The Federal Government announced new changes impacting employees with stocks and eligible families who receive the Canada Child Benefit. These changes come in effect in the 2022 calendar year.

Luxury goods tax

The 2021 Federal Budget proposed a tax on certain new luxury cars, aircrafts, and boats that is expected to come into force as of January 1, 2022. The new tax will apply on the following purchases:

  • The lessor of 20% of the price above $100,000 or 10% of the full price for luxury cars and aircrafts.
  • The lessor of 20% of the price above $250,000 or 10% of the full price for boats.

GST/HST will still apply to applicable purchases and is applied to the final sale price, inclusive of the luxury tax. Therefore, GST/HST is being levied on the tax that is levied on the purchase cost.

Property vacancy tax for non-residents/non-Canadians

As announced in the 2021 Federal Budget, starting in 2022, real estate that is vacant or underutilized will have a new national tax of 1% levied on the assessed value annually.

Under the proposed rules, an owner would be exempt from the tax if the residence in question is the primary place of residence of:

  • the owner;
  • the owner's spouse or common-law partner; or
  • a child of the owner or of the owner's spouse or common-law partner, but only if the child is in Canada for the purposes of authorized study and the occupancy relates to that purpose. 

Additional exemptions being proposed for vacation/recreational properties would apply to properties:

  • located in an area of Canada that is not an urban area within either a census metropolitan area or a census agglomeration having 30,000 or more residents
  • personally used by the owner (or the owner's spouse or common-law partner) for at least four weeks in the calendar year.

An owner eligible for either of the above exemptions would claim the exemption in the annual return that they would be required to file with the CRA in respect of the residential property.

The Underused Housing Tax would be effective for the 2022 calendar year with the first filing required on or before April 30, 2023.

Teacher and early childhood educator school supply tax credit

In the Federal Government's 2021 Fall Economic Statement, they propose increasing the Educator School Supply tax credit to 25%. In addition to the tax credit increase, they have also broadened the definition of eligible supplies, removing the requirement that teaching supplies must be used in a school or regulated child care facility. This measure would also expand the list of eligible durable goods to include certain electronic devices. The following items would be added to the list of prescribed durable goods:

  • calculators (including graphing calculators)
  • external data storage devices
  • webcams, microphones, and headphones
  • wireless pointer devices
  • electronic educational toys
  • digital timers
  • speakers
  • video streaming devices
  • multimedia projectors
  • printers
  • laptop, desktop, and tablet computers (provided that none of these items are made available to the eligible educator by their employer for use outside of the classroom)

Educators would be required to provide a certificate from their employer attesting to the purchase of supplies.

This measure would apply to the 2021 and subsequent tax years.

Small businesses air quality improvement tax credit

The Government proposes to introduce a temporary Small Businesses Air Quality Improvement Tax Credit to encourage small businesses to invest in upgrading ventilation and air filtration systems to improve indoor air quality. The refundable tax credit would apply to eligible entities' incurred expenditures dedicated to improving air quality in qualifying locations between September 1, 2021, and December 31, 2022. The tax credit rate will be 25%.

An eligible entity would receive a maximum credit of $10,000 per qualifying location and a maximum of $50,000 across all qualifying locations. The limits on qualifying expenditures would need to be shared among affiliated businesses. Credit amounts would be included in the taxable income of the business in the taxation year the credit is claimed.

The tax credit is available to Canadian-controlled private corporations and individuals (but not trusts), and members of a partnership that are qualifying corporations or individuals (other than trusts). Specific eligibility requirements will apply to each of these groups.

Qualifying expenditures would include expenses directly attributable to the purchase, installation, upgrade, or conversion of mechanical heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, as well as the purchase of devices designed to filter air using high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters.

The taxation year for which an eligible entity would claim the tax credit would depend on when the qualifying expenditure was incurred.

  • Qualifying expenditures incurred before January 1, 2022, would be claimed by an eligible entity for its first taxation year that ends on or after January 1, 2022.
  • Qualifying expenditures incurred on or after January 1, 2022, would be claimed by an eligible entity for the taxation year in which the expenditure was incurred.

Fuel charge tax credit for farmers

The Government has proposed to return fuel charge proceeds directly to farming businesses in backstop jurisdictions (i.e. those who do not meet federal stringency requirements – Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta) through a refundable tax credit, starting for the 2021-22 fuel charge year.

The return of fuel charge proceeds would be available to corporations, individuals, and trusts that:

  • Are actively engaged in either the management or day-to-day activities of earning income from farming (i.e., the raising of animals and harvesting of plants in a controlled environment); and
  • Incur total farming expenses of $25,000 or more  attributable to backstop jurisdictions.

Businesses operating in a partnership are also eligible for this tax credit.

The credit amount would be equal to the eligible farming expenses attributable to backstop jurisdictions in the calendar year in which the fuel year starts, multiplied by a payment rate for the fuel charge year. The payment rate is per $1,000 in eligible expenses and has been set by the Minister of Finance; they are as follows:

  • $1.47 in 2021
  • $1.73 in 2022

Credit amounts would be included in the taxable income of the business in the taxation year the credit is claimed. Businesses can claim these refundable tax credits through their tax returns that include the 2021 and 2022 calendar years.

Digital services tax

It should be noted that the Federal Government is still planning on moving forward with the implementation of a Digital Service Tax (DST) if an international agreement is not approved by January 1, 2024. If an agreement is not in effect, the DST would be payable as of 2024 in respect of revenues earned as of January 1, 2022.

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.