tax time again

March 2, 2008 ·

as always this time of year, filing your taxes. wish it could be simpler? it could be. as i started my preparation, i remembered an article i read about a flat tax that the fraser institute had put a news release out on. by no means is this a new idea, i just wasn't aware of it until now. but it seemed pretty compelling.

the reader's digest condensed recap of all this is we are currently operating under a progressive tax system where different income levels are taxed at different rates. with this of course are all the shelters, loopholes, deductions, and exemptions that make actual payment of taxes perhaps less mandatory. a flat tax is exactly that, an equalized tax that applies to everyone regardless of their income level. there's a lot more to the theory and to the practice of flat tax, but i'll leave that to wikipedia.

what the fraser institute proposed was a 15% tax across the board with an exemption altogether for the lowest income earners. the tax form itself would be the size of a postcard and have about 10 inputs. that's it. no complicated forms, no receipts, no h&r block, fuss whatsoever. quite an appealing proposition for the layman. beyond the new ease of filing, they also mention a savings of roughly $30 billion in costs to maintain the current tax system and cite the economic benefits seem to be a huge boon as well. to quote the fraser release:

One of the most significant changes under the proposed flat tax is the full exemption of savings and investment from taxation. Income put back into the economy in the form of savings or investments would not be taxed under the flat tax, which would encourage more savings and investment and lead to a more vibrant and wealthier economy. The changes would also make Canada much more attractive and competitive internationally.

the greatest appeal for me is that under this system, the government will make the same amount of money, but in a much less complicated way. the other big appeal is that my tax rate would lessen from what it is now. and as the fraser institute states, more money for me to spend and put back into the economy. but aside from myself, i like that the people who traditionally weasel out of paying taxes, the highest income earners, no longer can avoid paying what they should. so no longer does the middle class bear the burden of funding this country, we all do equally.

the next question is, will this come to fruition? will someone in parliament or yet to be elected take this to the house? i can't imagine a mass populace will not want this to be a reality. if we live in a democracy and we are all supposed to be equals, at least on one level, a flat tax will make us all equals.




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