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Tax Freedom Day — when Canadians start working for themselves

This year, Tax Freedom Day falls one day later than in 2016 when the average Canadian family paid slightly less of its income in taxes (43.3 per cent).

Canadian families celebrate Tax Freedom Day on June 9 this year, according to the Fraser Institute’s annual calculations.

Tax Freedom Day measures the total yearly tax burden imposed on Canadian families by federal, provincial and municipal governments. If you had to pay all your taxes up front, you’d give government every dollar you earned before Tax Freedom Day.

“It's difficult for average Canadians to add up all the taxes they pay in a year because the different levels of government levy such a wide range of taxes, and that’s why we do these calculations — to give Canadians a better understanding of exactly how much they pay to government,” said Charles Lammam, director of fiscal studies at the Fraser Institute.

In 2017, the average Canadian family (with two or more people) will pay $47,135 in total taxes. That’s 43.4 per cent of its annual income ($108,674) going to income taxes, payroll taxes, health taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, fuel taxes, carbon taxes, “sin” taxes and more.

Represented as days on the calendar, the numbers add up to more than five months of income — from January 1 to June 8. It’s not until June 9 — Tax Freedom Day — when families start working for themselves, not the government.

This year, Tax Freedom Day falls one day later than in 2016 when the average Canadian family paid slightly less of its income in taxes (43.3 per cent).

“Tax Freedom Day helps put the total tax burden into perspective, and helps Canadians understand just how much of their money they pay in taxes every year,” Lammam said.

Calculate your personal Tax Freedom Day using the Fraser Institute’s online calculator at www.fraserinstitute.org.

Tax Freedom Day for each province varies according to the extent of the provincially levied tax burden.

2017 Provincial Tax Freedom Days (earliest to latest)

  • Alberta May 21
  • Saskatchewan May 29
  • Prince Edward Island June 4
  • British Columbia June 4
  • Manitoba June 6
  • Ontario June 7
  • New Brunswick June 9
  • Nova Scotia June 11
  • Quebec June 21
  • Newfoundland & Labrador June 25