Canadians Celebrate Tax Freedom Day: A Fraser Institute Study


VANCOUVER – Politics – Canadians are celebrating “Tax Freedom Day”, a date in the year when they finally start working for themselves rather than for the government, according to a recent study published by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

Tax Freedom Day measures the total annual tax burden imposed on Canadian families by federal, provincial, and municipal governments. This year, the day has come eight days later than in 2019, the last year before the pandemic, and four days later than in 2021 when it fell on June 15.

Working for the Government Until Mid-June

“If Canadians paid all their taxes upfront, they would work the first 169 days of this year before bringing any money home for themselves and their families,” said Jake Fuss, Associate Director of Fiscal Studies at the Fraser Institute.

In 2023, the average Canadian family (with two or more people) will pay $64,610 in total taxes. That’s 46.1% of its annual income ($140,106) going to income taxes, payroll taxes (including the Canada Pension Plan), health taxes, sales taxes (like the GST), property taxes, fuel taxes, carbon taxes, “sin” taxes, and more.

The Impact of Tax Burden on Calendar Days

Represented as days on the calendar, the total tax burden compromises more than five months of income—from January 1 to June 18. Thus, on June 19th—Tax Freedom Day—Canadians finally start working for themselves.

However, Canadians should also be concerned about the $47 billion in deficits the federal and provincial governments are forecasting this year, as these will have significant tax implications in future years.

The Concept of Balanced Budget Tax Freedom Day

To help illustrate this point, the study also calculates a Balanced Budget Tax Freedom Day—the day of the year when the average Canadian finally starts working for themselves if the governments paid for all of this year’s spending with taxes collected this year. In 2023, the Balanced Budget Tax Freedom Day won’t arrive until June 27.

“Tax Freedom Day helps put the total tax burden in perspective and helps Canadians understand just how much of their money they pay in taxes every year,” Fuss said. “Canadians need to decide for themselves whether they are getting their money’s worth when it comes to how governments are spending their tax dollars.”

Provincial Tax Freedom Days in 2023

Tax Freedom Day for each province varies according to the extent of the provincially and locally levied tax burden. The 2023 provincial Tax Freedom Days are as follows:

  • Manitoba: June 6
  • Prince Edward Island: June 9
  • British Columbia: June 9
  • New Brunswick: June 12
  • Alberta: June 14
  • Ontario: June 18
  • Nova Scotia: June 18
  • Saskatchewan: June 22
  • Newfoundland & Labrador: June 26
  • Quebec: June 30
  • Canada: June 19
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