A Federal Budget Summary

Given the instability of the global economy and the impact it is having on Canada’s growth, finance minister, Jim Flaherty, promised only minor adjustments leading up to Thursday’s Economic Action Plan speech.

Although the Canadian federal budget has been fairly mundane over the past few years, there were still a few noteworthy items announced yesterday. Here are some of the highlights:

  • $900 million in new spending with no new taxes or tax cuts and $11 billion in projected savings in 2013-14;
  • Over $300 million in revenue from “closed tax loopholes” with an expected $4.6 billion over the next six years;
  • The lifetime capital gains exemption was increased from $750,000 to $800,000, effective for the 2014  tax year; will be indexed for inflation;
  • A new reward system geared at busting large international tax cheats will give “snitches” as much as 15 per cent if it helps the CRA recoup unpaid funds;
  • The government is renewing the funding of the federal economic development agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) for five years at a cost of $920 million;
  • $23 million will be spent on advertising for an International Education Strategy in an effort to lure more international students;
  • A First-Time Donor’s Super Credit, which supplements existing charitable tax credits to give new donors an additional 25% on donations up to $1,000;
  • The Canadian Youth Business Foundation will get $18 million over two years to help young entrepreneurs grow their firms.

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