The Conservative government's decision to double contribution limits for Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSA) is both unnecessary and unfair. This report uses newly available data released by Canada Revenue Agency to show maximization rates even before the hike were "in free fall" and the new limit will disproportionately benefit those of higher income and wealth through asset shifting and income splitting.
Read our new study, authored by Broadbent Institute Policy Fellow Rhys Kesselman, Canada Research Chair in Public Finance with the School of Public Policy at Simon Fraser University.
This article originally appeared in the Globe & Mail.
The Conservative Party’s 2011 election platform titled “Stephen Harper’s Low-Tax Plan” promised a bountiful menu of tax goodies. The government has delivered appetizers such as the Children’s Art Tax Credit and the Family Caregiver Tax Credit as well as an amuse-bouche in the form of a Search and Rescue Volunteers Tax Credit.Read more
Expertise: Income security, Taxation policy
Rhys Kesselman is a professor in the School of Public Policy at Simon Fraser University, where he has held the Canada Research Chair in Public Finance since 2004. He earned a PhD in economics from MIT. From 1972 to 2003 he was a professor of economics at UBC, where he directed the Centre for Research on Economic and Social Policy and was Principal Investigator of the SSHRC-MCRI project on Equality/Security/Community. He co-edited a monograph resulting from that project, "Dimensions of Inequality in Canada."
His research has addressed diverse applied theory and policy topics in the areas of taxation, income security, social programs, and public budgeting with a focus on distributional impacts. He has published widely in scholarly outlets and writes occasional columns for the Canadian media on issues related to his research. His research has won awards from the Canadian Economics Association, the Canadian Tax Foundation, and the Reserve Bank of Australia. His research contributed to formulation of the Tax-Free Savings Account and the Registered Disability Savings Plan and has been widely cited on the issues of mandatory retirement, Canada Pension Plan expansion, income splitting, payroll taxation, and personal tax reform.