Nearly a million businesses have not paid corporate income tax


Extrait de: Nearly a million businesses have not paid corporate income tax, The Gazette, By Linda Nguyen, September 27, 2011

New Democrats are calling for further investigation into why nearly a million businesses in Canada have not paid any corporate income tax for nearly a decade, according to recently released figures from the Canada Revenue Agency.

TORONTO — New Democrats are calling for further investigation into why nearly a million businesses in Canada have not paid any corporate income tax for nearly a decade, according to recently released figures from the Canada Revenue Agency.

"We have to investigate further and see if there are loopholes," said NDP finance critic Peggy Nash. "They need to be closed so companies who should be paying taxes are doing so."

The figures, tabled recently in Parliament, show from the tax years 2000 to 2009, anywhere from 853,830 to 1,065,810 corporate tax filers did not pay income tax to the federal government. That makes up almost half of Canada's 2.4 million businesses, according to the latest December 2009 statistics from Industry Canada.

Nash says there may be some "legitimate reasons" why some of Canada's corporations have been exempt from income taxes but for nearly a million businesses to fall into this category is troubling.

"We have to see if there are tax loopholes that are letting profitable companies get away without assuming their fair responsibility for taxes," she said. "I mean, a lot of Canadian families are stretched right now. Personal debt is at an all-time high . . . and why should corporations be getting off the hook when families are getting squeezed?"

For the year 2009, the CRA says 701,000 of the businesses did not pay income tax because they reported a net loss or no net income. Of these nearly one million corporations, 114,000 were inactive while 52,270 were exempt from taxes for an undisclosed reason. Nearly 65,000 in this group had credits, which exceeded owed taxes.

The agency also reported that 8,650 corporations in this year were foreign-owned - thus the reason for the exemption.

The CRA would not name the corporations on this list, citing privacy concerns.

A spokesman with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, an organization that represents more than 100,000 members across the country, says the figures are "not surprising."

"I've heard this before: 'Oh, look at the big companies. Corporate Canada is not paying its fair share of the tax load in this country.' But it's absolutely not true because there are many, many other types of taxes," said Doug Bruce, vice-president of research for the Toronto-based group.

The organization says one of the possible reasons why so many companies are exempt is that they are either start-ups or are not generating enough profit to have taxable income. According to Bruce, 75 per cent of corporations in Canada have revenues of under $500,000.

Faire 500,000$ de vente sans faire de profit,
 reste un phénomène étrange…

Some companies included in these figures may also be inactive, bankrupt or using tax credits to delay taxes for a particular year.

He argues that although these corporations may not be paying income tax, there are still many "profit insensitive" taxes they have to pay including property, payroll and sales taxes.

"Either way they're going to pay, there's no way around that," said Bruce.


Number of T2 Filers that paid no corporate income tax by tax year:

2000 - 853,830

2001 - 889,530

2002 - 931,120

2003 - 972,530

2004 - 1,007,190

2005 - 1,027,850

2006 - 1,047,08

2007 - 1,064,810

2008 - 1,061,520

2009 - 995,790

*Figure represents 90 per cent of returns processed

Source: Canada Revenue Agency