• Radical tax reform is in the wind — here’s how to make it efficient and fair

    The bedrock principle of an efficient tax system is neutrality: the system should neither reward nor penalize any particular thing or activity, but should rather apply as evenly and as uniformly as possible: tax everything, and tax it at the same rate… A personal consumption tax, and a corporate cash-flow tax, are essentially mirror images of each other. Together they would make a fine pair of reforms, addressing critical weaknesses in the present system without adding their own.

  • Why Morneau got cold feet over ridding Canada of tax credits

    To combat a structural problem requires a structural solution… First… An independent committee can be tasked with delivering a bundle of reforms to be accepted or rejected as a whole… Second, the process should deliver a clear and transparent benefit to all taxpayers… Third, any new tax measure should by law become subject to a mandatory review for effectiveness after a set number of years.

  • Tax Fairness? Maybe Next Year, Say Liberals

    Closing unfair and ineffective tax loopholes could have raised $16 billion. They failed to deliver, again, on their election promise to end the stock options deduction that gives almost a billion dollars to some of the richest people in Canada. They failed to make the tax system simpler or fairer… How long before regular taxpayers conclude that the promise of fair system was an empty one?

  • Liberals defer major tax pledge in 2017 federal budget

    … Ottawa chose to hold off on a campaign pledge to raise billions in new revenue by closing tax loopholes that benefit high-income Canadians… But Mr. Morneau is promising to present a paper later this year that will outline potential tax changes that could affect upper-income earners, particularly those who use corporate structures to pay less tax… the Liberals are now setting their sights on private business structures that still allow couples to split income for tax purposes.

  • Ottawa shows courage by killing ‘zombie laws’

    The courts long ago threw out the prohibitions against abortion and anal intercourse on constitutional grounds. But politicians have been loath to touch such provisions, wary of the fraught moral debates that have historically surrounded them… The sections in question are not merely quaint anachronisms; they are hurtful relics of less enlightened times.

  • Ottawa should end unfair and ineffective tax breaks

    Every year, the federal government forgoes about $100 billion through so-called tax expenditures… [The Minister should eliminate]: 1. The tax break on executive stock options… half a billion dollars of forgone revenue to subsidize 75 very rich people … 2. The tax credit on corporate dividends… skewed toward the rich… and 3. The Canada Education Savings Grant… the $900-million annual grant disproportionately benefits the well-off.

  • We are finally ready to tackle our cruelly dysfunctional ‘justice’ system — for the wrong reason, but still

    Canada could lead the world to a brighter sociological and juridical epoch if, in the case of non-violent offenders, we replaced community service and Spartan but not incarcerated living for imprisonment, and we would have less recidivism and save a great deal of money doing it.

  • Ottawa is falling short in efforts to fix Canada’s corporate secrecy

    The problem is that the way companies are registered in Canada involves a degree of secrecy more often associated with sunny tax havens, such as Panama and the Bahamas. The true owners of companies registered here don’t have to be identified in corporate registries, which allows them to move assets under a cloak of anonymity.

  • Ottawa Should Reveal $16 billion in Hidden Spending

    Greater visibility in budgets, estimates and public accounts would not make such preferences disappear – plenty of programs that do show as spending in these documents have persisted for decades, and have expanded… changes to the reporting of tax preferences that show their spending equivalents would give Canadians a valuable tool to improve federal fiscal policy.

  • Ontario is proving that taxing the one per cent works

    In Ontario, the average total income of the one per cent grew by 2.5 per cent in 2014 while average federal and provincial income taxes paid grew by 7.2 per cent. Nationally, with similar average total income growth of 2.3 per cent, average federal and provincial income taxes grew more slowly, by 4.7 per cent.
    The faster revenue growth in Ontario suggests that the changes in taxation of high-income earners had a positive impact on government revenue.