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With a relatively low cost of living in Canada, your money goes further in Saskatchewan. Learn about cost of living, banking, shopping, taxes, tax credits and financial assistance programs available in the province.
You will need enough Canadian money to meet your needs during your first few days here.
Things you may need to pay for include:
You will probably get a better rate of exchange on your currency in a bank than at a foreign currency exchange office at an airport.
You have choices:
Open a bank or credit union account soon after arriving in Saskatchewan so that you can keep your money safe and cash any cheques that you receive.
You might also need other services the institution provides, such as transferring money between countries.
Consider the following as you choose the right financial institution for you:
Some banks will allow you open an account with them even before you arrive in Canada.
To find a bank:
You will need to cash or deposit the cheques you get. These could include regular pay cheques and in some cases, government cheques from Child Tax Benefits or the GST/HST Refund. You can arrange with your bank and employer to have many of your cheques automatically deposited in your bank account through direct deposit.
If you move from one house to another, it's important to give your new mailing address to the offices you receive cheques from.
You can transfer money to other countries through banks and credit unions, financial services and pay day loan companies. There is a fee associated with the service so you may want to search for the best rate for you.
Federal, provincial and municipal (local) governments all collect money from Saskatchewan people through taxes. This money is used to provide services like police and fire protection, health care, education and more. In many cases, these taxes are deducted from an employee's pay cheque.
Every year, before April 30, you must complete Income Tax forms for the Canada Revenue Agency. On the form, you will list how much money you earned and how much tax you have already paid. Depending on your income and the amount of tax you paid, you will either have to pay more tax, or you will get some money back as an income tax refund. No matter how much or how little income you had in a year, you must fill out income tax forms. Both Federal and Provincial Income Tax are calculated on your income. This is done on one income tax form.
Visit the Form T4055 - Newcomers to Canada page, for an explanation on how income tax is calculated.
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a federal sales tax charged on most items and services you buy.
The Provincial Sales Tax (PST) is a sales tax charged on most items that you buy, import or rent, and on certain services.
In most cases, these taxes are not included in the listed prices of the items; they are added when you are paying for them.
If you own a house or other property, your local city, town or municipal government will charge you property taxes, which help to pay for local schools, roads and improving services in the city.
If you rent an apartment, you don't pay property tax directly.
For more information, visit Property Taxes.
The government gives money back to residents of Saskatchewan mainly through credits, supplements, and benefits.
For more information, visit Tax Credits and Financial Help.
The Canada Child Benefit (CCB) is a tax-free monthly payment made to eligible families to help them with the cost of raising children under 18 years of age. If you have children, you should apply for the CCB as soon as possible after you arrive in Saskatchewan. You need to have a Social Insurance Number (SIN) before you can apply for the CCB.
The Child Care Subsidy is a monthly subsidy that is available to families to help them with the costs of licensed child care.
The GST Credit is a way for people and families with lower incomes to get back some or all of the federal goods and services tax they pay during a given year.
Newcomers to Canada may apply for GST/HST credits at any time in the year they become residents of Canada by completing Form RC151 or by filling out the benefits section on your income tax form.
GST Credit cheques are issued every three months.
There are many Saskatchewan programs that help low-income families get a better quality of life.
For more information, visit Financial Help.
When you arrive in Saskatchewan, you may need to buy goods including things for your home, groceries, clothing or school supplies.
You may also need services, such as:
There are many stores where you can buy groceries, clothing and household items, and many service businesses in its cities. Most towns have several large stores, and villages might have a store combined with a post office.
Your Regional Newcomer Gateway
There are many different types of stores in cities and towns across Saskatchewan, including:
The prices of items in stores and restaurants are fixed - you pay the asking price. You can bargain over the prices of bigger purchases, such as cars and homes, or larger appliances like refrigerators.
There are many different types of restaurants in Saskatchewan.
Keep in mind, when you eat in a restaurant where you are served, it is common to leave a tip for the serving staff equal to about 15 per cent of the bill.
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