Canada’s tax system needs a full review. We’re all on the same page.

Canada urgently needs a tax system review —as a rising number of government bodies and leading organizations agree — but Budget 2019 marked a missed opportunity to get the ball rolling. Now, with a federal election around the corner, Canadian politicians have a chance to commit to tax reform and tackle a growing threat to our competitiveness and prosperity.

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Graham Scott
Jack Mintz: Ottawa can’t keep squeezing Crazy Rich Canadians. Or barely rich ones.

Why is it so hard for governments to reduce personal income taxes? Every time a politician proposes that income taxes should be cut, a typical reaction is to call it unfair since high earners are better off and so they supposedly don’t deserve any tax breaks. But tax reductions necessarily favour higher-income Canadians: with our highly distributive income-tax-transfer system…

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Graham Scott
Is the government listening to Canada’s businesses?

The warning signs have been there for some time. Canada is losing its international competitiveness and largely as a direct result, its attractiveness as a place of investment. What is less clear is whether governments are listening. There is little visible evidence at this point that they are, beyond a belated comment from Finance Minister Bill Morneau that his fall economic statement will address business taxation – but with a caveat that it will focus on lowering the cost of new investment rather than cuts in the corporate tax rate.

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Graham Scott
Why Canada needs a comprehensive tax review

The most notable element of the new U.S. tax law is a reduction in both corporate and personal tax rates – the former on a permanent basis and the latter temporarily through 2025. Many expect the changes will have a stimulative effect on U.S. economic growth, inbound investment and job creation. Others express concern about their effect on federal deficits, the national debt and the after-tax distribution of personal income.

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ExternalGraham Scott
A review is nice, but it’s time for Canada’s 30-year tax revamp

It's good that Finance Minister Bill Morneau has announced a review of tax expenditures. I would go further. With low normal growth, Ottawa needs to jolt the economy by revamping Canada's overall tax structure for the first time since the tax reforms of 1986-87. We should broaden the tax base, lower marginal rates and shift reliance on to the less economically harmful taxes to encourage investment, risk-taking and entrepreneurship.

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ExternalGraham Scott