Sunday, December 3, 2023

Tax the wealthy? It might be higher to enhance the entire taxation system

Canada must be making an attempt to draw extra high-income earners and rich folks

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“Tax the wealthy” has been a preferred rallying cry for many individuals who really feel victimized, entitled or have a weak understanding of how Canada and different international locations tax their residents and redistribute earnings.

The phrase has for many years been good politics for a lot of left-leaning politicians and political events who use it, or one thing related, to capitalize on the above group of individuals for his or her votes. Such a phrase is intellectually lazy regardless of its political enchantment.

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Given Canada’s progressive taxation system, the so-called “wealthy” already pay a disproportionate share of their earnings in taxation. For instance, in 2020, the highest 0.01 per cent of earnings tax filers represented a bunch of people that earned $2,829,000 or extra. There have been solely 2,885 of these taxpayers for that yr, however they paid 2.6 per cent of all of the federal and provincial earnings taxes collected throughout 2020.

The highest one per cent (representing the 288,400 taxpayers incomes $253,900 or extra) paid 21.1 per cent of the federal and provincial earnings taxes collected that yr. The highest 5 per cent (representing the greater than 1.4 million taxpayers incomes $132,300 or extra) paid 40.1 per cent. The highest 10 per cent (representing the virtually 2.9 million taxpayers incomes $102,400 or extra) paid 53 per cent.

The underside 50 per cent (representing the greater than 14.4 million taxpayers who earned $40,700 or much less) paid 6.5 per cent, which clearly exhibits the highest 50 per cent of earnings earners paid 93.5 per cent of all federal and provincial earnings taxes paid. All this info is out there from Statistics Canada.

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Soak up that for a second. The highest earnings earners are clearly paying a disproportionate quantity of the collected earnings tax. And, once more, that’s what you count on from a progressive earnings tax system like Canada has.

However how a lot is an excessive amount of? Is there room to “tax the wealthy” extra when the highest 5 per cent, for instance, are already paying 40.1 per cent of general tax revenues?

Mix the above info with some left-leaning think-tanks and political events which were calling for Canada to introduce a wealth tax (apparently to unravel “earnings/wealth inequality” with the Prime Minister’s Workplace additionally just lately reviewing this risk) and the chance for behavioural responses amongst these those who contribute probably the most to Canada’s funds is excessive. I see it in my follow, notably previously six or so years.

My two cents is that the federal authorities has put itself in a tough spot. Deficits have been ongoing and big. Price management is actually not on the agenda. With the intention to fund continued out-of-control spending, there’ll have to be tax-rate will increase, continued assaults on high-income earners/rich folks and/or new types of taxation launched. The trick is to do that with out having too many wealthy folks depart Canada or exit the taxing system.

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A few of my mates who don’t recognize the disproportionate share that high-income earners already contribute reply by persevering with to say “tax the wealthy,” or “simply go get the cash that the wealthy are hiding offshore” (this can be a actually misinformed remark), or “the wealthy have all of the tax loopholes whereas the common individual doesn’t” (once more that is very misinformed and never correct).

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It’s disheartening to listen to such responses since constructive dialogue on how Canada’s taxation system might be improved general is badly wanted. Bringing strongly held and flawed ideologies to the dialogue desk will not be useful.

General, Canada must be making an attempt to draw extra high-income earners and rich folks. They contribute vastly to our nation’s general taxation receipts that assist fund social applications and infrastructure.

Kim Moody, FCPA, FCA, TEP, is the founding father of Moodys Tax/Moodys Personal Shopper, a former chair of the Canadian Tax Basis, former chair of the Society of Property Practitioners (Canada) and has held many different management positions within the Canadian tax group. He might be reached at and his LinkedIn profile is

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