Photo: Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, Twitter
MEDIA RELEASE: Fair tax reforms in economic statement a step forward, but more action needed to raise revenues and reduce inequality
For immediate release: November 30, 2020
OTTAWA – Canadians for Tax Fairness welcomes the federal Liberals’ commitments in the fall economic statement to introduce fair tax measures, including taxation of e-commerce giants and applying the GST to digital imports and goods from foreign vendors through fulfillment warehouses, but more progressive tax reforms will be needed to pay for the increased costs of the crisis and rebuild the economy.
“We’re encouraged by the government’s commitment to continue to support individuals and businesses through the crisis and to ensure e-commerce giants pay their fair share of tax, but additional measures are needed to reduce inequalities and to pay for the costs of the crisis,” said Toby Sanger, an economist and director of Canadians for Tax Fairness.
A recent report by Canadians for Tax Fairness found the country’s top billionaires grew $53 billion richer during the pandemic, reflecting a disturbing trend of rising wealth inequality over the past decade. It also demonstrated that a modestly progressive wealth tax could generate close to $20 billion in revenues annually. Canadians for Tax Fairness has recommended numerous progressive tax reforms that would reduce inequalities and raise tens of billions more annually, including closing tax loopholes, tackling tax havens, and taxation of the multinational corporations that have profited during the pandemic.
The fall economic statement includes commitments to a number of measures Canadians for Tax Fairness has advocated for, including applying the GST to digital imports, goods from foreign-based vendors, and short-term rentals through digital platforms, as well as taxing foreign e-commerce giants, closing the stock option deduction, strengthening anti-avoidance measures and increasing compliance efforts.
“We’re glad to see the fall economic statement include these fair tax commitments but Canadians really need to see these promises materialize into action and reality. The Trudeau government’s response to the crisis has shown that it can act very rapidly and effectively when it wants to. It now has a golden opportunity to reduce inequalities and raise more revenue with additional fair tax reforms in the upcoming budget—and no excuse not to act.”
Erika Beauchesne, Communications Coordinator, Canadians for Tax Fairness
Canadians for Tax Fairness is a non-profit organization that advocates for progressive taxes to fund important public services, reduce inequality and strengthen the economy.