Policy Forum: Is Accelerated Depreciation Good or Misguided Tax Policy?
Canadian Tax Journal/Revue fiscale canadienne, Vol. 67, No. 1, 2019
16 Pages Posted: 23 May 2019
Date Written: April 23, 2019
The authors examine the implications of Canada's response to the 2017 US tax reform. Canada's focus on accelerated tax depreciation will achieve lower marginal effective tax rates on capital for taxpaying companies, well below the US levels achieved with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that came into effect on January 1, 2018. By ignoring neutrality, the government offsets some of the potential gains by reducing the tax burden on capital, thereby failing to maximize efficiency gains from a better corporate tax system. Further, Canada's approach fails to respond to competitiveness effects of US reforms on corporate tax base erosion in Canada as companies shift profits to the United States. The low US tax rate on intangible income will draw certain functions to the United States. A more comprehensive approach to corporate tax reform, including some reduction in corporate income tax rates, would have been a preferable response.
Keywords: corporate income taxes, capital cost allowance, effective rates, efficiency, tax reform
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