We're posting this excellent letter sent in by one of our supporters, Edward Carson of Toronto. If other supporters or readers would like to send in or submit letters or articles, please do so!
So the Senate's banking, trade and commerce committee wants immediate corporate tax cuts to facilitate competitiveness and investment ("Senate committee calls for corporate tax cuts to boost competitiveness").
Before leaping into deeper corporate tax cuts, let's all look at some facts.
Like many Canadian companies, Cameco uses subsidiaries and related companies in known tax-haven countries to lower their taxes in Canada. This often-used strategy by large corporations is costing Canadians over $10 billion per year.
The September 26, 2018 Tax Court of Canada ruling on the Cameco case deals with the company’s practice of selling uranium at a low below-market price to its subsidiary in Switzerland, which in turn sells at a much higher price to their ultimate customers. The company challenged the CRA tax assessments that they owed back taxes.
The Tax Court ruling sided with Cameco. Though the ruling only covers the company’s 2003, 2005 and 2006 tax years including about $11 million in taxes, it will have implications for the approximately $2 billion in taxes plus interest and penalties CRA has assessed as owing in subsequent years.
To add insult to injury, in addition to the millions taxpayers are already out from the suit, Cameco will be making an application to the court to recover their court costs - a total about $57 million.
These are serious crimes and it is time for serious pernalties
On June 28th the Federal Government released a report estimating the loss of federal taxes due to tax haven use by wealthy individuals: between $0.8 billion to $3.0 billion per year.
The government is touting its Budget 2018 as setting a new standard in 'gender budgeting' as a core pillar of budget-making.
It is commendable that the government has committed to examining the gender impacts of the budget in terms of education and skills development, economic participation, leadership, access to justice, poverty reduction and health, and gender equality around the world. However they seem to have forgotten about examining the gender impacts of tax policies.
The government's fall fiscal update has some good news for those living in poverty or who are struggling to get ahead. The Child Tax Benefit will be indexed to inflation and the Working Income Tax Benefit will be increased by $500 million, both moves the Canadians for Tax Fairness and other social justice groups have been calling for. However, while these are important poverty reduction measures, they only address growing inequality at the bottom.
Inequality needs to be tackled at both the top and bottom end of the income divide.
Federal tax reform could give Nova Scotians some of the funds we need to improve our infrastructure and public services.
There are compelling reasons to support the federal government’s proposed small-business tax proposals. Does that surprise you? Let’s pause for a moment and consider a few facts.
Tax breaks in the last 20 years have benefited Canada’s corporations and wealthiest citizens far more than the rest of us. These breaks have contributed to wealth concentration at the top and entrenched poverty at the bottom.
They have gradually starved governments of billions of dollars needed to pay for vital programs and services. The current proposals will replace some of the tax revenue that has been lost — about $1 billion yearly by some estimates. Taxes and public services have come to represent a significantly smaller percentage of our economy than in most other developed countries — it’s time to stop the bleeding.
You have to hand it to wealthy business owners. They know how to work the system to maximize their bottom line and pay as little tax as possible. Why shouldn’t they? It’s completely legal. However, it’s not only fundamentally unfair to those who pay their fair share, it also hurts poor Canadians — most of them women.