Canada's Senate has started a debate on the Fairness for All Canadian Taxpayers Act. The legislation was introduced by Charlottetown Senator Percy Downe, a long-time critic of government inaction on tax havens. "This is about the right of Canadians to know that their tax system is fair. The current state of affairs suggests a failure on the part of the Canada Revenue Agency to come to terms with overseas tax evasion. It has created a problem that is costing the Canadian government billions in lost tax revenue."
In theory, governments aren’t supposed to tax essential items.Yet every year the CRA collects an estimated $36 million from federal tax on tampons.That's just the tip of the iceberg. Sadly, the tampon tax is loose change compared to other ways tax policy fails women and costs them and their families.
Luxembourg has been a prime destination for Canadians looking for a tax haven.
Secretive. Discreet. Accommodating.
These features were so attractive that Canadian companies had $36 Billion there in 2013. That's just part of the $199 billion corporate Canada has shifted to the top ten tax havens to avoid paying tax at home. It may profit CEOs and stockholders. The rest of us are getting pretty fed up.
When did federal budgets and economic policy stop being about vision and stewardship and turn into a free for all about who “wins” and who “loses”? And since when is it good leadership to leave it for our grandkids to clean up the mess we make in the name of balancing a budget?
It is no surprise that taxpayers feel the system is stacked against them. Over the years, leaders of all political stripes have used tax fairness as a slogan and not a principle. Will Budget 2015 be any different? Not likely. That's a shame. Because while hard-working Canadians are the engine that drives the country, smart tax policy is the fuel that keeps it going.