By The Canadian Press - Thursday, January 17, 2013 - 0 Comments
OTTAWA – The Canada Revenue Agency wants more people to file their personal income…
OTTAWA – The Canada Revenue Agency wants more people to file their personal income tax returns online.
The agency has discontinued its free Telefile service that allowed people with basic returns to file by entering their tax information using the telephone.
The change is expected to affect about 300,000 people across the country and require fewer tax information packages to be mailed out.
Canada Revenue has also stopped mailing people who use the online service Netfile an individual access code. It wants them to use their social insurance numbers and birth dates instead when filing their tax returns.
“We are modernizing our electronic processes to make them easier and more accessible for Canadians to use while maintaining the highest level of security,” reads the agency’s website.
“Our goal is to improve service, increase electronic filing and reduce compliance burden to Canadians.”
Agency officials declined an interview request Thursday on the policy changes.
Noel Carisse, an agency spokesman, wrote in an email that the push for more online filing would save the federal government money, but Carisse did not indicate how much.
“In 2011, printed packages for approximately 1.3 million individuals went unused,” Carisse wrote.
“Further, it costs about four times more to process a paper return than an electronic return.”
The email did not address whether cutting costs was a factor in eliminating the Telefile phone filing service.
NDP national revenue critic Murray Rankin said the decision to cut Telefile will take people who have used the program for years by surprise.
He said the move will leave people who are not familiar or comfortable with using the Internet little time to get ready to file their return online.
Rankin also said some people will feel uncomfortable about using their social insurance number to submit their tax return using Netfile.
“A lot of people, particularly elderly and people who aren’t as sophisticated on the Internet, simply don’t want to have their personal information on the computer,” he said.
“I think a transition needs to be much more thoughtful and gradual than what is being provided now.”
The Canada Revenue website says fewer people were using Telefile and almost two-thirds of Canadians now file their returns using services such as Netfile, either on their own or with the help of a tax preparer.
It says using Netfile allows the agency to process tax returns and send out refunds more quickly — in as little as eight business days.
Scrapping the Netfile access code will also speed up service without affecting security, the agency says.
“The Canadian Revenue Agency uses the most secure forms of encryption available today. These are the same levels that your financial institution uses to protect your banking information.”
To use Netfile, people must either buy certified commercial tax software or find a free program. These options are usually posted on the agency website.http://www.netfile.gc.ca/
Revenue Canada says certified products for use with 2012 tax returns are not yet available.
Taxpayers who prefer to process their T1 returns on paper can download the forms from the Canada Revenue website or pick up copies at Canada Post and Service Canada outlets.
Last year, the agency said it processed more than 25.4 million tax returns.
Carisse said the Canada Revenue Agency will monitor the changes to ensure that they deliver efficient and effective service to taxpayers.
By The Canadian Press - Friday, December 28, 2012 at 2:50 PM - 0 Comments
OTTAWA – Canadians will have a little more room to contribute to their Tax…
OTTAWA – Canadians will have a little more room to contribute to their Tax Free Savings Accounts as the calendar flips over, but they’ll have to wait until the federal budget to see if there will be any more new savings on their taxes.
“Typically when there are new deductions, they announce them in the budget and you get them in that year,” said Jason Safar, a tax partner at PwC.
“If it is good news they want to get it out and if it is bad news and you announce it, you might as well implement it because people are angry about it anyway.”
And with the federal and provincial governments in deficit slaying mode, Safar said don’t get your hopes up for big moves come budget day.
“I haven’t heard any rumblings of any significant changes,” he said.
By Stephen Gordon - Monday, November 19, 2012 at 9:34 AM - 0 Comments
Not enough, really.
The surge in the share of total income that goes to the very top earners has been widely documented and much discussed. But without a proper understanding of why it’s happening, there’s not much we can say about what policy measures would solve the problem—or even if there’s a problem to solve. Many of the proposals currently being floated about have a whiff of the Politician’s Syllogism: “We must do something. This is something. Therefore, we must do this.”
So when Mike Veall, an economics professor at McMaster University, took the podium at last June’s meetings of the Canadian Economics Association to give the Presidential Address—entitled “Top income shares in Canada: recent trends and policy implications”—there was a certain amount of anticipation in the auditorium. Mike has been working on this issue for a long time, and has written or co-written some of the most important studies on the topic. If anyone could come up with a convincing explanation for the surge in top-end income in Canada, it would be Mike Veall. His answer:
By Stephen Gordon - Monday, October 1, 2012 at 8:52 AM - 0 Comments
Imposing higher income tax rates on high earners is one thing; expecting the measure to produce large amounts of new revenue is something else entirely. There are two problems with the idea that increasing the tax rates for high earners is the same thing as generating significant new revenues:
- There aren’t many high earners.
- High earners have access to high-quality tax planning advice.
You can add the fact that high earners are mobile, but this is a longer-term, cumulative effect: the number of high earners who leave in a given year will increase slightly, and the number of high earners who arrive will decrease. But the point remains that when governments raise tax rates, high earners will react by finding ways to reduce their tax burden.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, February 7, 2012 at 9:30 AM - 0 Comments
Paul Dewar talks to the Toronto Star editorial board.
What I call tax justice in this country. The corporate tax level is down to 15 per cent; obviously I think that should be increased to 19.5 per cent. That keeps us competitive with our competitors. Tax havens, between 2000 and 2008, $17 billion left our country for foreign shores — and that was just from our banks. I’d like to see that dealt with. I’d like to see us look at a financial transactions tariff, which is being contemplated in Europe.
What about hiking personal income tax?
I’d like to fix the leaks in our system before I look at that. I have no problem in looking at an increase in personal income tax if I knew that it was going to stay in revenues and I say that because there are ways, which many people are probably aware of, to avoid taxes. So the first thing you need to look at is tax loopholes.
How much would all that raise?
I couldn’t tell you to a dime. But I can tell you in the case of tax havens we’re talking more than $20 billion, I can tell you in the case of the corporate tax level that we’re talking tens of billions of dollars and I can tell you in the case of the financial transactions tariff a very conservative estimate is about $4 billion dollars.
The NDP proposed a crackdown on tax havens in last year’s election. At the time, they booked $1 billion in new revenue for the current fiscal year, rising to $3.2 billion in 2014-2015. Ira Basen deemed that “wishful accounting.” The Liberals posed various questions.
The Harper government proposed in its 2007 budget to deal with tax havens and a few months later, the Finance Minister explained the “Anti-Tax-Haven Initiative.” Two years later, following the recommendations of the Advisory Panel on Canada’s System of International Taxation, the Harper government repealed the “double dip” restrictions.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 at 9:36 AM - 17 Comments
Within a longer treatise on taxation, Brian Topp has released his proposals for tax reform.
The first step in restoring fairness to Canada’s personal income tax system is to end the free ride for Canada’s highest-income 1% by introducing a higher marginal tax rate on income in excess of $250,000. I propose a new 35% rate on income in excess of $250,000.
With two important caveats, capital gains should be taxed as ordinary income – 100% of this form of income should be recognized – and not be discounted by 50%.
Income from cashing in stock options should be taxed at full rates, abolishing a tax benefit for the wealthiest that cost the federal treasury $750 million in 2008.
Under Harper’s plan, the corporate income tax rate will drop from 16.5% to 15% on January 1, 2012. That cut should be rescinded. Thereafter, corporate income tax rates should be increased by 1.5% each year until they reach the rate of 22.12% that applied before the Harper.
The two caveats on capital gains are that they should be protected from inflation and that the changes would not apply to sale of homes, small businesses and farms.
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, October 21, 2011 at 11:08 AM - 21 Comments
The NDP leadership candidate talks taxes.
“I will be talking about income taxes and I think it’s time for our party to step up to that plate and to be pretty clear about that because then we’ll have a mandate to act if we’re elected,” Topp said in a wide-ranging interview. He also called for a hike in corporate taxes and did not rule out a sales tax increase “at some point,” once the fragile economy is on surer footing.
By Andrew Potter - Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 1:00 PM - 23 Comments
Only the Fraser Institute could see it as a bad thing that we spend less of our income on basics like food and shelter than we used to
What is it about springtime that makes anti-government types go light-headed? As millions of Canadians from coast to coast were getting ready to celebrate the Victoria Day weekend by opening the cottage, firing up the barbecue, or—er—watching hockey, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation took the opportunity to declare May 14 “Gas Tax Honesty Day.”
Designed to “kick off the summer travel season for Canadian motorists” by reminding us of “the high tax component hidden in the price of gasoline,” this 11th annual holiday consisted—according to CTF propaganda—of “events” across the country. The highlight event was a jamboree down at the Ashbridges Bay Pumping Station in Toronto that featured CTF director Kevin Gaudet engaging in such summer-fun activities as . . . releasing a report on gas taxes . . . and . . . demanding that gas taxes be lowered.