Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Harper Government Refuses To Change Controversial Tax Policy

Edmonton, AB--Few areas in life cause as much stress as taxes. Everyone thinks they pay too much, and that everyone else isn’t paying enough. Governments are caught in the middle; we all want the best services, roads, hospitals, schools, and police, but no one wants to pay for it.

Graham Clews, a long-time chartered account based in Alberta, has an answer that would be a big help: make the corporate low-rate tax abusers pay their fair share.

"As things stand now," he said in a recent interview, "tax laws designed to assist small business are being exploited and abused by high income earners. Income taxed at 15% (an all-time low rate intended to help open and expand small businesses), is being used instead to fund huge private investments. Meanwhile, a single mother working to support her children is facing payroll deductions that are at least double the rate of tax paid by these often very wealthy corporations. 

To quote chapter and verse: self-employed businessmen and professionals, through the simple act of forming a corporation, are able to bank up to half a million dollars of annual income after paying  income tax at the low rate of fifteen percent, compared to the twenty-five percent starting tax rate paid by the poorest Canadian.”

What does this meant to Canadians who DON'T make these enormous incomes?  It means they must stand by as successful businessmen, including lawyers, doctors, dentists, accountants etc., who may be earning hundreds of thousands of dollars each and every year, enjoy a long-term interim tax rate on their top dollars that is less than half that of the basic wage deductions (tax/EI/CPP) of the poorest Canadian taxpayer. In permitting this, the Canadian government annually sacrifices billions of dollars in tax incentives that vanish through an administrative loophole.

With a possible recession on the horizon, this is a subject that needs serious attention – and it's not getting any.  Graham has written to the Prime Minister, the Finance Minister, all Conservative MPs, and opposition leaders. To date, other than a single ‘sluff-off’ letter from a PMO aide, not a single reply has been received.

In term of solutions about what the Finance Minister should do to halt the current exploitation, Clews had this to say:

"Tax policy is complicated, I know that, but this is a relatively easy fix. While that 15% rate is far too low to begin with, it was designed to help small businesses get going, expand, and provide jobs.  It was not designed to offer obscenely low rates of tax to high income earners simply because they happen to be businessmen or professionals.  Yet that is what is happening.  To correct this, all that need to be done is to eliminate the high/low tax difference on corporate small business incomes that are not being ploughed back into small business assets.  Ironically, a system is actually in place to do this but it’s not being used.  So, let’s stop the pork barrelling, even up the investment playing field, and get those dollars lost working for all Canadians.”

Graham Clews is a retired chartered accountant and the author of a series of historical books set in York, England. For more information about Graham vist:

To book an interview contact:
Rachel Sentes, Publicist

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