The royal commission on taxation you’ve been waiting for

by Aaron Wherry

The finance committee has released its report on its pre-budget consultations. Among the recommendations is a review of the tax system, including perhaps a royal commission.

That the federal government explore ways to simplify the Income Tax Act to reduce the complexity and inefficiency of its administration, including through the establishment of a royal commission to undertake a comprehensive review. Additionally, the government should ensure the timely assessment of income tax returns and explore the possibility of permitting consolidated reporting.

That the federal government undertake a comprehensive review of the tax system and ensure its fairness as well as neutrality by continuing to close tax loopholes that allow select taxpayers to avoid paying their fair share of tax.

Scott Clark and Peter DeVries have proposed tax reform in the past. Given the recent use of tax credits and the politics around the GST, a debate about the tax system could get interesting.




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The royal commission on taxation you’ve been waiting for

  1. I agree. We’re way overdue in fact. Patchwork, hodge-podge mess that we have now.

    Streamline, simplify, efficiency….

  2. Will be interesting to see what they mean by “tax loopholes”. One man’s “legitimate tax deduction” is another man’s “tax loophole”.

    • Indeed, saying you want to look at taxation policy without specifying details is as useful as saying “you know, it’s time we take a good hard look at the colour yellow.”

  3. Paul Krugman talking about “starve the beast” in his column today (Dec 14), explaining it is the core strategy of the Republican right to dismantle the welfare state.
    Pundits and other deep thinkers in Ottawa don’t seem to understand that Harper/Flaherty have the same program and this study is part of it, with the “close loopholes” smoke screen for the easily duped. Of course GST cut was the centrepiece, along with lots of expenditure to drive up debt and create spending panic etc.

    • Closing loopholes should increase revenue, not decrease it like the GST cut did.

  4. They are amazingly fast with assessments these days, in most cases. They, oddly, date them three or four days after we can see them, but that just means there’s a good chance you get the assessment in the mail on the day it was assessed.

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