High-earning Canadians saw their effective tax rates decline and incomes surge in 2017, according to new data from Statistics Canada.
StatsCan reported that the top 1% of Canadian taxpayers (who have an annual income of at least $236,000) saw their overall effective tax rate decline to 30.9% in 2017, down slightly from 31.3% in 2016.
This decline was due in part to lower provincial rates, led by Québec, StatsCan said. The effective federal tax rate for the top 1% remained at 18.8% in 2017, unchanged from the prior year.
The 1% paid an average of $175,300 in income tax, on an average income of $477,700. In aggregate, they paid 21.3% of the total income tax collected by the federal and provincial governments, up by 1.4% from 2016.
The 1% received 9.9% of total income in 2017, up by 0.6% from the previous year, StatsCan said. The 1% were the only group to receive a greater share of total income in 2017.
StatsCan also reported that incomes grew much faster for the top 1% in 2017.
Average income rose by 8.5% during the year to $477,700. For taxpayers overall, average income grew by 2.5% to $48,400 in 2017.
StatsCan said that income growth was highest at the very top end of the income distribution.
For instance, average total income of the top 0.1% (with at least $740,300 in annual income) rose by 17.2% in 2017 to $1.6 million. For the top 0.01% (who have a minimum income of $2.7 million), average income jumped by 27.2% to $5.6 million.
Conversely, incomes for the bottom 50% of taxpayers rose by 2.4% to $17,200.
Shifts in dividend income have been key drivers in the income trends for the top 1%, StatsCan said.
“Aggregate dividends rose from $57 billion in 2014 to $69 billion in 2015, fell back to $57 billion in 2016, and rose to $68 billion in 2017,” the agency noted.
StatsCan also reported that women now make up almost a quarter (24.2%) of the top1%, up from 23.9% in 2016. Yet, as women earn less on average, even among the top 1%, they accounted for only 21.4% of the top 1%’s total income.