MLAs vote for new tax breaks


Many Nunavummiut stand to benefit from amendments to Nunavut’s income tax act, to which MLAs gave their thumbs up June 16 in the territorial legislature.

The amendments in Bill 4 provide tax relief to Nunavummiut in the following forms:

  • an increased pension all for retirees and seniors;
  • a tax credit for volunteer firefighters;
  • a textbook amount for students, and
  • a business training tax credit to enhance workplace skills and abilities.

Nunavummiut who are receiving pension income can now claim a four per cent territorial tax credit on the first $2,000 that they receive, which matches amount that can be claimed under the federal tax credit.

This change affects about 600 tax filers who stand to save about $30 more a year, finance minister Keith Petersen told the legislature’s committee of the whole.

The amendments to the income tax act also call for a $500 tax credit to any volunteer firefighter who does 200 hours of training and on-call service.

“This credit reduces the territorial tax that volunteer firefighters will have to pay by the full $500. We believe this credit will help as many as 300 volunteer firefighters in Nunavut,” Petersen said.

The cost to the government of this credit will be about $150,000, he said.

Full-time students will also be able to claim $65 per month for textbooks. Part-time students can claim $20 per month.

And the new business tax training credit allows eligible Nunavut employers to claim a tax credit for training Nunavut employees of 30 to 50 per cent, if the employees being trained are beneficiaries of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement.

Small businesses will be able to claim up to $10,000 in credits, while large businesses will be able to claim up to $50,000 credits up to a total amount of $1.5 million during each fiscal year, Peterson said.

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