Taxpayers feel the system is stacked against them when politicians use tax fairness as a slogan and not a principle. It has happened again and again in federal budgets. Will Budget 2015 be any different? Here are four actions that would speak louder than words.
Former Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page knows his way around a balance sheet. So when he was asked for his assessment of the Conservative plans to double the TFSA limit he expressed a lot of concern. "Will it generate the savings for the middle class, the lower class? You would have to be quite wealthy to have $11,000 in savings after all the debt you'd have to take care of through the course of the year," he told CBC's Evan Solomon, adding that the government's focus should be on infrastructure investment. "I think the bigger issue is we need to grow the economy," he said.
In 1972, billionaire K.C. Irving of New Brunswick moved to tax-free Bermuda and placed ownership of his empire into a series of Bermudian trusts to avoid taxes in Canada.
The Irvings will insist what they - and other like-minded multinationals -are doing is legal. But should it be? Is corporate social responsibility just a matter of making well-publicized donations to hospital foundations and inner-city poverty projects? Or should corporations pay their fair share of taxes so that governments have the revenue needed to invest in social and physical infrastructure that will benefit corporations as well as its citizens.
Tax Fairness' Dennis Howlett recently talked to New Brunswick filmaker Charles Theriault about these and other questions. Here is Charles' report. It is well worth watching.
Eldorado Gold has been caught using a shell company to avoid paying taxes on its Greek operations. A new report also shows how the Canada Pension Plan investment fund and the Export Development Corporation are connected.
The economies of developing countries are often decimated by a messed up global tax system. It causes their citizens hardship and worse. This week, an international group of tax advocates came up with some concrete solutions.But will powerful institutions and corporations listen?
Canadian super-star Shania Twain lives in Switzerland. She says she"loves winter and needs space". But she is also set up to avoid paying taxes at home as her celebrity neighbours who make no bones about why they live there.