I support tax fairness

I’m sure you’ve heard about the Liberal government's tax reforms: modest proposals to close tax loopholes that benefit the wealthiest Canadians — high income professionals making between $150,000  to millions a year.[1] Closing these loopholes could save us over $1 billion a year, and be used to fund public services like health, education and child care.[2]

Right on cue, Conservatives and the business lobby started spinning a web of misinformation, picking fights with economists, and claiming the reforms will “kill the family farm” and destroy local businesses.[3-5]  

Except the data is clear: it’s a small group of high-income earners — mainly the super-rich  — benefitting from these loopholes, and they’ll be the group most affected by closing them [6]. Using farmers, grocers, and local convenience store owners as victims is just cheap political cover for what’s really an attempt by the wealthy to avoid paying their fair share of tax.

The small but very vocal misinformation campaign threatens to scare the government out of taking this modest, but important step towards building a fairer tax system — which is why we have joined with Lead Now and created an open letter to Minister Morneau to let him know Canadians support the reforms.

Will you take a moment to add your name to this Lead Now open letter? If enough of us sign, it will give Morneau the confidence to keep pushing ahead.

A majority of Canadians don’t think that Canada’s wealthy pay their fair share in tax[8]. Well, the proposed reforms would begin to help to change that. To be clear: these reforms aren’t about tax cheats. They’re about a broken tax system that’s allowing a small group of wealthy Canadians to take advantage of loopholes that weren’t designed for them, but that they’re increasingly using to shelter their wealth and lower their taxes. 

Three things you need to know about the proposed reforms:

1. These reforms will affect the wealthiest Canadians most. 80% of people making over $2.3 million a year are taking advantage of these tax loopholes to lower their taxes.[9] These kind of loopholes are just one example of how a bad tax system can drive income inequality.

2. Contrary to the spin, most small businesses will not be affected by the changes because their income is not high enough. To significantly benefit from using these loopholes, you’d need to earn at least $150,000. A vast majority of small business owners earn under 150,000 a year, while two-thirds earn less than $73,000.[10]. Other tax advantages to help small businesses start and grow won’t be affected.

3. The reforms will not kill the family farm, or prevent farmers from passing them down to family members. Other tax advantages to help out farmers pass down their farm (such as the $1 million lifetime capital gains exemption) won’t be affected by these reforms. [11]

Ordinary taxpayers are affected by whether or not government has the revenue to invest in social programs like child care, health and pensions. One of the best ways to find this money is to make taxes more fair. Closing these loopholes could save us at least $1 billion a year.[12]

Support fair taxation to build a better Canada. Add your name to the open letter.
Unless ordinary Canadians speak up to support these reforms, the only ones the government will hear from are a small group of vested interests who want ordinary taxpayers to continue to subsidize their incomes.

Thanks for your support.

Dennis Howlett
Executive Director


[1] The Globe and Mail, “Tax changes are about levelling the playing field” 
[2] Canadians for Tax Fairness, Factsheet: Dispelling the Myths on the Private Corporations Tax Loophole.
[3] The National Post, Why the Liberals proposed tax changes are taking a pounding,
[4] Vice, The rich are set to go to war over trudeau’s tax changes,
[5] CBC, http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/andrew-scheer-michael-wolfson-analysis-wherry-1.4282027
[6] Globe and Mail, “The sky is falling on small businesses – or is it?”, and Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Study Out of the Shadows”
[7] CFIB petition
[8] Toronto Sun, Canadians don’t think the wealthy pay enough taxes, tax loopholes a big problem
[9] Globe and Mail, “The sky is falling on small businesses – or is it?”
[10] Statistics Canada in Most Canadian Small Business Owners Earn Less Than $73K Per Year.
[11] CBC, 3 questions about Liberal tax reforms, and Canadians for Tax Fairness, Factsheet: Dispelling the Myths on the Private Corporations Tax Loophole.
[12] CBC, Money talks lobbying tax reform This tax reform showdown is just the latest proof