Plan ahead to lessen the impact of increasing taxation – especially important for seniors

There is a shift in the taxation policy in British Columbia. The government has moved from taxing us only on our sources of income to now include assets like the surtax on houses above a certain price.

A changing tax policy in BC

We currently have a Carbon Tax, Translink Tax, Gas Tax, Sales Tax, Employer Health Tax and now a hike in the BC Property Tax for homeowners with properties over $3 million. If you are a well-healed senior, or are managing your senior parent’s affairs, they too could soon have their asset-base taxed.

Impact on assistance for Seniors

Recently I heard Isobel Mackenzie, Seniors Advocate for the Province of BC, speak at the Elder Planning Conference in Vancouver. She indicated that the Province is considering how they are going to be offering services to seniors.

After Ms. Mackenzie’s speech, I asked her a question about any changes to the means test for seniors to qualify for government assistance in seniors’ properties.

Her answer caused alarm bells to go off in my head.

Isobel Mackenzie indicated that it was on the radar screen of the Provincial Government to increase the threshold on the means test for seniors. It could be based on not only their incomes but also their asset bases.

What this means is that the house our parents or we own will be taken into the mix when considering whether or not we or our parents qualify for government assistance benefits.


If you plan, you may be able to avoid this problem for your parents' and your retirement. As part of any plan, the individual’s whole situation is taken into account; business, personal, and family. Then, with the proper advice and analysis, appropriate tactics and tools can be used to circumvent or reduce the impact of this situation.

To maximize benefits for seniors, we utilize various strategies and tactics including:

  • A specialized Estate Lawyer

  • Will review a variety of scenarios

  • Review your asset mix: Sell or reshuffle

  • Permanent Insurance potential

  • Your Will and Power of Attorney

  • Your Advance Health Care Directive

  • Trust and many other possible solutions

 Have questions on how this may work for you and your family? Give me a call or email me to set up a meeting.


John Robinson

604.874.4429 x 101


Did you know: Health Care is the largest and fastest growing single line item in the Provincial Budget. Currently, 42% of every dollar!