by Morinville News Staff

The provincial government is encouraging Albertans to take advantage of one of Canada’s highest charitable tax credits while supporting charities in the province.

Culture and Tourism Minister David Eggen joined representatives from various charitable organizations last week to promote the credits and the work the charities do.

“Albertans are extremely generous, with donation levels that consistently exceed the national average,” Minister Eggen said. “In tough economic times, taking care of each other is the Alberta way of doing things. This tax credit encourages Albertans to support the causes that matter to them. The credit is one of the most substantial of its kind in Canada.”

Contributions to charitable organizations peak during the holiday season, but the province is reminding Albertans they can benefit from the tax credit on donations made any time of year.

Donations more than $200 qualify for a 21 per cent tax credit in Alberta. When combined with the federal credit of 29 per cent, Albertans receive a 50 per cent non-refundable tax credit for each dollar donated above $200, and a combined tax credit of 35 per cent on the initial $200.

Albertans simply claim their annual donations to registered charities on their income tax returns. The credit gets applied to the overall amount owing or set for a refund.

Charities were pleased with last week’s tax credit reminder from the province.

“We see how much Albertans care every day through their support,” said Myrna Khan, Vice President, resource development, United Way of the Alberta Capital Region. “And while we find that most people base their decision to give on the desire to help others, we know that our province’s generous tax credit is an additional reward for donating.”

Captain Pam Goodyear, Divisional Secretary, Public Relations & Development, The Salvation Army, was also pleased for the donation push.

“The Salvation Army relies on the generosity of Albertans to support programs that assist men, women, and children who are living in poverty,” she said. “We are grateful that the charitable tax credit encourages those who can to give to charities like ours.”

According to Statistics Canada, Albertans gave approximately $1.47 billion to charities in 2013 and had the highest median charitable donation in the country.

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