Cost of Living·Listen

Tax breaks for married senior citizens aren't fair, according to older single Canadians

Canadian seniors who are married or in common-law relationships can take advantage of income splitting — a tax advantage that their single counterparts say isn't fair to those who are aging without a spouse.

Lobby group pushes for changes to pension income splitting

When it comes to tax breaks, married and common-law seniors save more than their single friends, prompting a new group to lobby for tax fairness in Canada. (Getty Images/Image Source)

Canadian seniors who are married or in common-law relationships can take advantage of income splitting — a tax advantage that their single counterparts say isn't fair to those who are aging without a partner.

With the number of single people in Canada continuing to grow in many age categories, the concept of single seniors paying more per household in taxes than their married neighbours may become increasingly unpopular.

  • The Cost of Living ❤s money — how it makes (or breaks) us.
    Catch us Sundays on CBC Radio One at 12:00 p.m. (12:30 p.m. NT).

    We also repeat the following Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. in most provinces.

A new lobby group, Single Seniors for Tax Fairness, is trying to raise awareness about the issue. And while the recent federal budget did increase some Old Age Security (OAS) benefits, they only apply to seniors over the age of 75.

Producer Anis Heydari looks into why single seniors want what they call "a more level playing field", and explains why The Golden Girls should have gotten married to save on their taxes. That is, if Blanche, Sophia, Dorothy and Rose all lived in Regina instead of Miami.


Listen to the segment above  — or download and subscribe to the Cost of Living podcast.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now