Canada: Fall 2015 Alberta Budget Summary

On October 27, 2015, Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci tabled the province's first budget since the NDP won the provincial election on May 5, 2015. Alberta's first 2015-16 budget was tabled on March 26, 2015, but was not passed into law before the NDP won the election.

The effect of lower oil prices on Alberta's economy and provincial government revenue is significant, with estimated 2015-16 resource revenue down over $6 billion from last year. Based on current forecasts, the recovery will take longer than was anticipated during the spring election campaign.

An estimated surplus of $1.1 billion is forecast for the current fiscal year (2014-15), with projected deficits for the next four years, before showing a surplus again in 2019-20.

The 2015-16 budget lays out a plan for $34 billion in capital spending over the next five years to create jobs and build schools, roads and hospitals (a 15% increase from the March budget). There is also to be more money for health, education and social services, as well as a new Job Creation Incentive program that will give employers $5,000 for each new job they create. Also, starting next year, Alberta will have to borrow money to pay for day-to-day operations—something that hasn't been done in 20 years.

The following is a summary of the key tax measures included in the budget:

Business tax measures

Corporate tax rates

As previously announced and included in Alberta Bill 2 (enacted in June), the general corporate income tax rate increased from 10% to 12%, effective July 1, 2015. The rate increase is pro-rated for taxation years that straddle this date. No changes have been made to the small business tax rate or to the $500,000 small business limit.

Alberta's corporate tax rates for 2015 and 2016, assuming a December 31 year-end, are summarized in Table A below:

Personal tax measures

Personal tax rates

As previously announced, and also included in Alberta Bill 2, a new system of progressive 2personal income taxes was introduced to replace the 10% flat personal income tax rate. Transitional provisions apply for 2015, such that one-quarter of the rate increases apply. Corresponding tax rate changes will be made to the taxation of trusts, so that the 15% highest personal income tax rate will apply to all trusts beginning in 2016, with the exception of graduated rate estates (for up to 36 months) and qualified disability trusts. For 2015, the top rate of 11.25% also applies to inter-vivos trusts. This new progressive system affects taxpayers earning more than $125,000 a year. The new income tax brackets will be indexed starting in 2017.

Table B illustrates the provincial rates for 2015 and 2016.

Table C illustrates the top marginal rate of tax (federal and provincial combined) on various types of income for 2015 and 2016:

Alberta family employment tax credit

The previous government proposed enhancements to this refundable tax credit applicable to lower income-earning families, effective July 1, 2015. The NDP government is proposing to implement the same enhancements, but with an effective date of July 1, 2016. The rate at which benefits are phased in will be increased from 8% to 11% on working income over $2,760 and the phase-out threshold will be increased from a family net income of $36,778 to $41,250 (at a rate of 4% of family net income greater than $41,250). For the 2016 benefit year starting on July 1, payments will increase to a maximum of $754 for one child, $1,439 for two children, $1,850 for three children and $1,987 for four or more children.2

Alberta child benefit

The new Alberta Child Benefit mirrors the new Alberta Working Family Supplement proposed by the previous government.3 The Alberta Child Benefit is a new refundable tax credit applicable to working families earning up to $41,220 per year, effective July 1, 2016. Families with net income of up to $25,500 will receive the maximum benefit. Benefit amounts will then be reduced, and phased out completely once family net income reaches $41,220 per year. Effective July 1, 2016, families with one child will be eligible for a maximum annual benefit of $1,100. An additional annual benefit of $550 will be provided for each of the next three children. Therefore, families with four or more children will be eligible to receive a maximum annual benefit of $2,750. Benefits will be paid four times per year. Families currently eligible for the Alberta family employment tax credit will automatically be enrolled for this new credit. Otherwise, an Alberta income tax return will have to be filed in order to be eligible.

Charitable donations tax credit (CDTC)

The previous government announced that the CDTC applied to total donations over $200 would be reduced from 21% to 12.75%4 beginning in 2016. The NDP government has announced that it will retain the current rate of 21%.

Dividend tax credit

In response to the federal government's upcoming changes to the factors used in the calculation of its dividend tax credit for non-eligible dividends,5

Other measures

Tobacco tax

Effective at 12:01 a.m., October 28, 2015, the following tobacco taxes are being increased:

  • The tax per carton of 200 cigarettes will increase by $5 (from $45 to $50).
  • The tax on loose tobacco will rise by 3.75 cents per gram (from 33.75 cents to 37.50 cents per gram).
  • The tax rate applied to a cigar's taxable price will rise from 116% to 129%. The minimum and maximum tax per cigar will rise from 22.5 cents to 25 cents, and from $ $7.05 to $7.83, respectively.

Insurance premiums tax

As announced by the previous government, effective April 1, 2016, the tax rate on premiums receivable in respect of contracts of life, accident and sickness insurance will increase from 2% to 3%, and the rate for any other contract of insurance will increase from 3% to 4%.

Locomotive fuel tax

The tax on locomotive fuel will increase by 4 cents to 5.5 cents per litre, effective November 1, 2015.


1 These rates do not include a possible 4% increase in the top federal tax rate for taxable income over $200,000, proposed by the new federal Liberal government

2 Amounts subject to change for 2016 indexing

3 The previous government's proposal was never included in a Bill

4 The rate which applied prior to 2007

5 Beginning in 2016

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Crowe MacKay LLP
Minden Gross LLP
Grant Thornton
Minden Gross LLP
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Crowe MacKay LLP
Minden Gross LLP
Grant Thornton
Minden Gross LLP
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions