Is "too big to fail" turning into "too big to pay"? That's the billion dollar question posed on our opinion page by Canadian economist Armine Yalnizyan.
The focus is currently on Apple and Ireland, but this scenario is playing itself all over the world, including Canada. Do you know how much tax Google pays here in Canada - one of their most profitable operations? Neither do we because there are no clear corporate tax rules about publishing what you pay. But they likely employ the same tax dodging techniques they use in Great Britain where they paid approximately $15million in taxes on $5.6 billion in revenue - nowhere near the established corporate tax rate.
And it isn't just Google and Apple. Canadian corporations like Cameco, Gildan, Manitoba Telecom all use tax dodging techniques to pad their profits.
"Many of Canada's top publicly traded companies pay well below the corporate tax rate," says Dennis Howlett, executive director of Canadians for Tax Fairness. "On paper, it makes them look more successful. But in fact, they have an unfair advantage over smaller companies who are paying their share. It is about time our elected leaders stood up for ordinary taxpayers with modern rules that reflect this new playing field. Corporate boardrooms shouldn't be entitled to make the tax rules."
Send a message to Ottawa and tell them to respect Canadian companies that pay their share by levelling the playing field.