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441-01129 (Taxation)

Paper petition

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada


  • The current income tax system for seniors gives couples numerous ways to lower taxes, while singles get none;

  • Senior couples can split their pension income, thereby allowing them to pay less tax and qualify for the Age Amount Tax Credit and the Old Age Security (OAS) with limited or no clawbacks;

  • Senior singles have no such benefits, pay higher taxes, often forfeit the Age Amount Tax Credit, and endure OAS clawbacks;

  • When one partner dies within a couple, their Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP). Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) and Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) can be rolled into the RRSP, RRIF and TFSA of the remaining partner;

  • A single person's RRSP and RRIF is cashed upon death and declared as income, which results in higher taxes, often 50%;

  • The cost of living for a single person is two-thirds of the cost of living for a couple;

  • Single person households are growing faster than any other type of household in Canada, according to Statistics Canada; and

  • Of the six million seniors in Canada, over one-third are single seniors, many of them women, and this demographic will continue to grow.

We, the undersigned, single seniors and other citizens of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to:

  • Offer tax benefits to senior singles equal to those now in place for senior couples, which would include:

  • a) Offering single seniors a reduction of 30% on their income to be taxed (for example, if a single senior has a taxable income of $100,000, reduce the taxable amount by 30% to $70,000); and

  • b)Allowing, upon death, single seniors with an RRSP, RRIF or TFSA to transfer it to the RRSP, RRIF or TFSA of a beneficiary of their choice.

Response by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable Chrystia Freeland

The Government of Canada understands that, after a lifetime of hard work, Canadians have earned a secure and dignified retirement. In this regard, single seniors may benefit from a number of targeted tax relief measures, such as the Age Credit and Pension Income Credit. Seniors, and those who support them, may also benefit from tax credits such as the Disability Tax Credit, the Medical Expense Tax Credit, and the Home Accessibility Tax Credit.

Single seniors may also benefit from general tax relief that the government has recently introduced. For example, the government is increasing the amount of money Canadians can earn before paying federal income tax to $15,000 by 2023 for all but the wealthiest Canadians. When the increases are fully implemented in 2023, 4.3 million seniors will benefit, including 465,000 whose federal income tax will be reduced to zero.

This measure builds on the success of key initiatives like the middle-class tax cut, which is benefitting over nine million Canadians. Single individuals who benefit from that measure are seeing an average tax reduction of $330 every year.  

The tax relief currently available to seniors and pensioners allows a single senior to earn at least $25,396 (assuming at least $2,000 in income eligible for the Pension Income Credit) before paying federal income tax in 2023.

Beyond the tax system, single seniors may also be eligible for targeted support. For example, the government has more than doubled the maximum Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) top-up benefit for low-income single seniors. As well, single seniors age 75 and older are benefiting from the ten percent increase to the Old Age Security (OAS) Pension that began in July 2022. Notably, the Government reversed the previous government’s decision to move the eligibility age for OAS and GIS from 65 to 67, which will put thousands of dollars back in the pockets of Canadians as they become seniors.

The Government of Canada will continue to support the needs of single seniors.

Presented to the House of Commons
Judy A. Sgro (Humber River—Black Creek)
February 9, 2023 (Petition No. 441-01129)
Government response tabled
March 27, 2023
Photo - Judy A. Sgro
Humber River—Black Creek
Liberal Caucus

35 signatures

Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.