The CRA received a great deal of backlash earlier this week, after arguing that Canadians should be paying tax on employee discounts and perks. Realizing the political fallout this would have both for the bureaucrats at the CRA as well as for the Liberal Party, National Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier shot down the proposal and attempted to distance herself from the Agency’s conclusions, saying: “This does not reflect our government’s intentions…”
The prime minister later took to Twitter to assure Canadians that Jerry Butt’s government has no intention to “tax anyone’s employee discounts.”
After some soul-searching, Canadian Revenue Agency CEO Bob Hamilton considered advancing a less hypocritical proposal that might appeal to Lebouthillier and Trudeau’s sensibilities: all Canadians will pay tax on employee discounts INCLUDING employees of the CRA.
Most CRA employees currently do not have to pay for parking or for a host of other perks, let alone the tax on these discounts and freebies. According to this new proposal, they would have to at least front the tax, as would the rest of Canada’s well-paid bureaucrats. In the name of equality and equity, the CRA will stick a much-needed sieve into this tax loophole.
The new proposal is proving just as controversial, however, but this time its ruffling owl feathers. Public school teachers, too, will now have to start paying taxes on their free parking and for the other free services they feel entitled to, which workers in the private sector are bereft of. All in the name of equality and equity.
MetaCanada‘s source at the CRA crunched the numbers, and has suggested that if a government employee is making over $68,000 CDN, there is no reason why tax-payers should be subsidizing their parking or discounts. After all, a discount on one end means a fine on the other. In the name of equality and equity—the cornerstones of Justin Trudeau’s progressive approach—all should be fined or all permitted discounts; the government should not be encouraging two tiers of Canadians, unless the second tier is already granted special status by the constitution.
More on this as it becomes available.