(updated for the 2016 tax season)
Nova Scotia boasts a competitive tax system. The government has introduced tax measures to make life more affordable for residents, such as the amount for young children, the age tax credit, and the affordable living tax credit.
As with most provinces (with the exception of Alberta), Nova Scotia uses a progressive tax structure in which individuals with higher incomes pay a higher marginal tax rate. To figure out the your provincial taxes payable, you have to complete Form NS428.
Here are the tax brackets for Nova Scotia based on taxable income for 2016. The amounts increase yearly based on inflation
- 8.79 percent on the first $29,590
- 14.95 percent on the amount over $29,590 up to $59,180
- 16.67 percent on the amount over $59,180 up to $93,000
- 17.50 percent on the amount over $93,000 up to $150,000
- 21 percent on the amount over $150,000
Amount for Young Children
Parents of children aged 5 years and under may claim an additional credit on any provincial tax payable. For each month of the tax year, you may claim $100/child if you meet the the following qualifications
- the child was less than six years of age and living with you on the first day of the month;
- no one else claimed the amount for young children for the child for the month you are claiming;
- the child has not been claimed by you or anyone else as an eligible dependant on line 5816; and
- no one has received a special allowance under the Children’s Special Allowances Act for the child for the month you are claiming.
If you and your spouse both qualify, the lower income spouse must claim the credit for all children.
Low Income Tax Reduction
Like other Atlantic provinces, Nova Scotia offers a break on provincial income taxes for those with low income. Along with the basic deduction and deduction for a spouse, common law partner or eligible dependant, additional amounts are claimed for dependant minor children. Completing this section of your NS428 may result in a substantial drop in your provincial tax payable.
Affordable Living Tax Credit
If your family is low- to middle-income, you may qualify for the affordable living tax credit. If you qualify for this tax credit, you receive quarterly payments. The maximum amount your household can receive is $255, plus an additional $60 for each of your children under the age of 19 who lives at home. There is a partial clawback if your family income is above $30,000 and a full claw back if your income is above $35,100. This tax credit is conveniently paid along with the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax credit.
Age Tax Credit
Low income residents of Nova Scotia aged 65 years or older may qualify for an extra $1,000 non-refundable credit to offset provincial tax amounts owing. To qualify, you must be a senior living in Nova Scotia will a taxable income of less than $24,000.