As Canadians, we know that February brings two things: cold weather and tax season. While the groundhogs are still debating spring's arrival, I can guarantee that tax season will be a lot easier for families this year.
In October, our Government introduced the Family Tax Plan, which will provide benefits to 4 million Canadian families this year. Low and middle-income families will receive two-thirds of the overall benefits provided by this package.
Here's four ways our Government is helping hardworking Canadians this tax season:
First, the new Family Tax Cut. This measure is aimed at couples with children under the age of 18, where one spouse is in a higher income tax bracket than the other. The Family Tax Cut can lower a family's overall tax bill, providing tax relief of up to a maximum of $2,000.
Second, we have enhanced the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB). Our Government is increasing the UCCB for children under age six. As of January 1, 2015, parents will receive a benefit of $160 per month for each child under the age of six - up from $100 per month. Parents will now receive $1,920 per child, per year.
We are also expanding the UCCB to children aged six through 17. Parents will now be able to receive a benefit of $60 per month for children aged six through 17. Parents will receive $720 per child, per year.
Next, we are increasing the Child Care Expense Deduction dollar limits by $1,000 for the 2015 tax year. You or your spouse may be able to claim a deduction for expenses incurred for someone to look after your child so that one of you can work or go to school.
Lastly, we have doubled the Children's Fitness Tax Credit from $500 to $1,000 per child, starting in the 2014 tax year.
It is very unfortunate the NDP and Liberals have stated they will take away some of these new benefits but I firmly believe parents are the ones who know what is best for their children and these measures will help lessen their tax burden.
Not only has our Government lowered taxes for everyone; including seniors, students, and everyday hardworking Canadians, we are also making it easier to file your taxes. Four in five Canadians are now experiencing the ease of filing online. Many are receiving their tax refund in as little as 8 days when using direct deposit.
I will continue to work hard on your behalf and deliver real results to hard-working Canadians. As our Prime Minister has said, our Government is fulfilling our promise to balance the federal budget. We are now in a position to fulfill our promise to help Canadian families balance theirs.