For Immediate Release: 17 May 2021
OTTAWA - Fifty of Canada’s largest companies made record profits during the pandemic while many paid lower effective tax rates, many benefited from tax havens, and a handful received support through the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program, according to new research by economist D.T. Cochrane, Policy Researcher for Canadians for Tax Fairness (C4TF).
Amongst the 50 record-setting companies, 37 had an effective tax rate below their combined federal-provincial statutory rate, 34 had at least one identified subsidiary in a tax haven, and at least 7 of the 50, or their subsidiaries, benefited from CEWS.
"Our governments have taken on record deficits to keep Canadians safe and solvent during the pandemic,” wrote Dr. Cochrane. “We now face the challenges of paying for the past and on-going costs of the pandemic, as well as the climate crisis. It is highly problematic that dozens of Canada’s largest corporations were able to pad their bottom-lines and send more money to shareholders, yet somehow reduce their tax bills,” Dr. Cochrane added.
The 50 record-setters grew their profits by more than 50%. Cash-holding increased for 39 of the 50 companies by a combined C$26.4 billion.
The record-setters include controversial pipeline company TC Energy, residential REIT Minto Apartments, and the recently privatized Hydro One.
“We need greater transparency and accountability from these powerful companies," said Dr. Cochrane.
READ THE FULL REPORT HERE (HTML and PDF).