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Top Priorities: Social Insurance and Taxes

Expats working in Calgary benefit from a stable economy, beautiful natural surroundings, and a comprehensive social security system. Nevertheless, there are a number of things you need to look out for in regard to working in Calgary. The InterNations Guide tells you more about these issues, from permits to taxes.
The Old Age Security Pension is part of Canada’s comprehensive social security system.

Top Priorities: Social Insurance and Taxes

Expats working in Calgary benefit from a stable economy, beautiful natural surroundings, and a comprehensive social security system. Nevertheless, there are a number of things you need to look out for in regard to working in Calgary. The InterNations Guide tells you more about these issues, from permits to taxes.

Canada offers quite a comprehensive social security system financed through taxes, mandatory schemes, and private savings. However, expats who are working in Calgary for only a limited amount of time will not necessarily be able to enjoy all existing benefits. Regardless of what benefits you are eligible for, make sure to check for Social Security Agreements between your new and old home in order to not miss out.

To start working in Calgary and to access social security programs and benefits, expatriates will first need to apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN) at their nearest Service Canada Office or via mail. For information on healthcare and health insurance, please read on in our Expat Guide on Living in Calgary.

Important: Employment Insurance Schemes

Canada’s Employment Insurance (EI) system is funded through mandatory contributions made by both the employee and the employer. This insurance provides benefits in the case of unemployment through no fault of the unemployed person, maternity or parental leave, an inability to work due to injury or sickness, or the need to care for a gravely ill family member. For 2017, the employee’s EI premium was set at 1.63% of one’s salary, with the maximum annual contribution set at around 985.03 CAD.

Expats working in Calgary for certain industries are further insured through Alberta’s Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB). This provincial employment insurance is financed through mandatory premiums paid by employers and functions as liability and disability insurance.

Keeping the Future in Mind: Public Retirement Plans

The Canadian social security system includes a two-component public retirement plan. The Old Age Security Pension (OAS) is a tax-funded pension intended to cover the basic needs of Canadian citizens and permanent residents who have lived in Canada for at least a decade. This pension is provided to those aged 65 or older and functions independently from a person’s employment history.

The OAS is further supplemented with the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), which is funded by contributions from both the employer and employee. Pensions and benefits covered by this plan include the regular retirement pension, post-retirement benefits, disability benefits, as well as survivor benefits.

How High Are the Tax Rates in Alberta?

Personal Income Tax Rates

At the time of writing in 2017, the federal income tax rate was as follows for the different income brackets:

  • 25% on the first 45,916 CAD of taxable income +
  • 30.5% on the next 45,916 CAD of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income over 45,916 CAD and up to 91,831 CAD) +
  • 36% on the next 49,185 CAD of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income over 91,831 CAD and up to 126,625 CAD) +
  • 38% of taxable income between 126,625 CAD and 142,325 CAD.

Additionally, a flat provincial income tax of 10% applies for the province of Alberta. Any changes of the tax legislations in Alberta can be followed on the website of the Alberta Treasury Board and Finance.

Goods and Services Tax (GST)

Canada has a federal tax of 5% on goods and services. Contrary to a few other Canadian provinces such as Ontario and Nova Scotia, Alberta does not, however, levy an additional provincial tax on these. As such, expats in Calgary can expect to encounter just the 5% GST on their bills.

 

We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete.

If there’s something you’re still not sure about, check out the InterNations Forum.

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