Canadian Taxpayers Federation busts myths at tax-time

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The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is hoping Canadians pick up a copy of a newly released book along with their tax forms this tax season.

The top one per cent of taxpayers pay 20 per cent of all income taxes in Canada; the top six per cent pay 46 per cent of all income taxes. These are just a few of the facts from the newly released book, Tax Me I’m Canadian! A Taxpayer’s Guide to Your Money and How Politicians Spend It, authored by Mark Milke and published by Thomas & Black.

“Despite what some tax-and-spend advocates claim, Canadians are not ‘undertaxed,’” notes Mark Milke in the new and revised edition of Tax Me I’m Canadian! “Despite some reductions in taxes in the late 1990s and early 2000s – though with reversals in many Canadian provinces ever since, Canadians are still taxed highly relative to the OECD average and compared with Canada’s own history.”

Milke notes that as a percentage of the economy, tax receipts to governments across Canada were lower in many of the Pierre Trudeau years when compared with today.

In Tax Me I’m Canadian! A Taxpayer’s Guide to Your Money and How Politicians Spend It, Mark Milke covers everything from Canada’s first taxes to the “Freemen” myth that income taxes are unconstitutional to the debate over taxes and civilization.

The book also shows how citizens in Switzerland have achieved a useful balance on questions of taxes, public spending and debt – in part because the Swiss are involved in voting on government policy in regular referendums – something Milke writes would be useful in Canadian debates over the “proper” tax burden.

Some tax-time highlights from Tax Me I’m Canadian!

In the most recent tax year chronicled in the book, 24.8 million Canadians filed a tax return and about one-third, over 8.4 million, paid no tax at all.

The top one per cent of taxpayers paid 20 per cent of all income taxes.

Those who earn under $50,000 constitute 73 per cent of all taxpayers and pay 17 per cent of the income tax burden.

The first known tax in Canada? On beaver and moose pelts, in 1650, in then New France, now Quebec

The first provincial sales tax in Canada? In Alberta, in 193The first income tax in Canada? In British Columbia in 1876

In Switzerland, taxes were 34.7 per cent of GDP in 2013; in Canada, the equivalent figure was 37.9 per cent - yet no one thinks the Swiss are less civilized because of a lower tax burden.

The Swiss also possess a “debt brake” that forces politicians to not endanger future generations with excessive government debt.   

Copies of Tax Me I’m Canadian can be purchased for $20 through www.taxmeimcanadian.ca

Organizations: Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Geographic location: Canada, Switzerland, Alberta British Columbia

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