity the Belgians, who don’t get to celebrate Tax Freedom Day until August.

Taxes are a necessary fixture of our lives; one of Benjamin Franklin’s most famous aphorisms is that nothing is certain in the world except death and taxes. But it would be nice, not to mention a financial relief, if our governments didn’t expect us to work for them for almost half the year.

– Black Press

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