Programmes pour personnes à faible revenuNovember 10, 2015

Programs for Low-Income Persons

Do you have a low income and find it tough to make ends meet? Both Quebec and Canada have government programs to alleviate the financial burden of those whose income barely covers basic needs. Here are some that you can make use of if you have a low income.

Tax Credits

Federal and provincial governments make tax credits available to low-income people to reduce their tax liability.

Among them are the tax credit for medical expenses, which allows you to deduct your medical expenses from your income; the solidarity tax credit, which has replaced the QST credit; the property tax refund; and the credit for certain inhabitants of northern villages, which is deposited directly into the account of the beneficiary every month.

The GST Credit

In Canada, the equivalent of the solidarity tax credit is the GST credit. Not taxable, it aims to help families living below or on the poverty line to recover some of the sales taxes paid in the course of the year. It is reimbursed every three months.

If you live alone, you may also be entitled to a single-person or single-parent tax credit. This is granted by the Government of Quebec.

The Housing Allowance Program

The Quebec government also provides allowances for persons or families who spend too great a proportion of their budget on housing. Depending on your situation and your annual income, the allowance may be as high as $80 per month. The amount is revised annually based on your situation and your income.

The Work Premium

If you are on social assistance, you may qualify for a tax credit called the work premium. It is refundable and is designed to encourage you to enter the labour market, if you find yourself outside of it.

Low-income workers are also entitled to this credit to encourage them to remain employed. The amounts vary between $552.02 and $3,078.50 per year (source: Revenu Québec, 2014) based on the marital status of the beneficiary.

Supplement to the Work Premium

Under certain conditions – for example, if you are in transition and are planning to return to work soon – you can also ask for the supplement to the work premium when you file your tax return. This program is valued at $200 per month and can be allocated for up to 1 year.

The TFSA: Tax-Free Savings Account

The federal government announced this program in 2008 to allow low-income people and others to encourage them to save money that remains exempt from taxes.

If you have a low income, you can invest money in it every month without fear of having to pay tax on that amount when you withdraw it.

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