An overwhelming majority of federal government auditors believe Canada’s tax system unfairly favours the wealthy over average Canadians, according to a recent union-sponsored survey. Businessmen cast their shadows as they walk in Toronto’s financial district on Monday, Feb. 27, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Canada’s tax system unfairly favours wealthy, poll of CRA auditors suggests

Four of every five respondents think loopholes and tax credits built into the system benefit the rich

A recent union-sponsored survey suggests an overwhelming majority of federal government auditors believe Canada’s tax system unfairly favours the wealthy over average Canadians.

The poll, conducted by the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, found nine out of 10 auditors and other tax professionals surveyed agreed that corporations and wealthy Canadians can more easily avoid paying taxes than less well-off individuals.

The survey of more than 1,700 members of the union, which represents tax professionals at the Canada Revenue Agency, also found four of every five respondents think loopholes and tax credits built into the system benefit corporations and the rich.

RELATED: Nanaimo restaurant owners awarded $1.7M in lawsuit

Some 84 per cent of respondents to the internal online survey said they believe that by better enforcing existing tax laws, the government could capture more tax revenues without raising taxes.

The anonymous survey was sent electronically to nearly 11,600 PIPSC members working for the tax agency between Feb. 20 and March 6.

Of the 2,170 respondents, 1,741 were tax professionals, including 1,384 auditors. The analysis excluded responses from 429 computer-systems employees.

The findings show the difficulties tax auditors face in ensuring Canada’s tax system “remains fair in the face of off-shore tax havens and other tax avoidance schemes,” said PIPSC president Debi Daviau, who used the findings to further push the Trudeau government to increase CRA funding.

The union said the agency continues to struggle with a $500 million shortfall compared with the budget it had in 2012 before the former Harper government slashed spending.

A spokesperson for the CRA said the Liberal government has tried to rebuild the agency over the last three budgets, and is focusing resources “to target high areas of risk.”

“Those investments are allowing the CRA to deliver better data, approaches and results for Canadians,” Etienne Biram said in an emailed statement.

RELATED: Canadians dodged paying feds up to $3B in taxes on foreign income: CRA

“Our 6,300 auditors have an array of tools at their disposal and we will continue to explore ways to provide them with additional tools and resources to assist them in their challenging and important work.”

Another Environics Research poll commissioned by the union found 79 per cent of respondents agreed with the statement, “It is easier for corporations and wealthy individuals to evade and/or avoid tax responsibilities than it is for average Canadians.”

That public opinion survey, which is based on some 1,000 respondents, was conducted by telephone between July 3 and 8. The results are considered accurate within plus or minus 3.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Young Hearts Triathlon

Annual event saw racers of all ages swim, bike, and run their way to a cheering finish line on Saturday, July 13th

Museum presents old time film festival

Series of six films Saturday, July 20th through Sunday, July 21st at museum

Peddling the practice of bikepacking

Growing sport of backcountry biking in the Valley

Balancing aesthetics and affordability in Canal Flats

Canal Flats Council briefs of July 8th

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read