Manitoba tax changes coming Friday for seniors, homeschoolers

A range of new tax changes will affect how much Manitobans contribute to provincial coffers in 2016.

Seniors, small business owners could save millions in 2016, according to provincial officials

A range new fees and rule changes will affect how much Manitobans pay in provincial tax in 2016. (CBC)

Tax changes come into effect Friday that will affect how much Manitobans contribute to provincial coffers.

Manitoba seniors could save millions in 2016 under the new regime, said a provincial news release sent Thursday.

In 2016, the maximum seniors' school tax rebate will increase from $470 to $2,300. The amount translates to $47.8 million in savings for Manitoban seniors, said the news release.

"This change means approximately 98 per cent of qualifying seniors will no longer pay school taxes," said Premier Greg Selinger, in the release.

To qualify for the rebate, seniors must:

  • own or occupy and live in their house;
  • be at least 65 years of age; and
  • pay school taxes not already fully covered by the basic Education Property Tax Credit.

"The seniors school tax rebate will be capped to ensure that two per cent of seniors with high-valued homes still pay some school taxes," said the release.

A New Year's bonus for business

Small business owners may also see some tax relief.

The Manitoba government is increasing the income limit for small businesses to qualify for the zero per cent corporate income tax rate from $425,000 to $450,000 in 2016.

In 2015 approximately 14,000 small businesses paid no Manitoba corporate income tax because of the zero per cent rate rule, said the news release. In 2016 the number of corporations paying no tax will increase to 16,000.

New fees and increases for 2016

Not all the tax changes will boost Manitobans' bank accounts.

The government is increasing the cost of renewing a driver's licence after a suspension and homeschooling fees.

Payday lenders will also have to pay a new $5,500 licence fee, a move that strengthens consumer protection, said the provincial release. 

Fee increases in Manitoba for 2016, include:

  • Subdivision application fees to increase from $375 to $425
  • A new $30 application fee for all subsequent applications to the Licence Suspension Appeal Board after a driver's licence is suspended or cancelled
  • A new $5,500 licence fee for lenders who offer high-cost, payday loans
  • An increase in the cost of grades 9 through 12 independent study option fees from $145 to $160 for half-credit courses and from $165 to $180 for full-credit courses

For more information Manitobans can call the provincial tax assistance team at 204-945-7555 in Winnipeg or at 1-855-893-8266 (toll-free) or visit the province's website

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