This election campaign, let’s own up to Canada’s two-tier tax system
If there is a serious problem, and no one acknowledges it, does the problem really exist? And why is no political party talking about the Panama Paper (2016) and Paradise Paper (2017) disclosures in this federal election campaign, which is only 10 weeks away?
All political parties are mute about the thousands of affluent Canadians who continue to legally use tax havens to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. The estimated $5 billion annually, or $25 billion over five years in lost revenues through “individual” tax avoidance practices, are staggering amounts. When affluent Canadians do not pay their share of taxes, as per Revenue Canada’s published tax schedules, Canadians must make up the difference.
It’s important to be clear. The use of tax havens by individuals to avoid paying taxes is not about greed or any person breaking the law. Despite what our federal government says, it has nothing to do with tax evaders, complex tax scams, tax audits or the CRA getting more money to combat tax cheats. This is a political issue about Canada’s two-tier tax system that benefits the rich while doing immense financial harm to other Canadians, and that diminishes the quality of life for all.
Silence by political parties should not be an option. Canadians should demand that political parties engage in a frank and open discussion about “individual” tax avoidance prior to the October election. The cost to Canadians is too high to wait four more years until the next federal election.
We did not have the benefit in the 2015 federal election of the Panama and Paradise Paper disclosures that identified thousands of Canadians who used tax havens. We have this information now. The 2019 election is an opportunity for Canadians to realize tax reform that prohibits affluent Canadians from using tax havens to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.
Failure to address this issue now will mean four more years of great disparity in Canada’s tax system.
It’s worth noting that U.S. citizens cannot legally use tax havens for the purpose of avoiding taxes. In the U.S., “individual” tax equality is sacred. This is not the case in Canada, where past governments have encouraged Canada’s financial élite to legally use tax havens to avoid paying taxes.
No one has anything good to say about tax avoidance, specifically tax havens used by affluent Canadians. Yet no political party or politician is doing anything about it. This can only change if “average” Canadians link the federal election with the funding of Pharmacare, economic, environmental and social initiatives, with new monies via tax reform. We need to pressure all political parties to address this scandal.- Ottawa Citizen
read full article here
Not hearing anyone talking about this. All I see is Patty Hajdu travelling around buying our votes by giving us back our own money.
According to the article, some of Canada’s wealthy residents are saving $5 billion in taxes annually by keeping their money in offshore tax havens. $5 billion is not a lot of money to our federally elected representatives but it is to us, the great unwashed.
If I owe the government $100, they will move heaven and earth to get that money. Corporations and rich people seem to be treated differently. Why do we accept that?
Might be worth bringing up at future campaign events.