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April 3, 2023

Canada: Nova Scotia issues budget 2023/24

  • The Nova Scotia budget for 2023/2024 has been tabled.

  • The budget contains one new tax measure affecting individuals.

  • This Alert summarizes the key tax measures.

Executive summary

On 23 March 2023, Nova Scotia Minister of Finance and Treasury Board Allan MacMaster tabled the province’s fiscal 2023/24 budget. The budget contains one new tax measure affecting individuals.

The Minister anticipates a deficit of CA$278.9 millionfor 2023/24 and projects deficits for each of the next three years.

A brief summary of the key tax measures follows.

Detailed discussion

Business tax measures

Corporate income tax rates

No changes are proposed to the corporate income tax rates or the $500,000 small-business limit.

Nova Scotia’s 2023 corporate income tax rates are summarized in Table A.

Table A – 2023 Nova Scotia (NS) corporate income tax rates1



Federal and NS combined

Small-business tax rate2



General corporate tax rate2, 3



1 The rates represent calendar-year-end rates unless otherwise indicated.

2 The federal corporate income tax rates for manufacturers of qualifying zero-emission technology are reduced to 7.5% for eligible income otherwise subject to the 15% federal general corporate income tax rate or 4.5% for eligible income otherwise subject to the 9% federal small-business corporate income tax rate. These reductions are not reflected in the combined federal and Nova Scotia rates above.

3 An additional tax applies to banks and life insurers at a rate of 1.5% on taxable income (subject to a $100-million exemption to be shared by group members), effective for tax years ending after 7 April 2022 (prorated for tax years straddling this effective date).

Personal tax

Personal income tax rates

The budget does not include any changes to personal income tax rates.

The 2023 Nova Scotia personal income tax rates are summarized in Table B.

Table B – 2023 Nova Scotia personal income tax rates

First-bracket rate1

Second-bracket rate

Third-bracket rate

Fourth-bracket rate


$0 to $29,590

$29,591 to $59,180

$59,181 to $93,000

$93,001 to $150,000

Above $150,000






1 Individuals resident in Nova Scotia on 31 December 2023 with taxable income up to $11,894 pay no provincial income tax due to a low-income tax reduction. The low-income tax reduction is clawed back for income exceeding $15,000 until the reduction is eliminated, resulting in an additional 5% of provincial tax on income between $15,001 and $21,000.

For taxable income exceeding $150,000, the 2023 combined federal-Nova Scotia personal income tax rates are outlined in Table C.

Table C – Combined 2023 federal and Nova Scotia personal income tax rates


Ordinary income1

Eligible dividends

Non-eligible dividends

$150,001 to $165,430




$165,431 to $235,6752




Above $235,675




1 The rate on capital gains is one-half the ordinary income tax rate.

2 The federal basic personal amount comprises two elements: the base amount ($13,521 for 2023) and an additional amount ($1,479 for 2023). The additional amount is reduced for individuals with net income exceeding $165,430 and is fully eliminated for individuals with net income exceeding $235,675. Consequently, the additional amount is clawed back on net income exceeding $165,430 until the additional tax credit of $222 is eliminated; this results in additional federal income tax (e.g., 0.32% on ordinary income) on net income between $165,431 and $235,675.

Other personal tax measures

Effective for the 2022 and subsequent taxation years, the province implemented the More Opportunity for Skilled Trades (MOST) program. This program provides a refund of provincial personal income tax on the first $50,000 of earned income for individuals under the age of 30 who are employed and registered in selected skilled trades in the film industry, construction, industrial and manufacturing sectors in Nova Scotia.

Effective for the 2023 taxation year, the program will be expanded to include registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and nurse practitioners working for publicly funded employers, such as the Health Authorities, Emergency Medical Care Inc. (e.g., LifeFlight, telehealth, Medical Communication Centre), continuing care and disability support programs, and nurses employed in publicly funded schools as part of the School Health Partnership Program.


For additional information with respect to this Alert, please contact the following:

Ernst & Young LLP (Canada), Halifax



  1. Currency references in this Alert are to the CA$.

The information contained herein is general in nature and is not intended, and should not be construed, as legal, accounting or tax advice or opinion provided by Ernst & Young LLP to the reader. The reader also is cautioned that this material may not be applicable to, or suitable for, the reader's specific circumstances or needs, and may require consideration of non-tax and other tax factors if any action is to be contemplated. The reader should contact his or her Ernst & Young LLP or other tax professional prior to taking any action based upon this information. Ernst & Young LLP assumes no obligation to inform the reader of any changes in tax laws or other factors that could affect the information contained herein.


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