Canadian Social Research Links

Taxes and Tax Freedom Day

Sites de recherche sociale au Canada

Les impôts et
le Jour de libération fiscale

Updated May 27, 2015
Page révisée le 27 mai 2015


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Taxes for the Common Good:
A Public Justice Primer on Taxation
(PDF - 2.6MB, 20 pages)
http://www.cpj.ca/sites/default/files/docs/files/Taxes-for-the-Common-Good-FINAL.pdf
May 2015
"Taxes for the Common Good" is a series of fact sheets highlighting the positive role taxes play in a democratic society and summarizing up-to-date information on the costs and opportunities afforded by various federal tax policy options.
Contents:
Introduction: Taxes for the Common Good
Fact Sheet #1: The High Cost of Low Taxes
Fact Sheet #2: Public Services: Good Value for Money
Fact Sheet #3: How Progressive is Canada’s Tax System?
Fact Sheet #4: Lower Corporate Taxes: Who Benefits?
Fact Sheet #5: The Rise of Tax Expenditures
Fact Sheet #6: Carbon Taxes

Source:
Citizens for Public Justice
http://www.cpj.ca/
Citizens for Public Justice is a national organization committed to seek human flourishing and the integrity of creation as our faithful response to God’s call for love and justice.

Read Daphne Bramham's column about
"Taxes for the Common Good" in the Vancouver Sun:

http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Daphne+Bramham+What+willing+society+want/11084536/story.html

Income splitting vs. childcare
http://cupe.ca/child-care/income-splitting-vs-childcare
April 9, 2014
Study after study shows that public spending on child care should be a top priority. The wide-spread and long-lasting economic, social, and health benefits for children, families, and society far outweigh the costs. However, Canada is last among its peer countries on public spending on child care. Despite all the evidence, the federal Conservative government persists on ineffective high-cost proposals such as income-splitting and the Universal Child Care Benefit.

In 2011, the Harper conservatives made an election pledge that they would allow couples with children under 18 to split up to $50,000 of their income each year for tax purposes. This would reduce what the household would pay in taxes to the Canada Revenue Agency.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) study, Income Splitting in Canada: Inequality by Design (see the link below), showed Canadians that the Conservative plan to extend income splitting to families with children under 18 would provide no benefit to 86 per cent of all families. Meanwhile the cost to the federal government would be $3 billion and the cost to the provinces would be $1.9 billion for a total loss of revenue in 2015 alone of nearly $5 billion.

Source:
Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)
*
http://cupe.ca/
---
* I administer the mailing list and distribute the weekly newsletter using software on the webmail server of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).
http://www.cupe.ca/
Thanks, CUPE!.

---

The complete CCPA study:

Income Splitting in Canada: Inequality by Design (PDF - 613K, 26 pages) https://www.policyalternatives.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/publications/National%20Office/2014/01/Income_Splitting_in_Canada.pdf

Related news release:
English :
https://www.policyalternatives.ca/newsroom/news-releases/income-splitting-tax-gift-canada%E2%80%99s-rich-study
Français : https://www.policyalternatives.ca/newsroom/news-releases/le-fractionnement-du-revenu-favorise-les-mieux-nantis-selon-une-%C3%A9tude
[L'étude complète est disponible en anglais seulemen.t]

Source:
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

https://www.policyalternatives.ca/

---

- Go to the Children, Families and Youth Links (NGO) page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/chnngo.htm

What services do I get for my taxes?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OL4PWU5boOU
Source:
OperationMaple
http://operationmaple.ca/

Hennessy’s Index: March 2014
Tax Cuts 101
https://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/facts-infographics/hennessys-index-march-2014
By Trish Hennessy
March 1, 2014

Hennessy’s Index is a monthly listing of numbers, written by the CCPA's Trish Hennessy, about Canada and its place in the world.
For other months, visit: http://policyalternatives.ca/index

---

70 years
The last time Canadian federal tax revenues have been this low (as a share of the economy).

29%
Top federal personal income tax rate for anyone earning from $136,270 to you name it.

$2.5 billion
Estimated additional revenue that could accrue to federal fiscal coffers in 2015 if the federal government adopted a new tax bracket of 35 per cent for incomes over $250,000.

$6 billion
Eventual annual loss in revenue the Alternative Federal Budget estimates could result from the federal government’s 2011proposal to double the limit for Canadians who can afford to shelter money into the Tax Free Savings Account, which now has an annual limit of $5,500 a year.

29.1%
Canada’s federal corporate income tax rate in 2000. By 2011 that tax rate had been cut in half, to 15%.

7
Seven more numerical factoids --- click the link above.

Source:
Hennessy's Index
(inc. links to earlier issues)
http://policyalternatives.ca/index

Hennessy's Index is an ongoing project of the
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

http://www.policyalternatives.ca/

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hennessy’s Index for February 2014:
Income Splitting --- Perks for the Rich

https://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/facts-infographics/hennessys-index-february-2014
By Trish Hennessy
NOTE : At the end of each statement in this issue of Hennessy's Index, there's a link to the source of that statement.
You won't find any of those links below, though - just click the link above to access the individual sources.

Excerpt:

2007
The year Canada’s federal government extended to senior families the opportunity to partake in extra tax breaks through pension income splitting.

$820
Estimated average tax break enjoyed the Canada’s richest 10% of Canadian senior couples who take advantage of pension income splitting at tax time.

10 cents
Estimated average tax break the poorest 10% of senior couples in Canada get from pension income splitting.

7 out of 10
Number of seniors who enjoy no benefit whatsoever from pension income splitting.

$3 billion
Estimated loss in federal revenues if the federal government extends income splitting to include families with children under 18.

Source:
Hennessy's Index
(inc. links to earlier issues)
http://policyalternatives.ca/index

Income splitting is a tax gift to Canada’s rich: study
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/newsroom/news-releases/income-splitting-tax-gift-canada%E2%80%99s-rich-study
News Release
January 28, 2014
OTTAWA—Eighty-six percent of Canadian families would gain no benefit from the proposed Conservative income splitting plan, says a new study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). The study, by CCPA Senior Economist David Macdonald, examines the cost and the distributional impact of three income splitting scenarios: pension income splitting; income splitting for families with children under 18, as the Conservatives have pledged; and income splitting for all families. The study finds that the impact of income splitting in all scenarios is very unequal and the lost revenue for Canadian governments would be substantial.

The complete study:

Income Splitting in Canada : Inequality by Design (PDF - 613K, 26 pages)
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/publications/National%20Office/2014/01/Income_Splitting_in_Canada.pdf
By David Macdonald
January 2014

Table of contents:
* Executive Summary
* Introduction
* Income Splitting: A Brief Primer
* The Cost of Income Splitting
* Pension Income Splitting
* Income Splitting for Families with Children
* Taxable Income Splitting for All Families + Pension Income Splitting
* Conclusion
* Appendix : Methodology and Assumptions

This study finds that, in 2015, Canada’s federal government will give up an estimated $1.2 billion in lost revenue due to pension income splitting and the provinces will lose another $500 million in revenue for mimicking this tax change — for a total revenue loss of $1.7 billion.

Source:
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/

---

Coverage in
The Toronto Star:

Stephen Harper’s income-splitting plan would favour rich, tax study finds
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2014/01/28/harper_governments_incomesplitting_plan_would_favour_rich_tax_study_finds.html
By Laurie Monsebraaten
January 28, 2014
The Harper government’s plan to introduce income splitting for families with children would be a gift to the country’s richest households and make income inequality worse, says a new study being released Tuesday.

Source:
Toronto Star

http://www.thestar.com/

When good advice goes bad
http://imagineacity.ca/2013/11/22/when-good-advice-goes-bad/
November 22, 2013
By Adrienne Clarke
This week, Imagine a City is joined by guest blogger John Stapleton, founder of Open Policy Ontario [ http://openpolicyontario.com/ ] and a fellow with the Metcalf Foundation [ http://metcalffoundation.com/ ] . He has some much-needed financial advice for low-income earners, just in time for Financial Literacy Month. Here, he provides a rundown of what low-income earners really need to know, and how the financial-services industry can serve them better.
---
Excerpt:
When assisting low-income people, for instance, many advisors will tell them to max out their RRSPs, forget about Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs), and wait until 65 or later to sign up for Canada Pension. They’ll also be advised to look closely at their taxes to capitalize on tax credits.This is the same advice given (rightfully) to middle- and high-income earners, but for people making ends meet on lower incomes, it’s exactly wrong.

For more, see John's comprehensive report:
Planning for Retirement on a Low Income
http://openpolicyontario.com/retiring-on-a-low-income-3/

What’s wrong with income-splitting? Nothing — if you’re wealthy
http://www.ipolitics.ca/2013/10/09/whats-wrong-with-income-splitting-nothing-if-youre-wealthy/
By Andrew Jackson and Jonathan Sas
October 9, 2013
During the last federal election, Stephen Harper promised that his Conservative government would introduce a new way to tax families with children after balancing the federal budget.
We are likely to hear a lot more about the merits of Harper’s ‘income-splitting’ proposal before the 2015 election. The Conservatives continue to slash spending and erode public services precisely in order to create the fiscal room for this promised tax cut. Never mind that Mr. Harper’s aggressive agenda of tax cuts has already helped turn a $16 billion surplus in 2006 into annual deficits. The Conservatives will frame their income-splitting plan as needed tax relief for middle-class Canadian families. What Harper won’t tell us, however, is that it isn’t designed to benefit the families most in need. In fact, it promises to exacerbate — not reduce — existing income and gender inequality.

Source:
iPolitics
[ http://www.ipolitics.ca/ ] is independent, non-partisan and committed to providing timely, relevant, insightful content to those whose professional or personal interests require that they stay on top of political developments in Ottawa and the provinces.

Canadians’ consumer tax burden is not as onerous as it sounds
http://goo.gl/i690b
By Andrew Jackson
May 1, 2013
Hidden deep in the bowels of the Fraser Institute [ http://www.fraserinstitute.org/ ] in Vancouver, there is an elaborate contraption known as “the Canadian Tax Simulator.” It generates the data for “the Canadian Consumer Tax Index" [ http://goo.gl/2C9GH ], an annual report that supposedly tells us how much tax is paid by the average Canadian family.

The latest report [ http://goo.gl/fFby6 ] was released just before the income tax filing deadline of April 30. Taxes, we were told, are shockingly high as a proportion of family income, and now loom larger than spending on the necessities of life.

The Fraser Institute’s key finding was that “in 2012, 42.7 per cent of an average family’s income went towards taxes (including all types of taxes imposed by federal, provincial and local governments).”

The methodology used to reach that conclusion is somewhat opaque, but the reported results are highly questionable.

[ Author Andrew Jackson is the Packer Professor of Social Justice at York University and Senior Policy Adviser to the Broadbent Institute. ]

Source:
The Globe and Mail
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Big Ideas: Alex Himelfarb on the consequences of tax cuts (video, 53:45)
http://ww3.tvo.org/video/167578/alex-himelfarb-consequences-tax-cuts
November 11, 2011
How Did Taxes Become a Bad Word? The Former Clerk of the Privy Council, Alex Himelfarb, discusses why we should be investing more, not less, in our future. While today's political leaders exalt the benefits of increased tax-cutting, Himelfarb argues that further tax cuts will come with serious consequences, including cuts to services and deeper inequality. According to Himelfarb, what we need is nothing less than a re-think about what our future is worth. His lecture was produced in collaboration with the Literary Review of Canada.
Source:
TVOntario
http://ww3.tvo.org/

---

Alex's Blog
http://afhimelfarb.wordpress.com/

New from the
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA):

Canada’s tax system needs fairness overhaul: study
http://goo.gl/jEGmq
February 13, 2013
OTTAWA—Canada’s tax system is in dire need of reform, says a new study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
According to the study, by CCPA economists Marc Lee and Iglika Ivanova, ad-hoc tax changes over the last two decades have seriously weakened the redistributive role of Canada’s tax system at a time when market inequalities call for more, not less, redistribution.

Complete study:

Fairness by Design:
A Framework for Tax Reform in Canada
(PDF - 939K, 44 pages)
http://goo.gl/rh1zH
By Marc Lee and Iglika Ivanova
February 13, 2013
This study finds that ad-hoc tax changes over the last two decades have seriously weakened the redistributive role of Canada’s tax system at a time when market inequalities call for more, not less, redistribution. The authors present a framework for a progressive tax reform strategy and recommend the establishment of a Fair Tax Commission to examine how federal taxes and transfers work together as a system and make recommendations for changes.

Source:
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)

http://www.policyalternatives.ca/

Tax Fairness News : Winter 2013 (PDF - 380K,4 pages)
http://www.taxfairness.ca/sites/taxfairness.ca/files/pdf/newsletter_feb_2013.pdf

February 8, 2013
Canadians for Tax Fairness is gearing up to make some real progress on tax fairness in 2013. In addition to continuing our Tackle Tax Havens campaign, we will be rolling out a new campaigns on closing tax loopholes as well as supporting provincial tax fairness campaigns. We will keep you informed and hope we can count on your continuing support.
There is a lot happening on tax fairness across the country and around the world.
Contents (including links to further info):
* New Brunswick * Newfoundland and Labrador * Nova Scotia * Alberta * British Columbia * Ontario
* The Great Revenue Robbery (book release, April 2013)
* And Speaking of Fairness…..
* The Robin Hood Tax
* What did corporate tax cuts deliver?
* Church Group (KAIROS) Promotes Tax Reform for Equity and Sustainability
* Parliament Turns Attention to Tax Havens
* Let’s Keep Working!

Tax Fairness E-newsletter Archive
http://www.taxfairness.ca/page/resources
- includes links to ten earlier newsletters going back to May 2011
- also includes links to (1) info about must-read books, (2) articles, videos and links of interest, and (3) other tax fairness organizations and campaigns

Source:
Canadians for Tax Fairness
http://www.taxfairness.ca/
The mission of Canadians for Tax Fairness is to build a national campaign to promote fair taxation. We support the development and implementation of a tax system, based on ability to pay, to fund the comprehensive, high-quality network of public services and programs required to meet our social, economic and environmental needs in the 21st century.

---

Also from
Canadians for Tax Fairness:

Ten Big Reasons to Feel Good About Taxes
http://www.taxfairness.ca/page/10-big-reasons-feel-good-about-taxes?
[My favourite : "taxes are the price we pay for the Canada we love." Gilles]

96 more everyday reasons to feel good about taxes
http://www.taxfairness.ca/page/here-are-another-96-everyday-reasons-feel-good-about-taxes
- reasons like : governors-general - access to information - adoption records - critical infrastructure protection - airbag safety - fisheries - elections - pensions - money-minting - aviation museums - polar ice-watching - police college - social assistance - unemployment insurance - autopsies - ferries - bingo permits...

Related link:

Canada's Quiet Bargain:
The benefits of public spending
(PDF - 1.3MB, 40 pages)
April 2009
By Hugh Mackenzie and Richard Shillington

Canada’s Mean Test: Myths behind neo-con madness
http://www.behindthenumbers.ca/2012/06/29/canadas-mean-test-myths-behind-neo-con-madness/
June 29, 2012
By Erika Shaker
(...)
If you’ve expressed concern with some (all?) of the following: global warming, Indigenous rights, tuition fee increases, cuts to health care, OAS, EI, the arts, the CBC, and a number of anti-poverty initiatives… you’ve probably heard this argument:
“No one handed me anything. I worked hard and did well at (public) school. Only missed classes when I was sick and had to go to a (publicly funded) doctor. When I got my first job (right out of university), I was there (on public transportation) every day. And somehow I managed (having little or no student debt) to buy a car and a house and pay my bills. You don’t hear me complaining (except about paying the taxes that provide those social programs that I never, ever access); not like those whiny kids in the streets who wouldn’t know hard work if it served them one of those triple shot mocha-latte-chinos they’re so fond of. Heh heh.”

That whole myth of the self-made man is appealing in a plaid shirt/roaring fire/"it’s Miller time!"kind of way (if you’re, you know, into that sort of thing), but given what we know about the importance of social and physical infrastructure to our collective well-being, it’s also a teensy bit naïve...

Source:
Behind the Numbers
http://www.behindthenumbers.ca/
CCPA's national blog, Behind the Numbers, delivers timely, progressive commentary on issues that affect Canadians, including the economy, poverty, inequality, climate change, budgets, taxes, public services, employment and much more.

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/

Tax Fairness Newsletter – May 2012 (PDF - 408K, 4 pages)
http://www.taxfairness.ca/sites/taxfairness.ca/files/pdf/may_2012_newsletter.pdf
In this issue:
* Take Action! Tackle Tax Havens
* Downtown Ottawa turned into Sherwood Forest
* Ontario budget deal to raise taxes of very rich welcomed
* Canadians for Tax Fairness addresses Finance Committee on Bill C-38
* Fair Tax Summit a big success
* Poll says Canadians willing to pay more taxes to close gap
* Key Stats on Taxes
* Job Opening: Communications Coordinator

* Public Forums in Winnipeg and Scarborough
* New Book: Bill Gates, Pay Your Fair Share of Taxes...Like We Do!

Tax Fairness E-newsletter Archive
http://www.taxfairness.ca/page/resources
- includes links to seven earlier newsletters going back to May 2011
- also includes links to (1) info about must-read books, (2) articles, videos and links of interest, and (3) other tax fairness organizations and campaigns

Source:
Canadians for Tax Fairness
http://www.taxfairness.ca/
Canadians for Tax Fairness promotes a progressive tax system, based on ability to pay, to fund the public services and programs required to meet our social, economic and environmental needs.

Taxing Times
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/commentary/taxing-times
Hennessy's Index: A number is never just a number
By Trish Hennessy
May 1, 2012
Hennessy's Index is a monthly listing of numbers, written by the CCPA's Trish Hennessy, about Canada and its place in the world.

31% : That’s how much of Canada’s economy is made up of income, sales, corporate, property and other taxes we pay to all levels of government.
[ Source : http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Canadian+taxes+high+think/6519558/story.html ]

$38 billion : That’s how much less Canadians now pay in individual income tax compared to 2000.
[ Source : http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Canadian+taxes+high+think/6519558/story.html ]

$19 billion : That’s how much less Canadians pay now in sales taxes compared to 2000. Since the Harper government cut the GST by two points in 2007, the average annual revenue loss to the treasury is about $12 billion.
[ Source 1 : http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Canadian+taxes+high+think/6519558/story.html ]
[ Source 2 : http://www.caledoninst.org/Publications/Detail/?ID=921&IsBack=0 ]

$18 billion : That’s how much less corporations pay now in Canadian taxes compared to 2000.
[ Source : http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Canadian+taxes+high+think/6519558/story.html ]

$11,747 : Total income tax a person with an annual income of $50,000 will pay in Quebec for 2011, the highest regional amount in Canada.
[ Source : http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/taxseason/story/2012/04/12/f-taxseason-by-the-numbers.html ]

$8,349 : Total income tax that same person would pay in Nunavut, the lowest regional amount in Canada.
[ Source : http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/taxseason/story/2012/04/12/f-taxseason-by-the-numbers.html ]

NOTE : Click the Taxing Times link (above) for seven more factoids...

Hennessy's Index - earlier months:
http://policyalternatives.ca/index

Source:
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/

April 18, 2012

Canadians beginning to understand that, in the immortal words of Milton Freedman, there is no free lunch:
http://finance.sympatico.ca/home/contentposting_reuters/canadians_ok_with_higher_taxes_to_fight_inequality/565c5f26

Taxing the rich = ethnic cleansing. Um, well, no:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/commentary/barrie-mckenna/taxing-the-rich-akin-to-ethnic-cleansing-seriously/article2402977/

The interview that started this “ethnic cleansing” thing:
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/newsroom/updates/taxing-rich

A great blog response:
http://ethnicaisle.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/ethnic-cleansing-vs-taxes/

How taxing the rich is gaining momentum:
http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/04/16/kelly-mcparland-tax-the-rich-may-be-a-bad-idea-but-opponents-are-losing-the-argument/

Walkom says that tax fairness is no longer a taboo topic:
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1161262--walkom-tax-fairness-no-longer-a-taboo-topic

And his earlier column around Doctors for Fair Taxation:
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1149981--walkom-these-high-income-docs-want-the-rich-to-pay

Thanks for the above media links to:

Jennefer Laidley
Policy & Research Analyst
Income Security Advocacy Centre
http://www.incomesecurity.org/
Email: laidleyj@lao.on.ca

Canadians willing to pay higher taxes for equality
http://goo.gl/4cOlK
April 10, 2012
According to results of the first poll commissioned by a new left-leaning think tank, the majority of Canadians are concerned by the growing gulf between haves and have-nots, and they're willing to pay for change. The Environics Research survey commissioned by former NDP leader Ed Broadbent's eponymous institute was released Tuesday.
Source:
CTVNews.ca

Related link:

Broadbent Institute
http://www.broadbentinstitute.ca/
The Broadbent Institute is an idea realized in 2011 after years of percolating in the mind of Canadian politician and advocate, Ed Broadbent. Endorsed by Jack Layton and supporters from right across Canada, the Broadbent Institute is inspired by a common vision of free, equal, and compassionate citizenship in Canada – the very heart of what social democracy is about.

More info about the Broadbent Institute:
http://www.broadbentinstitute.ca/about

---

Related stories from CTVNews:

Economic equality an ongoing battle for women, prof says
http://goo.gl/W5YnD

Top CEOs got 189 times the average worker's pay in 2010
http://goo.gl/az7oq

Super-rich have already made an average yearly salary
http://goo.gl/NOiIm

OECD report finds income inequality rising in Canada
http://goo.gl/mn4Pi

Index finds inequalities in Canadians' quality of life
http://goo.gl/NDrM9

Source:
CTVNews.ca

Tax Fairness Newsletter - March 2012
http://www.taxfairness.ca/newsletter/2012-03/tax-fairness-newsletter-march-2012
March 2012

In this issue:
The Fair Tax Summit
The Federal Budget: There are alternatives to cutbacks
Take Action!
Africa's Odious Debts
The macroeconomic causes of growing inequality
Poll finds 60% support raising taxes on the rich
Successful campaign to save libraries from tax cuts video
Can you guess which province has the lowest corporate taxes?
Study says Canada has one of the lowerst corporate tax rate.
Who said, "I don't believe that any taxes are good taxes"?
Inequality is bad for the economy
Doctors for Fair Taxation

Source:
Canadians for Tax Fairness
http://www.taxfairness.ca/
The mission of Canadians for Tax Fairness is to build a national campaign to promote fair taxation. We support the development and implementation of a tax system, based on ability to pay, to fund the comprehensive, high-quality network of public services and programs required to meet our social, economic and environmental needs in the 21st century.

New from
Canadians for Tax Fairness:

Fair Tax Summit on March 29-30, 2012 (Ottawa) - March 7
http://www.taxfairness.ca/civicrm/event/info?id=1&reset=1&lcMessages=en_US

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Selected site content from
Canadians for Tax Fairness:

Ten Big Reasons to Feel Good About Taxes
[My favourite : "taxes are the price we pay for the Canada we love." Gilles]

96 more everyday reasons to feel good about taxes
- reasons like : governors-general - access to information - adoption records - critical infrastructure protection - airbag safety - fisheries - elections - pensions - money-minting - aviation museums - polar ice-watching - police college - social assistance - unemployment insurance - autopsies - ferries - bingo permits...

Related link:

Canada's Quiet Bargain:
The benefits of public spending
(PDF - 1.3MB, 40 pages)
April 2009
By Hugh Mackenzie and Richard Shillington
This study adds a dimension that has been missing to the public debate over taxes and public spending in Canada. It weighs the benefits of public services provided by federal, provincial, and municipal governments against the benefits of recent tax cuts.

Oldie, but not moldie:

Most Canadians pay less tax than Americans
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/taxes.htm
November 1999

100 things not to do if you hate taxes
or, why saying taxes are not worth what we get for them is just plain stupid
(PDF - 348K, 7 pages)
http://goo.gl/SH5v6
March 2012
The so-called free market can’t and won’t take care of everything; the public sector can and must play a constructive and compassionate role in our society and economy. We’re going to keep working hard to make that truth as obvious to all Canadians as the sun rising in the east. We won’t stop until we win the battle of ideas and values when it comes to taxes. In the meantime, we offer this handy list of 100 things not to do for all those people who hate paying taxes and the public sector.
1. Do not visit your doctor’s office or local hospital.
2. Do not send your kids to public schools.
3. Do not support the Canadian Forces.
4. Do not expect the Canadian Coast Guard to save you from an emergency at sea.
5. Do not expect the government to intervene and boost the economy during a recession.
(...)
After reading this list, we hope people have a better appreciation that there is a very real connection between their taxes and the services and programs they use.

Please click the source link below and join the campaign.
There are many ways you can get involved, so join the conversation and help set the record straight.

Source:
All Together Now!
A national campaign
For Public Services and Tax Fairness
http://alltogethernow.nupge.ca/

National Union of Public and General Employees
http://nupge.ca/

Tax Freedom Day - from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Tax Freedom Day is the first day of the year in which a nation as a whole has theoretically earned enough income to fund its annual tax burden. It is annually calculated in the United States by the Tax Foundation—a Washington, D.C.-based tax research organization. Every dollar that is officially considered income by the U.S. government is counted, and every payment to the U.S. government that is officially considered a tax is counted. Taxes at all levels of government—local, state and federal—are included."

---

Tax Freedom Day is June 11, one day later than last year as Canadians work longer to pay taxes
http://www.fraserinstitute.org/research-news/news/display.aspx?id=18389
June 11, 2012
VANCOUVER, BC—Monday, June 11 is Tax Freedom Day, the day Canadians have finally earned enough money to pay all the taxes they owe to all levels of government for the year, according to the Fraser Institute’s annual calculations.
Tax Freedom Day arrives one day later than in 2011, when it fell on June 10. "This underscores a worrying trend across the country of governments increasing taxes," said Charles Lammam, Fraser Institute associate director of tax and budget policy and co-author of Canadians Celebrate Tax Freedom Day [ http://www.fraserinstitute.org/research-news/display.aspx?id=18388 ] on June 11, 2012.

Source:
Fraser Institute
http://www.fraserinstitute.org/

---

Related link:

Tax Benefits Day (June 12) from Canada Without Poverty (CWP, formerly the National Anti-Poverty Organization)
NOTE by Gilles : Last year at this time, Rob Rainer (Executive Director of CWP) announced his interest in launching a new "Day" --- Tax Benefits Day, to counter the Fraser Institute's narrow view of taxation by listing some of the benefits that we derive as Canadians from our federal, provincial and municipal taxes. You will have noticed, no doubt, that there is no link in this paragraph for Tax Benefits Day OR for the home page of the CWP website. That's because when I tried to access the site (June 13th at 1pm), my malware protection software threw up a !!Malware!! warning screen.
<ARGH.>
Your best bet to access the CWP website safely is by doing a search using the Google search engine for "canada without poverty". If there's still a malware problem with the site, the search result page will include the malware danger warning directly next to the URL in Google Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer. If that's the case, wait a few days before trying again...

---

Tax Freedom Day is nothing to celebrate [dead link]
Don't like paying for government? Just try living without it
By Craig McInnes
June 10, 2011
(...)What offends me ... and what I believe is dangerous to our way of life, is the underlying message of Tax Freedom Day, which is that the taxes we pay to support governments and the services they provide somehow work against us rather than enabling the quality of life we enjoy.
(...)
The insidious aspect of looking at taxes in the absence of the benefits they pay for is that we lose sight of why we pay taxes. After that, pressure intensifies for politicians to cut taxes to the point where the consequences are ignored. That has already happened in the U.S., where opposition to taxes is bankrupting states and undermining the value of the once mighty American dollar. There are plenty of countries in the world with lower taxes than Canada's. There are few with a higher quality of life.
Source:
Vancouver Sun


From the
Fraser Institute:

Tax Freedom Day underscores need for tax relief
By Charles Lammam and Niels Veldhuis
June 6, 2011
Happy Tax Freedom Day! When Canadians return to work on Monday (June 6), they will finally be working for themselves. In other words, if we had to pay all our taxes up front, we would have to pay each and every dollar we earned from January 1 to June 5 to various levels of government.
Source:
Fraser Institute
Motto: "A free and prosperous world through choice, markets and responsibility"

---

Counterpoint from
Canada Without Poverty:

Happy Tax Benefits Day 2011!
Jun 7, 2011
By Rob Rainer
It’s June 7 and, in reply to the Fraser Institute’s announcement of yesterday being Tax Freedom Day 2011 in Canada, happy Tax Benefits Day 2011! A day to remind ourselves that, far from being “bad” – as even Prime Minister Harper is on record as believing – taxes and our willingness to pay them make possible our democratic institutions and the many public goods and services that Canadians value [including] “an education, pensions, police and fire protection, national security, roads, highways, bridges, canals, libraries, museums, parks, sewer systems, garbage pickup, snow removal, water purification, food inspection, disease control, and so on.”

Related links:

Tax Freedom Day is nothing to celebrate [dead link]
Don't like paying for government? Just try living without it
By Craig McInnes
June 10, 2011
(...)What offends me ... and what I believe is dangerous to our way of life, is the underlying message of Tax Freedom Day, which is that the taxes we pay to support governments and the services they provide somehow work against us rather than enabling the quality of life we enjoy.
(...)
The insidious aspect of looking at taxes in the absence of the benefits they pay for is that we lose sight of why we pay taxes. After that, pressure intensifies for politicians to cut taxes to the point where the consequences are ignored. That has already happened in the U.S., where opposition to taxes is bankrupting states and undermining the value of the once mighty American dollar. There are plenty of countries in the world with lower taxes than Canada's. There are few with a higher quality of life.
Source:
Vancouver Sun

---

Canada’s Quiet Bargain: The Benefits of Public Spending (PDF - 1.3MB, 40 pages)
April 2009
By Hugh MacKenzie and Richard Shillington

---

The Social Benefits and Economic Costs of Taxation:
A Comparison of High- and Low-Tax Countries
- (PDF file - 512K, 55 pages)
December 2006
By Neil Brooks and Thaddeus Hwong

---

Rob Rainer, Executive Director of Canada Without Poverty, offers some insights from The Trouble With Billionaires, a 2010 book by journalist Linda McQuaig and taxation expert Neil Brooks. In particular, he endorses what he calls the most important of the recommendations of McQuaig and Brooks --- to “strive to bring about a change in social attitudes toward taxation and its essential role in a democracy.”

Hence the inauguration of Tax Benefits Day – to fall on the day immediately after the Fraser Institute’s Tax Freedom Day, to counter the misguided view that taxes are bad. Canada Without Poverty welcomes enquiries from organizations that would like to work with us to organize Tax Benefits Day 2012 and beyond.

Source:
Canada Without Poverty
Canada Without Poverty works to address the structural causes of poverty, such as public policies that advance or constrain the social and economic development of individuals, families and communities.

------------------------

In 2010:
Canadians celebrate Tax Freedom Day (PDF - 1.2MB, 3 pages)
on June 5 in 2010
.
In 2010, Canadians celebrate Tax Freedom Day on June 5. That means that Canadians started working for themselves on June 5. That is, Canadians worked until June 4 to pay the total tax bill imposed on them by all levels of government. From June 5 to the end of the year, taxpayers can keep all the income they earn

Source:
The Fraser Institute
"A free and prosperous world through choice, markets and responsibility"

---

Reality check:

Tax Freedom Day: A Cause for Celebration or Consternation?
Prepared by:
Sheena Starky
Economics Division
18 September 2006
"(...) While the idea of Tax Freedom Day is intuitively appealing and media-friendly, the concept does not enjoy unanimous support in Canada or in other countries where similar reports on Tax Freedom Day exist. Specific criticisms of the Tax Freedom Day indicator in Canada centre on methodology and tend to be related to three definitions:
* average Canadian family;
* income; and
* taxes.
Critics such as the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives dispute The Fraser Institute’s choice of methodology, arguing that it systematically exaggerates the tax burden of average Canadians by overestimating taxes paid and/or by underestimating taxpayers’ ability to pay their taxes.
Source:
Parliament of Canada website

---

From the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)

Taxes are good for a nation’s health and well-being—study
Press Release
December 6, 2006

The Social Benefits and Economic Costs of Taxation:
A Comparison of High- and Low-Tax Countries
- PDF file - 512K, 55 pages
By Neil Brooks and Thaddeus Hwong
December 6, 2006

---

Taxes and human purpose
December 9, 2005
By Neil Brooks
"(...) In support of their vision of the future, business interests and right-wing political parties keep warning us about the terrible legacy we are leaving our children in the form of a national debt and a bloated public sector. In fact, the much worse legacy we are in danger of leaving our children if we decrease taxes and continue to diminish the role of government in our collective lives is a fractured and divided society, without a sense of itself or its collective responsibility, and in which the economic elite is ever more able to defend itself politically. This would be a truly unjust and truly irresponsible legacy to leave our children."

`Tax freedom day?' Not really
Tax Freedom Day has come and gone. Feel any richer yet?
June 27, 2005

-----

"Tax Freedom Day" Google.ca Web Search
"Tax Freedom Day" Google.ca News Search
Source:
Google.ca


United States

The American perspective from
the
New York Times:

Obama Goes on Offensive Over Taxes on Wealthy
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/11/us/politics/obama-to-make-case-for-buffett-rule.html
By Jackie Calmes
April 10, 2012
BOCA RATON, Fla. — All but certain now that his Republican opponent will be Mitt Romney, President Obama has made his proposed “Buffett Rule” minimum tax for the wealthiest Americans like Mr. Romney a centerpiece of his re-election campaign, defying the political risk of being seen as a tax-and-spender by wary voters. With a rousing speech on Tuesday to a receptive university audience of about 5,000 in this battleground state, Mr. Obama defined the coming contest as a clash of philosophies: His argument that tax fairness and the common good demand the richest Americans pay at least as much as middle-income taxpayers do, contrasted with Republicans’ opposition to any tax increases as job killers and class warfare, even at the cost of deep cuts in domestic programs.

---

Mr. Obama and the ‘Buffett Rule’
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/11/opinion/mr-obama-and-the-buffett-rule.html
Editorial
April 10, 2012
President Obama accomplished two things when he made the case on Tuesday for the so-called Buffett Rule, which would require millionaires to pay at least 30 percent of their income in taxes. He persuasively argued that it would be a step toward fairness in a tax code tilted in favor of the wealthiest Americans. Not incidentally, it allowed him to take an implicit shot at his virtually certain opponent, Mitt Romney, both personally and politically.
(...)
The Buffett Rule, which would raise an estimated $50 billion over 10 years, would not make an appreciable dent in the deficit or provide a lot more for essential programs. By comparison, letting the Bush-era tax cuts expire for taxpayers making more than $250,000 a year, as the president has also called for, would raise $800 billion over 10 years. Mr. Obama must ensure that the Buffett Rule does not become a substitute for ending those tax cuts

Source:
New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/

---

America Celebrates Tax Freedom Day 2011
Tax Freedom Day will arrive on April 12 this year, the 102nd day of 2011. That means Americans will work well over three months of the year, from January 1 to April 12, before they have earned enough money to pay this year's tax obligations at the federal, state and local levels. Tax Freedom Day arrives three day later in 2011 than it did in 2010, but nearly two weeks earlier than in 2007. This shift toward a lower tax burden since 2007 has been driven by three factors:
• The Great Recession has reduced tax collec­tions even faster than it has reduced income.
• President Obama and the Congress, after a long debate, extended the Bush-era tax cuts for two additional years.
• As part of the extension agreement, the Making Work Pay tax credit was replaced with the 2 percent reduction in the payroll tax.
Despite these tax reductions, Americans will pay more in taxes in 2011 than they will spend on groceries, clothing and shelter combined.

Source:
The Tax Foundation
The mission of the Tax Foundation is to educate taxpayers about sound tax policy and the size of the tax burden borne by Americans at all levels of government.

Reality check:

Tax Foundation Figures Do Not Represent Typical Households’ Tax Burdens
Figures May Mislead Policymakers, Journalists, and the Public

April 12, 2011
By Chuck Marr and Brian Highsmith
[ PDF version - 5 pages ]
"Each year, the Tax Foundation releases a report projecting 'Tax Freedom Day,' which it describes as the day when Americans will have 'earned enough money to pay this year's tax obligations at the federal, state, and local levels.'

"The Tax Foundation's 'Tax Freedom Day' report is plagued by two major problems. First, its estimates of state and local tax burdens suffer from a number of serious methodological flaws. Second, over the years, many journalists and policymakers have misinterpreted the Tax Foundation's report as reflecting the tax burdens faced by typical middle-income workers.

"In fact, the Tax Foundation's calculation of the 'average' tax burden merely measures tax revenues as a share of the economy; it is similar to estimates of total revenues as a share of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In a progressive tax system like that of the United States, only upper-income households pay tax at rates equal to or exceeding the overall level of revenues as a share of the economy. Authoritative figures from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office show that middle- and even upper-middle-income Americans pay a considerably smaller share of their income in taxes than the Tax Foundation report implies. The CBO data suggest that 80 percent of U.S. households pay federal tax at a lower rate than the Tax Foundation's estimated 'average' federal tax burden."

Source:
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP)

---

Earlier related CBPP report:

TAX FOUNDATION FIGURES DO NOT REPRESENT TYPICAL HOUSEHOLDS’ TAX BURDENS:
Figures May Mislead Policymakers, Journalists, and the Public
April 23, 2008
By Robert Greenstein and Aviva Aron-Dine
Each year, the Tax Foundation releases a report projecting “Tax Freedom Day,” which it describes as the day when “Americans will finally have earned enough money to pay off their total tax bill for the year.” Over the years, many pundits and policymakers have misinterpreted the Tax Foundation’s report as reflecting the tax burdens that the broad swath of middle-income families must shoulder.

In fact, however, according to data from authoritative sources such as the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, middle-income Americans pay significantly less in taxes as a share of their income than the Tax Foundation’s report implies.

This analysis explores significant flaws in the Tax Foundation’s report.

This piece is posted to:
http://www.cbpp.org/4-23-08tax.htm
http://www.cbpp.org/4-23-08tax.pdf
(7pp.)

Source:
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities


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