Tax system not as unfair as stated

We can all agree that our income tax guide and the manual completion of the annual return is very complex and confusing. However, it would be wrong to let people think that they have to start paying tax after earning just $1,548.

Re: George Diebert’s letter in the April 6 Advocate.

We can all agree that our income tax guide and the manual completion of the annual return is very complex and confusing. However, it would be wrong to let people think that they have to start paying tax after earning just $1,548.

In reality, no one owes any tax on their first $10,382 of income in 2010.

For couples or for single parents with a child under 18 years old, this tax exemption is doubled to $20,764 before taxes are owed. For seniors or those with additional children under 18, there are additional exemptions; and the many other tax credits listed in the guide can further decrease any income taxes owed for the year.

Through proper application of the tax credits listed in the guide, it is possible for a senior couple to have total family income of over $30,000 before any federal or Alberta income tax is owed.

And that is before the possible tax credits for medical expenses, charitable donations and so on are considered.

But I agree it is not easy to sort it all out.

Red Deer is blessed with a strong team of volunteers who provide free income completion services for those who have modest incomes. The names of these volunteers can be obtained by contacting the local tax office or through the 1-800 number listed in the tax guide.

I encourage George or anyone else eligible who finds our tax system and guide overwhelming to contact one of those volunteers; they do an outstanding job.

Fred Brittain

Red Deer