Switch to Canada

Below, you will find a link to a spoof of Apple’s “Switch” campaign except it’s an American talking about switching to Canada. Sent by my friend Jody Baker, who said it is perfect for my blog.

This is the link.

Speaking of my switch to Canada, as noted in this space, I did my American taxes last week and began the process of doing Canadian taxes. This is my first time, as last year was complicated enough (we moved countries and sold a house in 2004) that we just hired someone to figure out the mess. But I’ve been reading the tax instructions here and am amazed at the simplicity of it all. Not that there isn’t stuff to learn, but for a relatively uncomplicated middle-class professional like myself, it seems pretty easy (that is, until my return is dinged in a few months and they make me do it all over again). Anyway, here are some interesting features of Canadian income tax:

–tax brackets are transparent. You can actually see, right on the form, where the percentages and cutoffs are. It is actually quite clearly progressive taxation.

–many out of pocket medical expenses are deductible, including premiums for supplemental health care plans and the thousands of dollars we spent on insulin pump supplies for Carrie (these were covered in the U.S. but not here — though that is about to change).

–among the things explicitly covered under medical deductions: “marihuana” (with a doctor’s perscription — don’t get any ideas). It always sounds more decadent with an “h”

–the guide also explicitly points out that same-sex married couples are now subject to the same rules as opposite-sex couples, since same-sex marriage is recognized throughout Canada. Same-sex marriage has really arrived when it’s in the tax code.

Today, I must pay for a lovely weekend by grading papers until I’m done. Wish me luck.