How tax revenue is spent

In Canada, tax is collected by the different levels of government to pay for the facilities, services, and programs they provide.

Many of the benefits you enjoy today are made possible through tax revenue, such as:

  • libraries, parks and playgrounds
  • arenas and swimming pools
  • roads and bridges
  • education and schools
  • health care and hospitals
  • police, ambulance, and fire services
  • garbage and recycling collection
  • economic development and wildlife conservation
  • national defence

Tax revenue also funds social programs such as:

  • Old Age Security
  • employment insurance
  • Canada child benefit
  • social assistance

Here's a look at federal government expenses for the 2016-2017 fiscal year.


Expenditures pie chart. Described below.
Description of the Expenditures pie chart
  • major transfers to persons: 29.2%
  • major transfers to other levels of government: 22.1%
  • public debt charges: 7.7%
  • operating expenses of departments and agencies (excluding National Defence): 16.7%
  • National Defence: 8.2%
  • consolidated Crown corporations: 2.7%
  • other transfer payments: 13.4%

For more information on government expenditures for 2016-2017, see the Annual Financial Report of the Government of Canada.

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