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2016-2017 Saskatchewan budget highlights

Canadian tax alert

Saskatchewan Finance Minister Kevin Doherty presented the 2016-2017 Saskatchewan budget on June 1, 2016, his first as well as the first for the recently re-elected Saskatchewan government. For 2016-2017, the Minister presented a budget with $14 billion in total revenue and a projected $434 million deficit which, according to the Minister, was mainly due to a drop of almost $1 billion dollars in non-renewable resource revenue. The government maintained their promise not to increase taxes but left open the opportunity to do so in the future by noting that all government revenues and expenditures would be scrutinized in the year to come. The following is a summary of the tax highlights contained in the budget.

Measures concerning business

There were no tax measures introduced for business.

Measures concerning individuals

  • The government introduced the Graduate Retention Program First Home Plan. The Graduate Retention Program First Home Plan allows eligible graduates to utilize up to $10,000 of future Graduate Retention Program tax credits as an interest-free loan to use towards a down payment on a first-time home purchase in Saskatchewan.
  • The Graduate Retention Program, introduced in 2008, is a non-refundable tax credit of up to $20,000, depending on tuition paid, and can be applied to provincial taxes. To be eligible for the credit, you must have graduated from an approved post-secondary program and moving to or living in Saskatchewan. A tax credit of 10% of the overall entitlement is allowed in each of the first 4 years following eligibility and a tax credit of 20% in each of the following 3 years. Any unused tax credits can be applied up to 10 years after graduation.
  • As well, the government eliminated the Active Families Benefit. Introduced in 2009, this refundable tax credit was available to offset expenses for cultural, recreational or sports activities of up to $150 per child for families with adjusted net income not exceeding $60,000. The 2016 federal budget proposed that the equivalent federal non-refundable tax credit be reduced in 2016 and fully eliminated in 2017.
  • The budget also included a change to the Dividend Tax Credit to ensure that the provincial taxation of dividend income earned by taxpayers in Saskatchewan remains unchanged from 2015.

For further details, we refer you to the Ministry of Finance website.

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National

Heather Evans
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Albert Baker
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