In the new year, a host of new rules and regulations is coming into effect from different jurisdictions across the country.
We compiled a list of some of the noteworthy changes that’ll impact your personal finances in 2024, whether it’s from the local, provincial or federal government.
TFSA limit increases to $7,000
Investors using a tax-free savings account will see their contribution limits reset on Jan. 1 with a higher cap of $7,000. The cap in 2023 was $6,500.
The TFSA program, which allows investors to avoid being taxed on capital gains and withdrawals, always increases with inflation. Its original cap when the program was introduced in 2009 was $5,000.
Gas tax returns to Alberta
Alberta’s provincial government introduced a fuel tax relief program in 2022 to help consumers deal with inflating prices at the pump, but it will come to a close in the new year.
Over the summer, the Canadian Press reported the program was saving drivers 13 cents per litre.
Toronto introduces a graduated property transfer tax
Since 2008, Toronto has had its own property transfer tax in addition to provincial transfer taxes. On Jan. 1, a new graduated land transfer tax will start charging higher fees for luxury homes.
Home between $3-million and $4-million will be charged a 3.5 per cent. The rate rises incrementally to a maximum of 7.5 per cent for homes worth more than $20-million.
Ontario drivers can opt out of property damage coverage
Direct compensation property damage insurance has been a mandatory protection since 1990 in Ontario. It covers you for the cost of damages to your car in an accident where you’re not at fault.
In the new year, drivers will be able to opt out of this form of coverage. While the option could save drivers hundreds of dollars per year in insurance rates, it also could leave them paying tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket in the event of a collision.
New federal rules for determining remote workers’ province of employment
As remote work cements itself as a popular method of employment, the federal government is setting new rules for such labour to determine which province you’re employed and taxed in.
There are multiple guidelines and caveats, but the primary rule is that workers will be taxed in the province where they would’ve been expected to report for work if they didn’t have such an arrangement.
Amount of funds international students are required to prove more than doubles
Many international visas, including those for students, are granted only if applicants can prove they have a minimum amount of money to support themselves.
The amount that international students have to prove they have will increase to $20,635, after being left unchanged since the 2000s at $10,000.
B.C. implements new obligations for employers when their workers are injured
The B.C. government is widening an employers obligations when a workplace injury occurs. Businesses that employ 20 or more people will be required to make necessary changes to the workplace and outline a return-to-work plan for the employee’s former job, or something comparable.
Alberta landlords will pay interest on damage deposits
A law has been in place for many years requiring Alberta landlords to pay interest for a tenant’s security deposit. However, since 2009, that interest rate has been set to 0, meaning no payments were due.
That’ll change as of Jan. 1, with the provincial government setting the interest rate to 1.6-per-cent annually. Landlords will be required to pay the amount to their tenants annually.
According to the government’s online calculator, a tenant who paid a $1,000 damage deposit will be entitled to $16 from their landlord by the end of 2024.
Interest rate on overdue taxes will increase to 10 per cent
Interest rates on overdue taxes started a steep climb in 2022 and have reached 9 per cent. The rate is expected to reach 10 per cent in the first quarter of 2024, and accountants say it’ll put more pressure on Canadians to prioritize their tax repayments.
Free national parks admission for veterans
Veterans, active members of the Canadian Armed Forces and their immediate family members will receive free admission to national parks starting in the new year.
Increase in tax deduction ceiling for vehicles
Income tax deduction limits on costs related to vehicles will increase in the new year, reflecting the rapidly growing cost of cars and trucks. The maximum allowable interest deduction will rise to $350 per month from $300, and the limit on deductible leasing costs will increase to $1,050 per month from $950.
PERSONAL FINANCE COLUMNIST
The Globe and Mail, December 31, 2023