• Know the dirty little secret about taxing the rich? It doesn’t work

    … the annual financial report shed some light on why the party hierarchy is so dogmatic about the tax changes. The report revealed that personal income tax revenues dipped by $1.2 billion in 2016-17, reflecting the impact of the introduction of the 33-per-cent top income tax rate in 2016. Some high-income Canadians realized capital gains and dividends in the 2015 tax year to avoid the new rate; others pushed their income into more complicated tax-planning structures like private corporations.

  • Closing tax loopholes a sure vote winner

    … But the backlash comes from the people using the loopholes… It should worry the complainers that most Canadians with jobs, where taxes are pre-deducted at source, had no idea this was allowed. They are not just annoyed, they are incandescent… But as Prime Minister Trudeau said, “People who make $50,000 a year should not pay higher taxes than people who make $250,000 a year.

  • The tax system can’t possibly do what people want it to do

    … the long hours a doctor works, the vacations a small business owner never takes, and all the rest. I’m sure all this is true but — how to put this — the tax system is not intended or designed to compensate for every hardship of life, or to weigh in the balance all of the pluses and minuses of one job versus another. It can’t possibly do so. Rather, there has long been a consensus that the tax burden should be apportioned on the basis of “ability to pay.” There’s no perfect measure of this, but income is the best we’ve got

  • Bill Morneau should show courage on tax reform

    … 60 per cent of the small-business tax break benefit is enjoyed by those who earn more than $150,000 per year… Our small-business tax regime, like many other parts of our unwieldy tax code, has been abused in recent decades, often perverted into loopholes for the wealthiest few… The intense backlash, however misguided, is a reminder of why successive governments have been so reluctant to tame Canada’s overgrown tax code

  • Why the Nordic social democratic model can’t be implemented from Ottawa

    … the Nordic countries… are all unitary nations without provinces, states or territories. Canada is a federation with powers constitutionally divided between two levels of government… The Nordic model isn’t just a capitalist-run economy with social programs and a progressive tax system wrapped around it. The economies of Nordic social democracies are run by a social partnership between employers and labour that by its nature creates greater equality.

  • How much will Morneau’s proposed tax changes cost small business? We do the math

    … financial experts to provide before-and-after scenarios of three of Ottawa’s proposed changes, including using corporations for so-called “income sprinkling” among family members; reducing the lifetime capital-gains allowance for a family; and so-called “passive” investment income, where a business owner invests money they don’t need right away in their corporation, at a lower tax rate, instead of taking it out as personal income, at a higher tax rate, and investing it.

  • Don’t outlaw hateful speech, counter it

    The right to free expression comes with a responsibility to counter bad and dangerous ideas, whether through a collective commitment to education or the use of the political bully pulpit. The state, and in particular our political leaders, must protect free speech, while also making sure to expose hate for what it is, and certainly never pandering to it… allowing hate in the public square carries risks, but more dangerous still is trying to bury it.

  • Ottawa’s tax reforms don’t go far enough

    Tax expenditures now account for upwards of $100 billion of forgone revenue annually, about a quarter of all government spending. Yet, unlike other government outlays, they are not subject to significant parliamentary scrutiny or even government study. No one seems to know exactly how much is lost through these loopholes, or whether they achieve their stated objectives… these tax breaks… too often benefit most those who need help least, deepening rather than mitigating economic inequality.

  • Ottawa targets income ‘sprinkling’ loophole that lets wealthy Canadians reduce tax bill

    Wealthy Canadians can now legally reduce their tax obligations by routing their incomes through private corporations. They then pay salaries to family members, such as their children, who are subject to lower personal tax rates or none at all. The government is working on new rules that would “help to determine whether compensation is reasonable, based on the family member’s contribution of value and financial resources to the private corporation,”

  • PBO costing of election platforms a boost for democracy

    Thanks to Parliament’s recent passage of the 2017 Budget Implementation Act, the legislative footing of the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) has been strengthened. The provisions around the independence of the work and the appointment, qualifications and tenure of the officer have been enhanced. In addition, the mandate for the PBO has been expanded to cost political party platforms.