Canadian companies are taking advantage of Canada’s low gift tax
Low taxes are helping low- and middle-income families save for gifts to themselves and their families, according to a report released this week.
The report, by the Canadian Council for the Gifted, found that gift cards from retailers such as Lowe’s and the Salvation Army have helped Canadian families save $2,300 per year in the last three years.
The average annual gift tax on a gift card was $15.25 in the U.S. and $22.75 in the UK, according the council.
The U.K. had the highest average gift tax at $20.38 per year, followed by Canada at $14.67.
Gift cards are typically a way to save money in the case of a big expense, such as a mortgage payment or the purchase of a new car.
“It is a good way to help people save money and reduce their expenses,” said Susan Sibley, the council’s president.
The council says gift cards are an effective way to reduce household spending, and they have been an effective tax subsidy.
The tax is one of the main reasons Canada is ranked as the top gift tax-free country in the world.
Canada’s gift tax is also among the lowest in the developed world, at 2.8 per cent.
The survey found that Canadians are saving more money on gifts compared to other countries.
The median annual gift of $1,300 in the United States is the highest among the OECD nations, with Canadians saving $4,400, or 17 per cent, on their annual gift.
“Canada is one place in the OECD where the gift tax has been especially effective,” said Mark McBride, the report’s author.
“Canadian households are saving the most money, so when they are trying to save for a gift, they are doing so much more efficiently.”
The average Canadian has spent $4.06 on gifts since 2008, the survey said.
The savings from gift tax cuts have been most evident in the affluent suburbs, which have seen their average annual household income rise from $71,000 in 2008 to $85,000 today.
The study found that in 2010, Canadians living in the more affluent suburbs saw their disposable income increase by $2.1 million, while those in the less affluent suburbs went up by $1.9 million.
“We are seeing that income increases are the main reason people are saving on gifts,” said McBride.
“That is one way people are getting more bang for their buck.”
In addition to the tax savings, gift cards have been a major source of income for many families, the study found.
Canadian households with incomes of $70,000 or more saw their average household income increase from $2 million in 2008, to $6.8 million in 2010.
The households in the top 10 per cent of income earners in Canada, the lowest fifth of earners, saw their income increase more than 25 per cent over the same period.
“These are people who are earning money and are saving, but they are also earning less money,” said Sibleys report co-author Catherine Wojcik.
“They are going to be hit harder by the recession, because their savings are being reduced.”
The council has been tracking the impact of the gift-tax cut for about five years.
It is not the first time Canada has benefited from the low gift-purchase tax.
The last federal government cut the tax on gift cards, which began in 1999.
The policy was changed in 2007 to allow companies to keep up with rising costs and to help offset the tax.
It was repealed in 2012.
Canada has had some of the lowest gift-card tax rates in the industrialized world.
For instance, in the first quarter of 2014, Canadian households paid an average of $7.75 per gift card.
Canada also had the lowest rate in the G-7 at 2 per cent in 2012, according a report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
The OECD report also found that U.N. statistics show the U