The Taxation of Strike Pay
24 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2006
The Supreme Court of Canada in 1990 in Fries v. The Queen confirmed as a legal matter the longstanding administrative practice of characterizing strike pay as a non-taxable receipt by virtue of its not being income . . . from a source pursuant to paragraph 3(a) of the Income Tax Act. By contrast, in the United States, strike pay is generally subject to income tax, consistent with the more inclusive approach to defining income that predominates under section 61 of the Internal Revenue Code. This article examines in detail this tax policy difference. In the process, it canvasses the attitude of some other countries to similar issues, maps out what can be inferred about the likely fiscal and economic consequences of not taxing strike pay, and suggests some ideas for reform for Canadian policy makers.
Keywords: income, labour disputes, strikes, tax exemptions, tax policy, unions
JEL Classification: K34, J52, J58
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation