24 September 2014

Instruct your MP to support Bill C-621

When it comes to taxes, corporations can be shifty. For example, some shift profits by setting up a storefront office in an offshore tax haven and then sending large invoices back to the Canadian head office charging “management” or “licensing fees.” Another gimmick is for a company to sell a patent to an offshore subsidiary and then charge itself licensing fees for use of the patent. Profit shifting has been made famous by corporations such as Apple, Google and Starbucks, but Canadian companies such as Cameco and Gildan are also playing the game.

This week, NDP National Revenue Critic Murray Rankin proposed legislation (Bill C-621) that would make it easier for government and the courts to bring such tax avoiders to heel. His bill focuses on proving “economic substance,” i.e. corporations must be able to prove that a transaction has an economic purpose other than reduction of tax liability in order to be considered valid for tax purposes.

Taxes the corporations are unfairly avoiding have to made up by the rest of us. In order to help ensure they pay their fair share and lighten our load a little, send a message to your MP here. And you can read the bill here (it's very short).

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