Tag Archives: Income Tax

The Use and Abuse of Boredom

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By David Tough This is the final essay in a five part theme week marking the centenary of income tax in Canada. It’s like clockwork. Every time I tell someone I’m writing a book on the history of income taxation, the conversation plays out with eerie consistency. First, they say that the topic sounds painfully dull, and chuckle. Then they say that… Read more »

The Family as Tax Dodge, Again

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By Shirley Tillotson This is the fourth in a five part theme week marking the centenary of income tax in Canada. Here we are again. If you’ve studied history or lived a decade or two after forty, you’ve noticed that some battles are fought over and over and over again. Those repetitive, “I can’t believe we’re still debating this!” struggles mark itchy,… Read more »

Canada’s Controversial Income Tax

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By Shirley Tillotson This is the third in a five part theme week marking the centenary of income tax in Canada. Calm fiscal reasoning was hard to summon up amidst the intense emotions of 1917. Demands for taxes on profits, high incomes, and wealth were fuelled by anger that was about not only fair public finance,  but also broader patterns in the… Read more »

What does the coming of income tax tell us about “fairness” in 1917?

By E.A. Heaman This is the second in a five part theme week marking the centenary of income tax in Canada. Robert Borden’s government introduced income tax in 1917 because Canadians wanted a fairer system of taxation than they had. How unCanadian of them! According to Margaret Wente (writing about Thomas Piketty’s egalitarian economics), Canadians have never been interested in inequality. “They… Read more »

When Income Tax Was Like a Fire

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By David Tough This is the first in a five part theme week marking the centenary of income tax in Canada. This summer, on the 100th anniversary of the passing of Income War Tax, I’ve seen the same fable repeated half a dozen times. No, it wasn’t a temporary tax, and no, it wasn’t introduced to pay for the First World War…. Read more »