Contact:  Norm McKee, Better Outcomes for Citizens                                                                                                    
Phone:  613 435-0697                                                                                                      Email:  info@betteroutcomes.ca                                         Website:  www.betteroutcomes.ca

Grassroots Coalition for Tax Reform:  Addressing Tax Avoidance

“Tax shelters are to democracy what pollution is to the environment.”
David Cay Johnston, In Perfectly Legal:  The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System

Better Outcomes for Citizens designates 2019 as the Year of Tax Reform.  Our goals are:
    1. To make tax reform the dominant issue in the 2019 federal election and,
    2. To pressure political parties to commit to addressing corporate tax loopholes in their respective election platforms.  The 2019 federal election is the right, perhaps the only, time for Canadians to realize meaningful tax reform.

Corporate tax laws that permit tax avoidance practices are the single largest financial and political scandal in Canada's history.  These tax loopholes financially reward thousands of Canada's elite, and large businesses while ­­­­causing unnecessary hardships to the lifestyles and health of 'average' Canadians.  They are punitive and unfair, not in a minor way, but in a dramatic way.   It has been estimated that the cost to Canadians is fifteen billion dollars annually, or seventy-five billion dollars annually.

All Canadians and businesses have the right to legally minimize taxes they pay.  Many tax avoidance regulations have significant benefits for Canadians and our economy.  RRSP's and RESP's are examples.  The concern of the Grassroots Coalition for Tax Reform is corporate tax avoidance, where transactions serve the singular purpose of avoiding paying tax.

Our strategy is to organize, in 2018 and early 2019, a cross-country organization, The Grassroots Coalition for Tax Reform.  The Coalition will include ‘Community Chapters’ across Canada, made up of passionate individuals and groups.  In 2019, the Coalition will implement community initiatives to solicit broad public support for taxation reform, needed to pressure political parties to address corporate tax avoidance in their election platforms.  

According to a 2017 Environics poll, nine out of 10 Canadians say the use of tax havens is morally wrong, and 87% said they would like to see tax haven use criminalized.  Federal politicians are Canadians.  We might assume 87% of federal politicians would like to see tax haven use criminalized.  But it's not happening.  It's not even on their agenda.

It should be noted that tax havens are just one of a suite of corporate tax loopholes that do damage to Canada's economy, and to Canadians.  transfer pricing, intracorporate loans, interfirm royalty payments and parent overhead costs are examples of other legal tax loopholes.

Although most Canadians have some awareness of tax havens, few are aware of the  impact of corporate tax avoidance on their personal financial well-being, lifestyles, employment opportunities, taxes they pay and healthcare they receive.  The messaging of  The Grassroots Coalition for Tax Reform  is the high personal costs Canadians pay as a result of the corporate tax avoidance practices of businesses and affluent Canadians.

The 2019 federal election is the only opportunity Canadians will have to change our corporate tax regulations.  The Grassroots Coalition for Tax Reform is  being formed because:

    1. No other organization has come forward with action plans to make corporate tax reform a prime issue in the 2019 federal election.
    2. We have run out of time.  The federal election is less than one year away.  The planning process for tax reform must begin now, in 2018.  We can't wait until 2019.
    3. A grassroots (community) advocacy strategy is required to change the mindset of Canadians so that tax reform is a dominant issue in the 2019 election.  
    4. We want every Canadian who wishes to be engaged in this tax reform movement to have an opportunity to contribute and be engaged.

Individuals who wish to be part of the Grassroots Coalition for Tax Reform can register at www.betteroutcomes.ca/register.php, or email info@betteroutcomes.ca, or call 613 435-0697.