Tax issues on 2015 election campaign

Here the four main parties’ record and pledges about taxes as the 2015 election campaign begins:

Family tax cut

Conservatives: introduced the Family tax cut credit that allows couples with children under age 18 to split up to $50,000 of income; caps non-refundable benefit at $2,000.

NDP: will cancel government’s income-splitting policy for families; says it helps only wealthiest 15 per cent.

Liberals: will cancel government’s income-splitting policy for families; they calls it “a $2-billion tax break to the top 15 per cent of Canadians”.

Tax-free savings account (TFSA)

Conservatives: increased annual contribution limit for tax-free savings account (TFSA) to $10,000 from $5,500.

NDP: will cancel TFSA increase to $10,000; says higher amount helps the wealthy and does little for the middle-class.

Liberals: will reverse changes to TFSA contribution limits; says it helps well-off Canadians who need it the least.

Universal Child Care Benefit and Canada Child Benefit

Conservatives: increased Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) to $160 a month for children under age six, up from $100; added new monthly benefit of $60 for children age six to 17.

NDP: will honor the expanded Universal Child Care Benefit.

Liberals: will introduce a new income-tested, tax-free monthly Canada Child Benefit that would boost payments to all families with children and annual income below $150,000.

Corporate tax rate

Conservatives: have reduced corporate tax rate from 22 per cent to 15 per cent. Reduced small-business tax rate to 9 percent from current 11 per cent by 2019.

NDP: will increase income tax rate on Canada’s largest corporations to about the levels that existed before the Conservatives took office. Cut small-business tax rate to 9 per cent from current 11 per cent.

Liberals: will retain tax breaks for small businesses but want to ensure this doesn’t primarily benefit the wealthy.

Greens: will cut small business tax rate to 9 percent by 2019. Will raise corporate taxes over four years from the current level of 15 per cent to 19 per cent.

Personal income tax

NDP: will not raise income tax rates.

Liberals:  will cut middle-class income tax bracket to 20.5% from current 22% and create a new tax bracket of 33% for annual incomes of more than $200,000.

Greens: will eliminate personal taxes on incomes below low-income cut-off of $20,000.

Canada Pension Plan

Conservatives: are exploring ways for Canadians to voluntarily contribute more to the Canada Pension Plan.

NDP: will increase Canada Pension Plan contributions and benefits for Canadians.

Liberals: will increase Canada Pension Plan contributions and benefits for Canadians.

Taxes on tobacco and alcohol

Greens: will work with provinces to increase taxes on tobacco and alcohol.