The 2018 budget for Nova Scotia was announced on March 20, 2018 and has a particular focus on the province’s continuing investment in healthcare and education. The budget covers the following key areas:
Innovation Equity Tax Credit
The budget introduces a new Innovation Equity Tax Credit which will take effect from January 1, 2019. The specific details are not yet set out but the budget states that the existing Equity Tax Credit will be phased out and the new program will have a less broad focus and the threshold will be more in line with comparable programs across Canada.
The budget covers the agreement made by Nova Scotia to adhere to a structured tax framework with the Canadian government for a period of two years after the legalization of cannabis for recreational purposes. Specifically, excise duties will be imposed on the flowering material that is used to create cannabis at $0.25 per gram federal excise duty and $0.75 per gram provincial excise duty, both to be collected by the federal government.
Medical Expenses Tax Credit
In relation to the Medical Expenses Tax Credit, the $10,000 cap on eligible medical expenses that an individual can claim on behalf of a dependent relative has been eliminated in this year’s budget.
Basic Personal Amount
The budget confirms that, effective January 1, 2018, the basic personal amount, as well as the spousal amount and that for an eligible dependent, will rise from $8,481 to $11,481, with those earning a taxable income of under $25,000 receiving the maximum benefit.
Also effective January 1, 2018, the age amount credit for seniors with a low income will increase from $4,141 to $5,606 and the maximum benefit will apply to those with a taxable income of less than $25,000.