Out of the Shadows: Shining a light on Canada's unequal distribution of federal tax expenditures
The federal government’s decision this year to cancel family income splitting and lower the annual contribution limit for tax-free savings accounts was driven largely by concerns about income inequality. Research by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Parliamentary Budget Officer and others raised the possibility that other tax expenditures might be similarly skewed toward higher-income earners and therefore prime candidates for closure. Unfortunately, while the federal government has a fairly complete costing of its various personal tax expenditures (loopholes) there is woefully little comprehensive data on the distributional impact of the benefits they offer. This report endeavours to fill this data gap to inform the federal government’s current review of tax expenditures.