Sunday, 10 March 2013

Spring Time is Tax Time

We've been keeping a low profile recently, when O'Hara has had days off we've just been going up to Sun Peaks and chilling in Kamloops. We've been meaning to head to Banff for about 2 months but are terrible friends and haven't made it. The one positive, we've doubled the days needed to pay off our seasons pass. You'd think we'd be epic snowboarders by now, but sadly no.

One thing that has been nice about hanging around Kamloops has been the weather. I think I've acclimatised to some extent as I'm not nearly as cold as I was when I arrived last year. I haven't needed gloves or a beanie for at least a month. We've also seen double digits over the last few days which has been awesome. I'm starting to get super smug about the fact we're going into summer (suckers). While Australians were posting their wonderful sunshine photos, here it was cold and dark and I was homesick. Now that daylight savings has started, payback is about to commence. Be prepared southern hemisphere, it's going to be brutal!
Here comes Spring suckers!
Sadly, this means it's tax time here for us. As we only submitted our Australian one about a month ago I'm feeling a little ripped off. ALL tax returns are due here on the 30th of April, so no slacking off for us unfortunately.

Taxes here are confusing for us. As far as I can find on the internet, Canada and the US are the only countries that have completely separate taxes in each province/state. This also means (as far as I can find) these are the two countries where taxes aren't included in any sales prices. I think everyone has that awkward moment when they first travel to the US or Canada when they have the cash for their purchase, only to be told at the register they're 5-15% short. It's almost impossible to get rid of small change.

I've learnt to appreciate that paying Employee Insurance (in case you can't get a job or go on mat leave) and Canadian Pension Plan (forced payment but not like super) could benefit us. If I get pregnant here I can claim maternity leave even though I'm not a permanent resident or citizen. It's dead money for O'Hara and any expats on a work permit, as you are required to be working at the place specified on you visa. Luckily we opted for me to be a spouse visa rather than my own work permit, WIN!

While I find it pretty annoying that EI and CPP are separated out and Canada claims it has really low "taxes", in Australia you pay for the same things in the overall tax rate but expats on a 457 visa are not entitled to any of the same things you are here. Canada, you win this round. We've just got to get pregnant and have a baby while we're here and get our EI back!

One thing that is a total scam however, is the fact that everything that the company pays for as a "benefit" (gym, healthcare etc.) gets added to your taxable income. So you pay nearly 50% anyway. BUT when your claiming deductions, you only get 10% back.... shady!

This is not a pregnancy announcement. Repeat, this is NOT a pregnancy announcement!


  1. You are hilariousssss. And yes, U.S. taxes are a bitch. ESPECIALLY if you own your own biz. ;) My head hurts just thinking about submitting them soon...

    1. I'm hoping we can just get an accountant to sort it all out for us, but it doesn't seem to be that easy :(
      I'm scared for you doing business tax!! AHHHH!