J.L. Ilsley and the Transformation of the Canadian Tax System: 1939-1943
Posted: 3 Jan 2014
Date Written: 2013
Between 1939 and 1943, the Canadian tax system was transformed under the guidance and leadership of J.L. Ilsley, the federal minister of finance from 1940 to 1946. The personal income tax was extended to most of the working population at high, progressive rates, and the corporation income tax was raised drastically and applied to excess wartime profits. Through the tax rental agreements, income tax jurisdiction was transferred from the provinces to the federal government. The effect was to make income taxation the principal source of federal government revenue for financing Canada's war effort and to lay the basis for financing the post-war welfare state. Ilsley's mastery of the issues and his leadership both in Cabinet and before the public were essential elements of this transformation.
Keywords: federal-provincial; politics; tax-collection agreements; tax policy; income war tax act
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