Budget 2019 takes some steps towards tax fairness, but we need bolder action
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
OTTAWA – Canadians for Tax Fairness is encouraged the federal government is finally committing to limit the stock option deduction, one of Canada’s most regressive tax loopholes, but the budget misses out on other opportunities to tackle tax dodging.
“The Liberals promised to limit the stock option tax loophole in each of the last two elections, so we’re glad commitments have finally made it into a budget,” said Toby Sanger, executive director of Canadians for Tax Fairness. “But their plans will still allow many to pay lower taxes on their income from stock options than ordinary Canadians pay on their employment income.”
The 2019 budget also includes measures to crack down on tax evasion and money laundering, but these fail to address larger problems of tax dodging by corporations and wealthy individuals. The budget only identifies $700 million in savings from these initiatives over the next five years, while Canadians for Tax Fairness has identified over $20 billion in annual revenues foregone from a few tax loopholes.
“We’re also disappointed not to see any mention of a digital tax on foreign corporations, which would not only provide revenue for federal and provincial governments, but help Canadian media and creators compete on an even level with online giants such as Facebook and Netflix,” Sanger said.
Investments in areas such as additional resources for CRA to investigate tax evasion and money-laundering through real estate are positive steps, as Canada has notoriously weak corporate transparency rules, but we also need an open public registry of the beneficial owners of companies, trusts and real estate.
“While we welcome the commitments in this budget, we hope to see much bolder action in political platforms as we head into the election.”
Toby Sanger, Executive Director
Erika Beauchesne, Communications Coordinator