On April 10, 2018, Finance Minister Donna Harpauer delivered her first budget as Finance Minister.
The Finance Minister pointed to the province’s continued shift away from a reliance on natural resource revenue as a positive sign for the economy: Natural resource revenue is projected to make up 10% — or $1.48 billion — of what the province brings in.
Taxation makes up 51% — $7.2 billion — of projected revenue. Total revenue is pegged at $14.24 billion while expense is $14.61 billion.
Although the province is relying less on natural resource revenue, a $1 difference up or down in the pegged price of oil ($58.18 for the 2018-19 budget) results in a $16 million swing to government coffers.
If the Canadian dollar is off one cent from the average projected now (78.24 U.S. cents), the province loses or gains $21 million in non-renewable resource revenue.
In order to balance the budget by 2020, the government has focused on both spending cuts (ranging from rollbacks of public sector wages to spending reductions in a wide range of areas) and a slight shift from income taxation to consumption taxation.
- Deficit of $365 million for 2018-19
- A surplus of $6 million is projected for 2019-20
- A surplus of $108 million in 2020-21
- Cancellation of the previously announced 0.5% reduction of personal income tax
- Introduction of a technology start up incentive and an agriculture incentive
Personal Tax Measures
The budget announced that Saskatchewan will introduce legislation to adjust the province’s effective dividend tax credit rate on non-eligible dividends to 3.333% of taxable dividends for 2018, and to 3.362% of taxable dividends for the 2019 and subsequent years to address federal income tax changes.
In addition, the budget cancels the planned reduction to the provinces personal tax rates by 0.5%, as originally proposed in Saskatchewan’s 2017 provincial budget. The reduction was scheduled to be effective July 1, 2019.
As a result, Saskatchewan’s combined federal and provincial top marginal rates for income, capital gains and dividends are as follows:
Personal Combined Federal/Provincial Top Marginal Rates
Interest and regular income
Personal tax credits for 2017 will be indexed by 1.000%.
The maximum tax credit amounts and actual Saskatchewan tax credits for 2017 and 2018 are set out below.
Saskatchewan Non-Refundable Tax Credits
Saskatchewan Tax Credit
Saskatchewan Tax Credit
Basic Personal Amount
Eligible dependent amount
Infirm dependent amount
Pension income amount
Medical expenses (other dependents)
Interest on student loans
Donations & Gifts
In general, credits are multiplied by 10.75% to arrive at the deduction from Saskatchewan Tax. In the case of donations and gifts over $200, the credit is 15%
Caregiver Tax Credit
The budget indicates that Saskatchewan will not mirror the federal consolidation of caregiver-related income tax credits into a single Canada Caregiver Credit.
Saskatchewan will maintain its existing provincial Infirm Dependent Tax Credit and Caregiver Tax Credit.
Corporate Tax Measures
Corporate Tax Rates
The budget did not announce changes to Saskatchewan’s corporate tax rates. As a result, Saskatchewan’s corporate tax rates remain as follows:
Federal & Sask Combined
Federal & Sask Combined
Small-business tax rate
General manufacturing and processing tax rate
General corporate tax rate*
* On first $600,000 of active business income
**The combined federal and provincial rate of 17% applies to active business income in excess of $500,000 to the Saskatchewan threshold of $600,000
Saskatchewan Technology Start-up Incentive
The budget introduces a new 45% non-refundable tax credit for qualifying new investments made in eligible small businesses by individuals and corporations.
The Saskatchewan Technology Strat-up Incentive is a 2.5-year pilot program that will be available to early stage technology start-ups that:
- Develop new technology or apply existing technologies in a way to create proprietary new products, services, or processes that are repeatable and scalable
- Have less than 50 employees
- Are incorporated and headquartered in Saskatchewan
- Have a majority of staff and operations located in Saskatchewan
Accredited investors (e.g., local investment fund managers and financial institutions) and non-accredited investors can participate in the program.
Non-accredited investors can invest within the confines of Saskatchewan securities legislation.
Venture capital corporations may also raise capital and make investments under the terms of the program.
Eligible investors that make an approved investment will receive an eligible certificate from Innovation Saskatchewan which may then be used to claim the tax credit.
An investor may claim up to $140,000 in tax benefits per year, and unused tax credit amounts may be carried forward for up to 4 years after the installment is made.
The minimum hold period for eligible small business investment is 2 years and the business may not be acquired, go public or leave Saskatchewan within the two-year period.
Saskatchewan Value-added Agriculture Incentive
The budget introduces a 15% non-refundable tax credit on qualifying new capital expenditures.
The Saskatchewan Value-added Agriculture Incentive will be available for eligible companies that are involved in the physical transformation or upgrading of any raw/primary agricultural product or any agricultural by-product or waste into a new or upgraded product (e.g., pea protein processing, canola seed crushing, oat milling, malt production and cannabis oil processing).
To be eligible, new or existing value-added agriculture facilities must make capital expenditures of at least $10 million related to new or expanded production capacity and must be approved by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Trade and Export Development.
Redemption of the tax credit will be limited to 20% in year one after the facility begins operations, 30% in year two, and 50% in year three.
Unused tax credit amounts can be carried forward to subsequent taxation years, up to the tenth year after the facility begins operations.
The program will end after December 31, 2022
Provincial Sales Tax (PST)
PST Exemption – Used Vehicles
The budget eliminates the exemption for used light vehicles, effective April 11, 2018.
However, the budget restores the trade-in allowance so that, when trading in a vehicle, purchasers pay GST only on the difference in price between the value of the trade-in and the total selling price of the vehicle being purchased.
This allowance is also effective April 11, 2018.
The PST does not apply for used vehicles gifted between qualifying family members.
The budget also introduces a $5,000 exemption of individuals that privately purchase a used vehicle and register the vehicle for personal use or farm use.
This exemption replaces Saskatchewan rules that allowed purchasers of these vehicles to deduct $3,000 from the purchase price when computing the PST.
PST Exemption – Energy Star-certified appliances
The budget eliminates the PST exemption for Energy Star-certified appliances, effective April 11, 2018.
Indirect Tax Changes
The budget states that Saskatchewan intends to enter into a coordinated cannabis tax framework with the government of Canada for a two-year period following the legalization of recreational cannabis.
Under this agreement, the federal government will impose a federal excise duty of $0.25 per gram of flowing material in a cannabis product and will collect $0.75 per gram additional duty on behalf of the province.
Saskatchewan notes that the PST will also apply to all retail sales of cannabis in the province, and the federal cannabis excise duty rate will be increased to account for interprovincial sales tax rate differentials.
(Source: Saskatchewan Government)