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Maxed-out taxpayers limit fiscal choices in Canada Add to ...

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Accountants will tell you that a switch goes off in peoples’ brains when they start paying more than half of what they earn in taxes. They feel angry and frustrated. Many look more aggressively for tax relief – legal or otherwise.

Five years ago, Nova Scotia was the only province with a top marginal income tax rate of 50 per cent. Today, that’s the case in seven out of 10, including every province east of Saskatchewan. In Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, top earners face an income tax bite of at least 53 per cent. This reality goes a long way toward explaining the ubercautious approach by Ottawa and many of the provinces during this year’s budget season.

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