The Tax Blog for Smart Canadians

Tips and tricks for Canadian tax filers at every stage of life from UFile's tax expert Gerry Vittoratos



Survey: How Canadians View Taxes and Technology

by UFile Team Équipe ImpôtExpert | Apr 09, 2019   Comments:

Ufile Blog Survey Finding

Unless it’s tax season, tax-related topics tend to get pushed to the sidelines, forgotten until that crucial time of the year when it’s time to sort it all out. Wanting to understand the habits and wishes of Canadian taxpayers from every stage of life, UFile set out to poll 1,019 Canadians on questions about how we understand our personal finance situations and how we view our public services as taxpayers.

What we saw is that Canadians, overall, are considerate and responsible when it comes to supporting public services. However, confusion remains over how we understand our financial situations and the role technology can play to enable us to take ownership over our financial futures.

For starters, taxes generally get a bad rap. So, among our favourite findings was how nearly three quarters of Canadians are proud to pay taxes to support public services. At UFile, we are proud, too!

public services

Here’s what else we’ve learned:

Canadians don’t instinctually trust technology but acknowledge the need to embrace it

It is no surprise that 67% of Canadian taxpayers have no trust at all, or not a lot of trust in technology. What is surprising, however, is that 68% agree that Canadians should embrace technology, with 31% strongly agreeing to it. While there is clearly some confusion over how we view technology, there is an opportunity to learn how technology can be beneficial and make our lives more convenient. The graph below illustrates the level of trust Canadians have with technology and whether or not they should embrace it.

embrace technology

Most Canadians are aware of the tax credits they’re entitled to – but many aren’t

While most Canadians are familiar with the tax credits they’re entitled to, it still remains unclear for many. For instance, although positive findings show that 70% of Quebeckers are familiar with Additional Subsidized Childcare Contribution, 30% are not familiar with it at all. Meanwhile in Ontario, most Ontarians (80%) are familiar with tuition and education credits being eliminated, yet there is still that 20% who aren’t. Lastly, a significant number (34%) of Albertans aren’t aware of the province’s progressive tax rates. The graph below indicates Canadians’ familiarity with the state of key tax credits.

tax credits

Canadians are united on the fundamentals

When asked about funding taxes for public services, the survey optimistically shows Maritimers to be very progressive and caring, with 76% stating they are proud to pay taxes to support public services, especially when it comes to funding climate change initiatives and childcare services – among the highest in the country. Meanwhile, the majority of Canadians reveal that the most important funding is education, with Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec ranking among the highest. The graph below reveals what Canadians find the most important public service to fund from each provincial region.

services to fund

Guiding young people to engage in their personal finance

When young people step into their first job, they officially become a taxpayer; a citizen contributing to the function of a city, province, and country. This should be a proud and celebrated moment like any major life milestone, but the Canadian tax system can be complicated to explain. To instill in our children a sense of pride for how Canadians work together to contribute to protecting and advancing our communities, big and small, will create an environment for young people to become confidence to self-sufficiently manage their finances. And importantly, to remember that paying and filing taxes make up the glue that holds our communities together.

educate

Want to educate your kids on how taxes work but not sure where to start?

Start the conversation with SmartSAVER – a non-profit organization that helps Canadian families understand and access government money that might be available to their children for post-secondary education funding. UFile is supporting SmartSAVER’s initiative by prompting eligible tax filers through the software that they could be eligible to open an RESP to access the Canada Learning Bond, as well as the Canada Education Savings Grant through SmartSAVER’s easy-to-use platform. Get started by registering with UFile today.

Oh, and there’s also this handy animation that explains where our tax dollars go:


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