Proudly treating Canadians differently
Aug 31, 2017
Over 200 years later, Ben Franklin’s quip about the certainty of death and taxes is sadly still true. We can’t help you cheat death, but we can help a little bit with your taxes – if you live in the west anyway.
Did you know fund companies are required to charge harmonized sales tax (HST or QST) to investors from the six provinces that have it (Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island)? Thing is, the majority of investors west of Ontario (in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and the Yukon) are also forced to pay the tax when they really shouldn’t have to. Fund companies apply it across the board because it’s simply easier to treat everyone the same. Nor are you likely to hear investors living in HST provinces complain that their investment costs are being subsidized by their westerly counterparts.
We’re having “Nunavut”!
At EdgePoint, we continually strive to build a seawall against excess costs for our clients. It’s why our fees are among the lowest in Canada. Our operating expenses have only decreased thanks to efficiencies we’ve gained, but it wasn’t until we launched our non-HST series in 2010 that we discovered another way to help investors in provinces and territories west of Ontario.
Other fund companies have had non-HST products in the past, but we suspect they found it created a mountain of paperwork and today, according to our research, we’re the only company left to offer a non-HST option across our entire lineup. Sure, it’s more work for us, but putting client needs first leads us to do things like charging tax only when necessary.
It adds up
An additional 0.22% to 0.40% may not seem like enough to cause a stampede, but extra fees eventually grow from sea to sky. Over 15 years, the differencei on a $50,000 investment growing 10% per year is between $6,423 and $9,956 (net of fees). In 30 years, an investor could potentially save more than $62,000 in taxes, an amount big enough to spot as a storm across the Prairies!
Impact of non-HST savings on a
$50,000 investment with 10% annual growth
Avoiding, not evading
Tax evasion took down Al Capone, so we aren’t suggesting people not pay their taxesii. What we are suggesting is that, when it makes sense, minimizing investment costs like taxes means you’ll hold onto a lot more than just a few cents over time.
iThe difference takes into account discounts that come from the non-HST series and lower EdgePoint management and trading expenses.
iiIncluded for informational purposes and so that you can’t name us as an accessory in a tax evasion case.