Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Independent economists expose Harper's FRAUD

Independent economists discredit govt tax leakage claims

OTTAWA, Feb. 1 /CNW Telbec/ - In remarks delivered to the House of Commons Finance Committee Thursday, Dennis Bruce, Vice President of HLB Decision Economics Inc., provided data and supporting documentation to discredit the Department of Finance's tax leakage claims.

"The department is sharply overstating tax leakage," said Mr. Bruce.

HLB Decision Economics, an Ottawa-based independent consulting firm that provides analytical consulting services to industry and governments worldwide, has been working on behalf of the income trust sector to develop a comparative analysis of taxes generated under the income trust structure versus the corporate structure.

Mr. Bruce told committee members that his firm worked with the Department of Finance as it prepared the federal government's 2005 consultation paper on the tax effects of income trusts. Specifically, HLB was asked by the department to develop a common methodology and assumptions for deriving tax leakage estimates.

Mr. Bruce said that HLB and the Finance Department achieved consensus on the methodology with one exception - they disagreed on whether to include deferred taxes. Deferred taxes are derived from distributions, capital gains, and dividends received in tax exempt accounts. While they are not immediately taxable, they are taxable upon withdrawal from such accounts.

"The discussions that you are hearing about deferred taxes reflect confusion about budgeting convention versus policy analysis," said Mr. Bruce. "While federal budgeting is done on a current basis, federal policy analysis is done on a life-cycle basis. Accounting for the life-cycle effects of tax changes, namely deferred taxes, is appropriate in the consideration of tax policy."

Mr. Bruce went on to outline the factors that resulted in the differences
between HLB's tax leakage estimates and the tax leakage figures put forward by
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. These factors include:

1) The Department's assumed effective corporate tax rate for energy trusts fails to reflect the reductions in the tax rates for resource corporations from 2004 through 2006, from 27.12% to 24.12%. This results in an overstatement of tax leakage of $84 million;

2) The Department's figure for income trust units held in tax exempt accounts is overstated. Derived from data from surveys, Statistics Canada, interviews and Scotia Capital Markets data, the percentage of units held in tax exempt accounts is 31 percent, less than the Department's 38 percent estimate. This results in an overstatement of tax leakage of $125 million;

3) The value of deferred taxes is excluded from the Department of Finance analysis. This results in an overstatement of tax leakage of $80 million; and,

4) The Finance Department's atypical inclusion of the impact of limited
partnerships, which reduces the tax leakage to $45 million.

5) The impact of future legislated tax changes post 2010 has not been accounted for. Doing so reduces the ongoing federal tax leakage after 2010 by $232 million.

Mr. Bruce stressed that the discrepancies between HLB and the Finance Department led his firm to conclude that the Finance Department is "sharply overstating tax leakage."

Specifically, HLB concluded that:

- Federal tax leakage for 2006 was $164 million, not the half billion dollars stated by the Department; and,
- Ongoing tax leakage, post 2010, after taking into account legislated tax changes, is $32 million per year, about five percent of the Department's figures.

For further information: Dennis Bruce, Vice President, HDR - HLB Decision Economics Inc. (613) 234-0080; Cell: (709) 632-1708

1 comment:

Dr Mike said...

What if there was no such thing as Flaherty or his Tax fairness Plan & we became an income trust economy with massive conversions , with it`s high yields & happy faced investors??

What if every investor in the world flocked to Canada to invest , dropping the cost of capital to historic lows??

Would the US & Australia re-adopt the income trust model out of the need for self-preservation??

Would Mark Carney be fired from his job for failing in his attempt at a North American Union with eventual world domination by GS??

Just asking.

Dr Mike