The millennial's guide to taxes
It's Monday night. You're dancing to the latest hot millennial music and BAM! You twist your ankle. No problem – in Canada, hospitals are free!
It's a totally different Monday night. You give birth to a child and he needs to learn punctuation:;,. BOOM! Free school.
Not to confuse you while you're taking a photo of your brunch, but all this amazing free-ness costs a pretty penny. That's why George Harrison invented taxes. Don't worry about who George Harrison is. He's crucial and that's all you need to know.
Some other things you need to know:
Tax Free Savings Accounts encourage Canadians to slide their money into sexy little accounts where accrued interest is exempt from taxation.
So say for example, you become an unrelenting burden to your parents because your workplace strings you along for seven years as an unpaid intern. You can put aside up to $5,500 of your nothing per year. Over ten years, at competitive interest rates of 3%, your nothing can double – or even triple – without you lifting a finger!
Ah, the Registered Retirement Savings Plan. Sock your fat wad of dough in an RRSP to lower your tax bracket. And remember, it's hands off 'til retirement time!
But let's desperately try to make this relevant to your cringe-worthy swat at a direction in life. With an 80-hour workweek but a salary of less than $10,000 per year, you are technically exempt from taxation. This is because you live below both the poverty line, and the main floor of your parents' house. If you just put aside nothing per month, you will be in a great position to retire in never years. Nice! Go out and take what's yours!
Common law tax breaks
Did you know that if you live with a conjugal – that's right, sensual lovemaking – partner for 12 months, you catch similar tax breaks to properly married folk?
So if you and your singer/songwriter girlfriend Adele (no, not that Adele – a better one) file your taxes as a common law couple, the government will consider your income of nothing to be shared! And half of nothing is nothing. Nice savings, guys! And great sharing! We'll ship you the modest trophy you've been taught to expect since preschool.
If you earned a degree in post-secondary education, you are entitled to tax credits, which can lower your tax bracket. Great!
But let's return to the ongoing nightmare of your transition into adult life. Congrats on finishing university! Unfortunately there's no time to celebrate because OSAP hunts you like a soft-spoken Terminator who once taught you philosophy and played intramural sports.
Oh, li'l buddy. Will you never self-actualize as an adult?
Oops! You forgot about mortality. There will be a year (no one knows which one) when you will acquire most of your parents' stuff in an epic windfall called an inheritance. Now your nothing has grown into a small fortune. Nice tax moves, friend! You're gonna be all right after all.