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Net pay depends on where you nest

It’s not how much money you earn—it's how much you can use. And where you live affects how much you'll take home.

In 2008, average personal income on the 25 million tax returns filed was $40,910. However, it’s not how much you earn but how much you can use, and where you live has a huge influence on how much of this money you actually take home. After federal and provincial income taxes, CPP/QPP and EI, a single 40-year-old person with employment income only and basic deductions will take home between $29,981 (73%) and $32,796 (80%) of the original pay. That’s a difference of almost $235 a month, or a payment on a small car. To keep more of your pay, B.C., Ontario and Alberta are the best bets. If you want to fork over more to the tax man, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and P.E.I. are happy to oblige. To contribute the most to the government and keep the least for you, Quebec is the place to be.