Canadians pay many different taxes to the government that contribute to social programs and benefits such as health care, social assistance, and old age pensions.
All residents must submit annual Income Tax Returns to the Canada Revenue Agency. This tells the government how much you have earned in the year and how much you have paid in taxes. Taxes are automatically deducted from your pay cheque. If too much has been taken off, you receive a refund. If too little was deducted, you have to pay the remaining balance.
Filing an income tax form also allows you to be eligible for such tax credit programs as the Child Tax Credit and Goods and Services Tax Credits.
In Nova Scotia, a sales tax called the HST, is charged on most goods and services. The HST is a combination of the federal Goods and Service Tax (GST) and provincial sales tax (PST) and is 15% of the total cost of the item or service being purchased.
This tax is not shown on the price tag of an item. It is added to the cost when you pay for it at the cashier. Some people qualify for a Goods and Services Tax refund, depending on their income and the number of dependents in their household.
All property owners pay residential taxes to their local municipality. What you pay is relative to the size, type and location of your property. Properties are assessed by the Property Valuation Services Corporation, but it is the municipal government that sets the tax rate and collect taxes. The taxes help pay for services such as:
- Snow removal
- Road repairs and upkeep
- Street lighting
- Fire protection
- Garbage collection