Uber Tax (GST/HST): In an effort to “reflect changes in the economy,” the Liberal government will “amend the definition of a taxi business under the Excise Tax Act to level the playing field and ensure that ride-sharing businesses are subject to the same GST/HST rules as taxis.” Starting July 1, 2017, the revised definition will include ride-sharing services like Uber & Lyft.
Uber drivers will now have to charge and remit GST/HST to the government regardless of how much they earn. Until now, due to the absence of a specific tax ruling, Uber drivers were considered sub-contractors for tax purposes and were supposed to charge and remit GST/HST only when their revenues exceeded the $ 30,000 threshold. The new ruling closes that loophole and puts Uber and other ride-sharing services in the same category as traditional taxi and limousine drivers leveling the playing field and creating tax fairness.
Non-refundable Public Transit Tax Credit: Starting July 1, 2017, Canadians will no longer be able to apply 15 per cent of their eligible expenses on monthly passes and other fares toward reducing the amount of tax they owe to the CRA.
Parental Leave: Liberals have kept their campaign promise of extending parental leave to 18 months. However, a reduced Employment Insurance (EI) benefit rate of 33 percent of their average weekly earnings will apply instead of the current rate of 55 percent to those parents who choose to stay at home longer.
Canada Savings Bonds: Ottawa will discontinue new sales of the bonds this year, gradually phasing out the program but will honor “all outstanding retail debt.” Any existing Canada Savings bondholder must transfer the bonds elsewhere such as to an RESP or can be cashed at any Canadian financial institution without any penalty or special fees of any kind.
Caregiver Credit: Infirm dependent credit, caregiver credit and family caregiver credit will be combined into a single credit called the Canada Caregiver Credit.The new credit will be “accessible to more people and will apply to Canadians who care for their loved one – whether or not they live with that person.”
Disability Credit: You will no longer need a doctor’s approval to apply to the government for the disability tax credit. Starting today, Canadians with impairments that make them eligible to receive the disability credit can get that same approval from a nurse.
Tourists: Non-residents and non-resident tour operators will no longer be able to get a GST/HST rebate for accommodation.
Tax on Alcohol & Cigarettes: Liberals announced a 2 percent excise duty increase to the cost of wine, liquor and beer. Starting today, the increase will add a penny to the price for a liter of wine, just over 2 cents to a liter of spirits, 5 cents to a 24-pack of beer and 53 cents to a pack of 200 cigarettes.