Canada's New Federal Budget and the Capital Gains Tax Jump in 2024: What You Need to Know

Canadians, get ready to dive into the details of the 2024 federal budget! A significant change proposed is an adjustment to how capital gains are taxed. But what exactly are capital gains, and how might this change impact your wallet? Don't worry, we've got you covered.

This comprehensive guide breaks down the nitty-gritty of capital gains tax and explains the potential implications of the proposed jump in 2024.

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What are Capital Gains Taxes?

Imagine you buy a house for $200,000 and sell it a few years later for $300,000. Congratulations, you've made a capital gain of $100,000! But hold on, the government wants a piece of the pie. This is where capital gains taxes come in. When you sell an asset like a stock, property, or business for more than you bought it for, you've generated a capital gain. Canada taxes a portion of this gain, similar to how income from your job is taxed.

How Do Capital Gains Taxes Work Currently?

Currently, Canada has a system where only a portion of your capital gain is taxed. This is called the inclusion rate. Under the existing system, only 50% of your capital gain is added to your income for tax purposes. So, in our house example, only $50,000 of your $100,000 gain would be taxed. This is a significant benefit compared to your income tax rate, which can be much higher.

Federal Budget 2024 & Capital Gains Tax Continued

To be clear in example when it comes to capital gains and federal budget 2024, when a person sells a qualifying farm or fishery property, or their small business, the tax system also offers a lifelong capital gains exemption. This exemption will continue, and budget 2024 suggests raising it from the current little over $1 million to $1.25 million of eligible capital gains.

Additionally, a new carve out for entrepreneurs is proposed in the budget, preserving the sale of some shares under certain conditions. Proceeds from this incentive would be subject to an inclusion rate of 33.3% on capital gains up to a lifetime total of $2 million per individual.

The proposal does not include a capital gains tax on the sale of a principal house.

The Proposed Change: Higher Inclusion Rate for High Earners

The 2024 federal budget proposes to increase the inclusion rate for Canadians with annual capital gains exceeding $250,000. For these high earners, the portion of the capital gain included in their taxable income would jump from 50% to 66.67% (two-thirds). This means a larger chunk of their capital gains would be taxed at their regular income tax rate.

The amendments would also be applicable to any capital gains, up to the $250,000 threshold, that companies and trusts realize.

If approved, the suggested modification would take effect on June 25, 2024.

Who Will This Affect?

The government estimates that the vast majority of Canadians (around 28.5 million) won't see any change in their capital gains tax situation. Additionally, those with capital gains below the $250,000 threshold will still benefit from the current 50% inclusion rate. This change primarily targets wealthy Canadians who generate significant capital gains from investments and business sales.

The Rationale Behind the Change: Fairness and Redistribution

The government argues that the current system disproportionately benefits wealthy Canadians. They point out that capital gains are often taxed at a lower rate compared to income from wages. This proposal aims to create a fairer tax system by asking high earners to pay a bit more on their significant capital gains. The additional revenue generated could then be used to fund social programs or invest in public services.

Potential Impact on the Economy

Some economists worry that this change could discourage investment. If Canadians are taxed more heavily on their capital gains, they might be less inclined to invest in businesses and the stock market. This could potentially slow down economic growth. However, the government believes the impact will be minimal and that the benefits of a fairer tax system outweigh the potential economic risks.

What Should You Do Now?

If you're a high earner who regularly generates capital gains exceeding $250,000, it's wise to consult with a financial advisor. They can help you understand how the proposed change might affect your tax situation and develop strategies to optimize your investments.

Here are some additional steps you can consider:

Review your investment portfolio: Analyze your current investments and assess their potential for generating capital gains. You might consider diversifying your portfolio or focusing on assets with lower capital gains exposure.

Explore tax-advantaged accounts: Consider investing in Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) or Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs). These accounts offer tax benefits on capital gains and can be valuable tools for long-term wealth accumulation.

Plan for tax implications: If you anticipate selling an asset that will generate a significant capital gain, factor in the potential tax liability under the new system. This might influence your timing or selling strategy.

Will This Change Affect My Tax Return?

The proposed change will only impact tax returns for the 2024 tax year onwards, assuming it's passed by Parliament. If you have capital gains below the $250,000 threshold or don't file taxes in 2024, you likely won't see any difference. However, if you anticipate exceeding the threshold and selling assets in 2024, it's crucial to factor in the new inclusion rate when calculating your taxes.

What are Some Alternative Investment Strategies?

While the proposed change might make some investments less attractive from a tax perspective, it doesn't eliminate all options. Here are some alternative strategies to consider:

Focus on long-term investments: Capital gains on qualified investments held for more than a year are generally taxed at a lower rate than short-term gains. This makes holding assets for a longer period a potentially beneficial strategy.

Invest in dividend-paying stocks: Dividends received from Canadian corporations are typically eligible for a dividend tax credit, which can reduce your overall tax liability.

Explore real estate investment trusts (REITs): REITs offer exposure to the real estate market without directly owning property. They often distribute income through dividends, which can be advantageous from a tax perspective.

Seeking Professional Financial Advice

The proposed changes to capital gains tax can be complex. If you're unsure how they might impact your finances, it's highly recommended to seek professional financial advice. A qualified advisor can help you navigate the new tax landscape, develop personalized investment strategies, and ensure you're maximizing your wealth-building potential.


The 2024 federal budget proposal to raise the inclusion rate on capital gains for high earners has sparked debate. While the government aims to create a fairer tax system, some worry it might discourage investment. Understanding the new rules and their potential implications is crucial for Canadians with significant capital gains. By exploring alternative investment strategies and seeking professional advice, you can make informed decisions to optimize your finances under the evolving tax regime.


1. Will I be affected by the capital gains tax change?

Most Canadians (around 99.87%) likely won't see any change. The new inclusion rate only applies to individuals with annual capital gains exceeding $250,000.

2. When will the new capital gains tax rate come into effect?

Assuming it's passed by Parliament, the new inclusion rate would be effective for the 2024 tax year onwards, applying to capital gains realized after June 25, 2024.

3. How can I calculate the potential tax impact of the change?

Consulting a financial advisor is highly recommended. They can help you understand the new rules in the context of your specific tax situation and calculate potential tax liabilities.

4. Are there any tax-advantaged investment options available?

Yes! RRSPs and TFSAs offer significant tax benefits on capital gains. These accounts can be valuable tools for long-term wealth accumulation.

5. Where can I find more information about the capital gains tax changes?

The official federal budget documents and resources can be found on the website of the Department of Finance Canada

This comprehensive guide has hopefully equipped you with a clear understanding of the proposed capital gains tax changes in Canada's 2024 federal budget. By staying informed and taking proactive steps, you can navigate the evolving tax landscape and make informed financial decisions for your future.


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