Executive Director, Canadians for Tax Fairness
Dennis Howlett is the Executive Director of Canadians for Tax Fairness which is campaigning for fairer taxes to fund the comprehensive, high-quality public services and programs required to meet our social, economic and environmental needs in the 21st century. He lives in Ottawa.
Despite commendable steps to boost gender equality, the budget fails to address how Canada's tax system is stacked against women.
The CRA's new initiative removes at least one barrier for low-income Canadians, making it easier to access the benefits they are entitled to.
01/22/2018 10:50 EST
Outdated policies give foreign-based e-commerce companies a "pay no taxes" deal that puts Canadians at a huge disadvantage.
11/29/2017 12:42 EST
The massive giveaway to the top 10 per cent is costing our society and even dragging down our economy with inequality and lost services.
06/21/2017 15:57 EDT
The Liberals failed to take any meaningful action on closing tax loopholes or leveling the digital playing field. They failed to deliver, again, on their election promise to end the stock options deduction that gives almost a billion dollars to some of the richest people in Canada. They failed to make the tax system simpler or fairer.
03/23/2017 09:24 EDT
It is outrageous enough that wealthy clients got off with a slight reprimand. KPMG has, so far, paid no price for their role. The committee let Canadians down by not recommending a full investigation into this case and laying charges against KPMG if the evidence warrants it. And Canadians are right to keep demanding one.
03/10/2017 11:15 EST
There's been a lot of outrage over a new report that shows that Canada's wealthiest CEOs are paid 193 times more than the average Canadian. But there's an even darker side to the story. Ordinary taxpayers are subsidizing those multimillion-dollar salaries, courtesy of loopholes in our tax system.
01/05/2017 11:47 EST
In the past, Google's actual overseas tax rate has been as low as 2.4% -- across many countries where normal tax rates would be over 20%. Even Ireland charges a measly 12.5%. Google has maintained that these arrangements are entirely legal. Many countries have disagreed.
09/14/2016 11:04 EDT
Is it collusion, corruption or just plain incompetence? That answer will likely play out over time if there is a public demand for accountability. In the meantime, Canadians need a plan to make sure that our leaders understand what we have known for a while -- the tax system is neither fair nor doing an adequate job.
04/10/2016 07:04 EDT
There is little argument that Canadians deserve a fair tax system. It is unacceptable that there be even the slightest perception that corporations and wealthy individuals can avoid tax investigations by hiring a lobbyist or high-priced tax lawyer. The minister should be demanding answers -- on behalf of all Canadians -- from her senior managers.
12/18/2015 04:32 EST
Taxes have been a key issue in this federal election. Canadians for Tax Fairness has reviewed all of them and offers this analysis: Conservatives tax cuts make taxes even more unfair. Liberals would raise taxes of the top 5% but cut them for the next richest 15 per cent. NDP would raise revenue by hiking corporate taxes.
10/16/2015 08:01 EDT
Canada and its global partners can't keep relying on whistleblowers, snitch lines and investigative journalists to assure the integrity of our tax system. So far, there is little evidence to show that the government has the political will to end this. It is estimated that Canada loses at least $7.8 billion each year from tax haven schemes. The practice hurts both federal and provincial economies. It also undermines public confidence in our tax system. The world of tax havens is a murky one inhabited by the very wily and the cynical.
05/15/2015 05:39 EDT
The Harper Conservatives have done a lot of damage to Canada. It has been the proverbial death by a thousand cuts: health transfers, aboriginal education and health, child care, social and co-op housing. The list goes on. It has increased stress on ordinary Canadians and created a huge social, economic and environmental deficit. And it has increased unemployment and harmed economic growth. The big question will be: Can damage be undone without raising taxes on 90 per cent of middle and lower income Canadians? The answer is yes.
03/19/2015 05:18 EDT
Tax compliance is a two way street. We trust that our friends, neighbours and business partners are honest and committed to paying their fair share. Instead, in the spirit of "penny-wise, pound-foolish," the government has cut the CRA more than any other department. The result is that the CRA now lacks the highly trained staff to handle complex cases. Wealthy Canadians know their chances of getting caught are small.
03/13/2015 05:45 EDT
The case for change has never been stronger. If they want to do more than duct tape a broken system, Justin Trudeau, Thomas Mulcair and Elizabeth May need to adopt tax reform as a major thrust in their campaigns. So far, all we hear are general platitudes that avoid the real business of change. They underestimate voters' growing distrust of the current system.
02/06/2015 12:39 EST
Tax policy may not be sexy. But it can change things for the better. Or make them worse. The current system exacerbates the problem of growing income inequality, which is now recognized by a growing number of economists as one of the main causes of our stagnant global economy. Once again this looks like a case of politics trumping the facts. The Harper government is proceeding with this give away to the rich even before the budget is balanced and despite warnings that the fall in the value of oil could mean revenue shortfalls.
11/04/2014 05:37 EST
Restoring the corporate tax rate would be a good start. When Ontario began cutting that rate in 2010 it was based on an idea that companies would use the savings for job creation and to develop new markets and products. That has not panned out. Instead Canadian corporations are sitting on $600 billion of hoarded cash that benefits very few.
07/17/2014 12:37 EDT
As the old saying goes: "A buck is a buck." But at tax time, there is a different set of rules for corporate insiders using a loophole for stock option deductions. This loophole has a $1 billion annual price tag for the rest of us.
04/16/2014 12:37 EDT
A few small tax perks were closed this budget time around. But the revenue resulting from tweaking non-resident trusts and a handful of other insider loopholes are estimated at only $50 to $80 million in 2015-16. It makes one wonder if Jim Flaherty is committed to the business of fair taxation.
02/12/2014 05:24 EST
Last year's budget included several measures to combat tax haven abuses, including setting up a snitch line and rewards for information on those using tax havens to avoid paying their taxes. Good first steps, but far behind what other countries are doing. Canada has to step up its game.
02/09/2014 11:23 EST
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