Tax Fairness for Seniors
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Tax Fairness for Seniors, Basic Needs and more

Let’s Make This an Election Issue

Single Seniors for Tax Fairness

Single Seniors for Tax Fairness is working for fairness for single seniors in Canada.  A compelling webinar was held at the end of February.  This site is well worth a read.  The numbers are quite shocking and I’m sure most would be interested. Note that the purpose of this group is not to take anything away from couples but make the same tax benefits available to single seniors as well.  There’s some powerful women on these committees and they have lobbied many MP’s and Cabinet Ministers.  They submitted presentations for the upcoming budget. (submitted by WST)

Women and Seniors Unfairly Burdened – Financial Post Article

How the System Discriminates against Single Retirees Extracted from the book Retirement for the Record and reprinted with permission from Daryl Diamond, Diamond Retirement Planning Ltd. (Copyright 2020)

Are Single Seniors UnFairly Penalised at Tax Time? (YES!)

How can the tax system be corrected?

To promote fairness, they recommend the following:

Recommendation 1: That the government implement a tax provision for single seniors to offset the considerable reduction in tax payable by couples applying for pension income splitting.

Recommendation 2:  That the government implement a new single senior non-refundable tax credit equivalent to half of the personal amount for the applicable taxation year, e.g., 7,500 in 2023

Recommendation 3: That the government increase the pension income amount from 2,000 to 3,000 for single seniors.

Recommendation 4: That the government increase the income clawback thresholds for Old Age Security and for the age amount non-refundable tax credit for single seniors.

Recommendation 5: That the government amend the tax treatment of registered plan proceeds on the death of a single senior to allow a tax-deferred rollover to any beneficiary (regardless of relationship to the deceased) with the proviso that the proceeds be paid out, and taxable to that beneficiary, over a maximum of ten (10) years. Should the beneficiary die before the end of the ten years, the balance would be fully taxable in the year of death of that beneficiary.​

BASIC NEEDS

One of our Tin Cup members put this together and while it may not represent everyone, it’s close.  So these numbers are general – not specific.

Basic needs:
Average rent for one bedroom apartment in B.C. – $2163.00 per month (Alberta rent is about $1200.00)
Appr. hydro- 26.00 per month (depending on the home)
Appr. Landline phone – $20.00 per month,  approximate Cell ph:  $45.00/month
Food – $300.00 per month
Total – $2524.00 per month
*not including any car or health costs

Old Age Pension for age 65 to 74 yrs – $713.34 per month
Supplement (under $21,624.00 per yr. , if you qualify) – $1065.47 per month
Total – $1778.81
Needs to raise supplement about 70% to meet basic needs for lower income seniors

If you don’t get the supplement, it’s usually because you have some other income coming in. If you’re still working (clawed back), that’s other income. Of course the way the govt. explains it is made purposefully to confuse the public.
If you get no supplement or other income, a senior is $1810.66 below the basic needs.
Is it any wonder, they are living in vehicles!! 
A friend of a member of Tin Cup has lived in a very old apartment building for 25 yrs. She pays $983.00 per month. Her hydro is $26.00 per month, phone is $35.00, food between $200.00 and $300.00 per month. She has a bit saved so she’s able to still have her car. 

19 Comments

    • Carole Fawcett

      Hi Caroline – the next rally will be June 27th, Thursday. Are you in Vernon, or what town are
      you in? Still looking for organizers in towns across BC (and Canada for that matter), Let me
      know please. Thanks for your support.

  • Valerie

    A basic standard of housing is now (and has been for years) a roommate or even several roommates, not renting alone. While housing costs affect all ages and require attention, a single age group cannot expect to be uniquely exempt from the economic conditions affecting everyone. Working people have also had to make sacrifices to live within our means, and will already suffer from a high tax burden as the population ages. Solidarity with renters of other ages would require housing advocacy that might eventually make living alone attainable for all once again, not a reprieve only for one age group.

    To make benefits fairer for renters, while not disadvantaging the young, you could advocate for reduced benefits for senior homeowners (who enjoy high levels of wealth) and higher income seniors to keep the changes from increasing the already-growing costs of current revenue welfare spending on seniors.

  • Carole Fawcett

    The one age group we are focusing on are seniors. These seniors are low income and while it is lovely to think that they could live together with a roommate, it is quite unreasonable. They are not university students just starting out, they have contributed to the country in many ways and now need some help from said country to live with dignity and respect. A lot of the senior homeowners I know do not enjoy ‘high levels of wealth’ and quite a few of them have taken out reverse mortgages. A lot of seniors work, not by choice, but because they don’t have enough money. Imagine yourself working at age 75 plus with health challenges. Then imagine using the days off you have to recuperate from the work you are forced to do. It always seems easy to see from the outside when the issue does not apply to yourself. Sadly, the vision (aka judgment) is frequently clouded and isn’t transparent.

  • Valerie

    It’s not just students, it is grown, working adults (often well past the age where people formerly started families). If it’s reasonable for them, it’s reasonable for all, until things can change for all. That is the new normal, and it’s unfair to think you deserve better than others, paid for by people also facing challenges, rather than recognizing shared challenges.

  • Carole Fawcett

    Yes, there are challenges in today’s world for a lot of people. Young and old. The difference being the senior population have contributed considerably to the country. Are you okay with someone of age 73 living in their car? Are you okay with someone who is in their 80’s not being able to afford a hearing aid? Are you okay with seniors running out of money half way through the month only to worry for the rest of the month how they will eat and live? Are you okay with seniors not being able to fulfill a prescription due to lack of money? Are you okay with seniors not being able to go to a Physiotherapist, Podiatrist etc. due to lack of money? Do you know the meaning of the word respect and that how we treat our senior population is reflective of that word? Seniors are more vulnerable and the longer they live, the more vulnerable they are. My Mom is celebrating her 100th birthday tomorrow. She is frail, vulnerable and has difficulty seeing, hearing and generally just being. I don’t know your situation, but would suggest you speak to seniors who are low income to see how they might feel. When life hands you lemons, there comes a time when you cannot make lemonade. We will have to agree to disagree and I will not respond anymore.

  • Valerie

    It’s disrespectful that seniors expect better than the people paying for them! Young adults are contributing now, with less to show for it than seniors did as young adults. Everyone should have their basic needs met, but your definition of basic needs is not current to this century. However, thank you for making it clear to young adults that you only value us as ATMs and I hope anyone reading keeps this in mind about the goals of this organization.

    • SANDRA PETERS

      I am not surprised this young Valerie has no compassion or insight into what it is like to be a senior. Too bad she won’t realize until she is 65 how challenging it is. She is like a new car – everything works great, the odd tune up. When she is an old rusty relic only THEN will she come to learn how much TLC is required to keep the old car running… and with no other option but to keep up the maintenance … until you “lose” it you don’t realize what you had – youth and a fully functional body and mind!

      My advice to Valerie…. visit a senior’s centre and see first hand how the body deteriorates and there is nothing you can do about it… like an old car, the body wears out which is really hard to comprehend when YOUR body is NEW.

      And as for young people being ATMs…. where does she think all the roads, dams, bridges, infrastructure in BC came to be? We “old” people were the ATM back then… now it is HER turn. She is enjoying the fruits of OUR labour… The Cambie Bridge was a swing span bridge in the 1970’s… traffic had to stop, the bridge swung around so the boats could go under it when I was YOUNG and WORKING. The stadium site was SWEENEY BARRELS.

      And Yaletown was industrial upon which they built EXPO in the 80’s… so what she sees now is the fruits of OUR labours.. are you enjoying it Valerie? You’re welcome….

  • Anita Romaniuk

    I am a single senior and support this. I have a good income so not in financial straits and not one to complain. But inheriting my late husband’s retirement savings on top of my own did boost me into a higher tax bracket and I do pay more tax than the two of us did together so some of the goals would benefit me too. I wanted to disclose that, but also to say that I do support a progressive tax system. My main reason for signing is to support single seniors whose income is not adequate.

    • Carole Fawcett

      Hi Sandra – thank you for pointing out a few truths. I goofed and thought you were another person commenting – regardless, they also spoke their truth. Some people are stuck in simplistic thinking and really do not understand how life transpires, and what the Boomer generation has provided. Like you and many others, I have health challenges and some things are more difficult to accomplish. It saddens me to read Valerie’s response. She needs to realize that this isn’t just impacting us, but will impact the next huge demographic as well – The Millenials. Once again, Boomers lead the way.

      • Valerie

        Millennials are already paying more now to get more benefits later (through enhanced CPP). Whatever you have convinced yourself, we don’t actually benefit from paying extra for a generation who didn’t contribute extra.

        • Carole Fawcett

          Perhaps Valerie, not right now. But you will benefit. You come across as young and naive, but perhaps you are simply in that space we all pass through as we become wiser, the ‘we-think-we-know-it-all-stage’. (or perhaps you are pretending to be something you aren’t? Hard to tell on these posts) Where are you living? Are you working and out on your own – no doubt having to pay exhorbitant rents? Not easy in today’s world that’s for sure and my heart goes out to anyone who has to pay these rents. But it goes out even more to someone who is older and struggling. Because they too have worked very hard in their lives. Once your health is compromised Valerie, life is not an easy walk. Judging others is the easiest path to take. Trying to understand their plight or challenge is quite another. Drop down into your heart for awhile and look at the world with kindness and caring. You might find you are a happier person overall. We Boomers (I’m 76) demanded and helped make huge changes for the betterment of humankind. Hopefully you care enough to do the same. The world is in pain again – women’s rights, war, disability issues, starvation, poverty. Pick one and help to make a positive difference.

        • S Brandoli

          Valerie – some people don’t have kids, but they support universal childcare. I don’t make minimum wage, but want to raise it. I’m not sick but I support doctors, nurses, and hospitals. My house is not on fire (at the moment) but I support fire halls.
          Women, in particular, are disproportionately affected by low pension levels. Up to 30%. This is no small number. It’s not just a few women ( and 24% of men) being irresponsible and frivolous, by not saving. They were living paycheck to paycheck already. They did not have government pensions or private pensions. This is a significant number in our society.
          We are talking about women raised in the 1950s, and 60s, when expectations were not that women pursue higher education but stay home and raise children. When they did work they did so at low paying jobs and if they got sick or divorced their futures were compromised then they became at risk for their future retirement. And since when is women’s work (housekeeping, child rearing, cooking, etc) NOT WORK? Why is this not in the equation and calculations? They raised your generation and yes, they are struggling.
          Study after study after study shows how divorce negatively impacts women’s income and quality of life, which significantly goes down while men’s goes up.
          Raising seniors pensions to fair levels, to the accepted POVERTY LINE – not asking for fancy cars or vacations here – will eventually benefit your generation as well.
          Who will fund it – let’s just say one example that 18 billion dollars of our tax money went to support the fossil fuel industry last year alone. A supposedly “profitable ” industry. Maybe we need to stop the corporate welfare that is also destroying our planet (but that discussion is for another website.)
          You can want a better life for people without expecting anything in return.
          Show some compassion for your fellow human being.

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