• $14 minimum wage, free pharmacare for young people, other Ontario regulatory changes start Jan. 1

    Thousands of workers will also get an extra week of vacation, and sick notes for the boss are banned among a host of changes that take effect Jan. 1… New Year’s Day sees the minimum wage surge $2.40 an hour to $14 and a new pharmacare plan — the first of its kind in Canada — called OHIP+ covering 4 million children, teens and young adults under 25… Other changes coming January 1 include: a 22.5-per-cent cut in the corporate income tax rate, from 4.5 per cent to 3.5, for small businesses to offset the higher minimum wage

  • Canada needs tax reform. Here’s where Ottawa should look to improve the system

    So what should be the focus of tax reform? … corporate-personal income tax integration… The Carter Royal Commission… “comprehensive limits” proposal [re. retirement savings]… “A buck is a buck is a buck.” … Major improvements in enforcement against tax evasion… and even in detecting serious tax avoidance strategies… But tax cuts themselves are not tax reform… base broadening would be… a logical complement to a reduction in tax rates.

  • On small-business tax reform, Bill Morneau was more right than wrong

    … tightening up the rules around income sprinkling, large passive investment portfolios held inside small business corporations, and conversion of dividends into capital gains – was sound… the Senators were right to also call for a big, independent study of the whole tax system, and not just one part of it, to consider major reforms for reducing complexity, enhancing competitiveness and increasing fairness.

  • Now is the time for broad reform of Canada’s productivity-killing tax system

    … the Canadian tax system is a creaking, productivity-killing wreck: hugely over-complicated, and riddled with unjustified deductions and exemptions that distort economic decisions and bleed the government of revenues… Better by far to raise output — the base on which taxes are applied… by a sustained increase in national productivity… Enter tax reform. While there are other things we can do to spur productivity (for example, opening protected sectors of the economy to greater competition), tax reform is essential.

  • It’s time to take another look at our tax system

    … Touted as among the best ways to create jobs, corporate tax cuts have by most accounts turned out to be no such thing… every dollar spent on infrastructure spending, income supports or housing investments is seven times more effective in creating jobs… for every dollar corporations pay to the Canadian government, individual taxpayers now pay $3.50 – a result not only of repeated cuts, but also of a slew of tax loopholes and international treaties introduced in recent decades that promote or at least facilitate corporate tax avoidance.

  • How expanding tax credits would help to lower our country’s welfare wall

    … while the new funding is welcome, the WITB is relatively ineffective in raising the incomes of the working poor, and does not greatly help social-assistance recipients transition to employment. It should be reformed so as to provide a supplement to wages in real time, should provide a higher maximum benefit and should be phased out much more slowly as employment income rises so as to reduce high marginal tax rates for the working poor.

  • Liberals’ passive-income tax changes could bring in $6-billion a year: watchdog

    The PBO numbers… showed that 1.3 per cent of CCPCs hold between $1-million and $2-million in passive investment assets and 1.6 per cent hold over $2-million. Yet those two categories represent nearly 90 per cent of all passive income earned by CCPCs… 60 per cent of all passive income – representing about $11-billion – is earned by CCPCs with no active business income, “suggesting they were set up solely for the purpose of generating income.”

  • Trudeau targets income inequality in Canadian Confederation speech

    Trudeau said Ottawa has committed nearly $1-billion to investigate offshore tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance, an investment he said is paying off in recouped tax revenues and penalties. “There are people in Canada who are so wealthy that not only do they think they don’t need to pay their fair share of taxes, they’re forcing us to spend a billion dollars to go after them just so they’ll do the right thing and pay what they owe”

  • Canada’s wealthy may have started a tax revolt, and Ontario is the first to notice

    The provincial update revealed that personal income tax revenues in the country’s largest province were downgraded to come in nearly $2 billion lower than forecast in the spring budget, despite an upgrade in projected economic growth. No explanation was offered for this unusual set of circumstances — tax revenues should rise in a growing economy — but the suspicion is that high-earning Canadians are fed up seeing more than 50 cents on every dollar they earn over $200,000 taken by the taxman.

  • You know, there’s a reason no one’s put in a guaranteed annual income yet

    The idea of a “guarantee” is uncontroversial enough: we’ve already accepted that Canadians are entitled to a certain minimal standard of living. Why not make that implicit guarantee an explicit one? … Unless you’re willing to advocate for a drastic increase in taxes, the responsible thing to do is abandon the impossible GAI dream and focus on what is possible with current levels of tax revenues.