A progressive look at Canadian Taxes – Part 1

100 years of Canadian income taxes

You have to go back 65 years to 1952 to find the last year that people and corporations paid the same amount in income tax. Since then, the gap has steadily grown. Here’s how we got here

Canada’s top corporations often pay far less than the official average corporate tax rate. As revealed by a Toronto Star/Corporate Knights investigation, Canadian companies have used complex techniques and loopholes to reduce their tax bills by $62.9 billion over the past six years.

As corporate tax rates have dropped, people have had to make up the difference. In 2015-2016, for every dollar that corporations paid in tax, the Canadian public paid $3.50.

You have to go back 65 years to 1952 to find the last year that people and corporations paid the same amount in income tax. Since then, the gap has steadily grown. Here’s how we got here:

1917: Finance minister Sir Thomas White introduced “temporary” corporate and personal income taxes to finance the war effort.

1926: Over a series of four budgets, finance minister James A. Robb cut taxes on lower and middle income brackets in half and for the top bracket by a third. His reforms went through shortly before he died days following the October 1929 stock market crash.

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