62 per cent of Canadians feel simple tax system important

Two-thirds favour eliminating some tailored tax credits: Survey

One-half (49.8 per cent) of Canadians believe the tax system is more complex than it was 10 years ago and more than 62 per cent said having a simple tax system is important, according to a survey released by the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada (CGA-Canada).

"It is clear from our survey that Canadians support simplifying our country's tax system," said Anthony Ariganello, president and CEO of CGA-Canada, "Done properly, tax simplification could yield substantial benefits for the public and private sectors as well as individual taxpayers."

One-half (49.4 per cent) of the 1,201 Canadians also feel the tax system is moving in the wrong direction. There is a growing call for tax reform in Canada, according to CGA-Canada, citing a recent report from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce that identified Canada's complex tax system as one of the top 10 barriers to competiveness and a 2011 report from the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance calling for the establishment of an expert panel to review, modernize and simplify the tax system.

More than one-half (54.8 per cent) of Canadians feel tailored tax credits have no effect on people's behaviour and essentially reward them for things they would do regardless, found the survey. Instead, 68 per cent of Canadians favour eliminating some tailored tax credits in order to have their overall personal income tax lowered.

The survey findings support the association’s agenda to modernize Canada's tax system by making it simpler, more transparent and more efficient. CGA-Canada will be holding a summit on tax simplification in Ottawa in December, bringing together about 60 stakeholders, public officials and thought leaders on tax policy to strategize on the issue of tax simplification, inform the debate, establish priorities and identify next steps.

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