Single tax return would save $ 425 million, says IRAI

MONTREAL – The Research Institute for the Self-Determination of Peoples and National Independence (ARIA) says in a research note released Wednesday that a tax return unique to Quebec would save $ 425 million.

This would be the first serious step in evaluating the economic impact of a single tax return, according to the authors of the research who hope that this new argument will help fuel the debate and undermine the intransigence of Justin Trudeau.

According to the study signed by IRAI’s Director of Research, Alain Therrien, to which the former Finance Minister of the Parti Québécois Government Nicolas Marceau, as well as the President of the IRAI and ex -Phaitist Daniel Turp, the federal government would save $ 287 million in administrative expenses.

This amount represents the estimate of the overlap costs, while federal employees are expected to do much of the same work already done by provincial officials.

To this, the authors of the research add $ 39 million in savings that would be realized by individuals who entrust the mandate to write their tax return to professionals. Finally, they estimate that businesses would save $ 99 million on filing their tax returns.

In February of this year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau categorically refused to let Quebec take over the management of a single tax return. However, for the members of the IRAI, this responsibility should revert to the province because of the popular consensus and the distinct Quebec taxation.

“There are some extremely important debates going on right now, like the fight against climate change. I think the conclusion we should draw is that we should devote our financial resources to enriching the community rather than impoverishing it, “commented the founder of the IRAI, the businessman and ex Pierre Péladeau.

Popular consensus

To support the notion of consensus, Alain Therrien recalls that in 1952 the Quebec government refused to entrust the collection of the tax to the federal government in order to preserve its fiscal autonomy.

He also noted the adoption of a unanimous motion in the National Assembly in May 2018 to support the introduction of a single tax return. Finally, the IRAI commissioned a survey by the Léger firm according to which 65% of Quebecers would support this practice.

Separate taxation

As the distinct society principle extends its ramifications into the interpretation of taxation, Quebec would be the winner of a single tax administration, according to the IRAI.

“Quebec has more information that flow from its tax report than the federal one,” said Alain Therrien, adding that the automatic collection of support payments is also done through the technical expertise of the Ministry of Revenue .

Nicolas Marceau adds on this point by pointing out that Quebec collects a great deal of information crucial for the management of its social programs. Data that does not own the federal.

He also denounces the inflexibility of Canada. “What they want in Ottawa is that everyone taxes the same way. They do not recognize that Quebec, which makes distinct choices, which has particular characteristics, may want a tax system adapted to its situation. To the extent that Quebec is ready to do that, Quebec should do it, “he says.

In addition, Alain Therrien warns that there would be just no interest in entrusting the single tax return to the federal government precisely for this inflexibility.

“In 2015, when Ontario asked to increase pension contributions, Stephen Harper refused. We could not afford to have a tax collector who can refuse such a request, “he pleads.

With respect to Ottawa’s other objections, the IRAI argues that jobs lost through the elimination of duplication could be recovered within the federal or provincial public sector.

With respect to international agreements against tax evasion, Canada’s partner states would be well advised to work with Quebec, while no one wants the province to become a land of choice for such practices.

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