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July 31, 2017 | Sex Tax?

A best-selling Canadian author of 14 books on economic trends, real estate, the financial crisis, personal finance strategies, taxation and politics. Nationally-known speaker and lecturer on macroeconomics, the housing market and investment techniques. He is a licensed Investment Advisor with a fee-based, no-commission Toronto-based practice serving clients across Canada.

Our prime minister is a feminist. That’s cool. Sometimes society needs a kick in the ass to correct. The comment section of this blog should be so lucky.

Insisting on gender parity in the makeup of your cabinet is one thing. (There may be a case for sex-based leadership as opposed to merit-based choices. Let’s leave history to decide that.) But having sex-based taxes may be going too far. In fact, there’s no doubt. That would mock equality.

Yesterday this pathetic, carbon-based, apologetically manly blog discussed the looming tax crush on small business owners and incorporated professionals. The feds plan to wipe away the ability of entrepreneurs to income-split with spouses or to build their own sheltered retirement fund inside their business. You got some attitude on that.

But the 63-page treatise that FM Bill Morneau unleashed is memorable for other things that it says – namely, that this overhaul of the tax code will subject to “gender-based analysis.” In other words, the feds are asking: should men and women be taxed differently? Seems we may be headed in that direction. In the name of fairness, of course. And a vibrant middle class. (With guys paying more.)

Anyway, here’s exactly what Ottawa has just stated:

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What shall we read into this?

Hard to say. There’s the not-so-subtle data dump showing men are disproportionately targeted for higher taxes because most entrepreneurs and business owners (70% or so) are dudes. Therefore dropping the hammer on income-sprinkling or retained earnings will impact them far more than women. No big surprise there. Mars and Venus. When human nature changes we can rewrite lots of laws.

But what’s new here is gender-based analysis of stuff that may bear no relation to sex. Should male and female doctors with professional corporations have differing tax treatments afforded them? Will a hundred grand saved inside a female entrepreneur’s corporation be taxed at a different level because her gender means a longer life expectancy and as compensation for the income gap T2 speaks of routinely?

When Bill Morneau says, “A detailed analysis of the gender impacts of the proposal that relates to passive income will be conducted before the Government decides on the final design of the new tax rules,” what does that mean? If most businesses are owned by men, won’t they be the most impacted?

This page in Ottawa’s landmark tax document may mean nothing. It might mean everything. Using the tax code to encourage behaviours like saving, investing or starting a business is well-established and understandable. Using it for social engineering and to further the cause of feminism – as noble and media-worthy as that may be – is radical.

And I thought man buns were scary.

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July 31st, 2017

Posted In: The Greater Fool

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