Prof. Jack Mintz Releases Annual Tax Competitiveness Survey - Delivers Strong Message to U.S. While in Washington D.C. - But Warns that Canada is Slipping Too

Note to media that Prof. Mintz is available at various times on February 4th and 5th for either on site or telephone interviews, or in studio while in Washington, D.C..  Please use the contacts below to coordinate.

CALGARY, Feb 4, 2015 /CNW/ - Canada is losing its edge in the competition for global capital. After a decade of remarkable progress in reducing the tax burden on business investment — moving from one of the least tax-competitive jurisdictions among its industrialized peers in 2000, to ranking in the middle of the pack by 2011 — Canada has slipped by largely standing still. This according to the Annual Global Tax Competitiveness Survey authored by Prof. Jack Mintz and Dr. Duanjie Chen and released today in Washington, D.C.. 

According to Mintz, "While other countries in our peer group have continued to reform their business-tax regimes, they have surpassed Canada, which has slid from having the 19th-highest tax burden on investments by medium-sized and large corporations in 2012, to the 14th-highest among 34 OECD countries in 2014. Even more worrying is that Canada's political currents are running the wrong way, with a few provinces having increased taxes on capital in recent years and a number of politicians today floating the possibility of even higher business taxes to help address budgetary strains."

According to Mintz and Chen the right approach to raising tax revenue and improving the economy is quite the opposite: lowering rates and broadening the tax base by making Canadian jurisdictions even more attractive to corporate investment.

An important step towards that would be for federal and provincial governments to reduce targeted tax assistance and to level the tax field for all industries and sizes of businesses, ending the preferential treatment of favoured industries and small enterprises. In addition, those provinces that have yet to harmonize their sales tax with the federal GST should do so, or at least consider adopting a quasi-refund system that would relieve the provincial sales tax on capital inputs.

Mintz argues, "Canadian politicians are becoming complement. Instead of hiking corporate tax rates, Canada needs to take on new reforms, like cutting rates and broaden tax bases, and have a single corporate tax rate no matter the sector or size of business."

Still, Canada remains much more competitive than its neighbor to the south.  The U.S. was beaten to the bottom of the list only by France as having the highest marginal effective tax rate on business. "My message to our most important trading partner is tax reform is urgent.  The U.S. is no longer globally competitive.  Further, proposals being floated by President Obama to further tax US offshore income would worsen the situation," concluded Mintz today. 

The paper can be downloaded at http://www.policyschool.ucalgary.ca/?q=content/2014-global-tax-competitiveness-report-proposed-business-tax-reform-agenda after 11 am eastern on February 4.

SOURCE The School of Public Policy - University of Calgary

For further information: Media contact: Morten Paulsen, morten.paulsen2@ucalgary.ca, 403.399.3377

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