Federal business tax change leaves big fish alone: Cullen

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen

BY BILL PHILLIPS

bill@pgdailynews.ca

Ottawa’s move to close tax loopholes has been poorly orchestrated, says Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen and it doesn’t go after those it should.

“The process was terribly done,” he said. “The amount of information and misinformation is part of the problem.”

The changes the Liberals are set to enact include eliminating the current practice that allows business owners to ‘sprinkle’ their income among family members in lower tax brackets. Cullen says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has a skewed view of what small business is.

“He’s said ‘a large number of small businesses are simply there to shield taxes,’ … the reason Mr. Trudeau has this view is that what’s his family uses small business for.”

The Liberals are also looking at eliminating the current practice of using private corporations as a substitute for a regular savings account or converting a private corporation’s regular income into capital gains. Both practices can result in being taxed at a lower rate.

Cullen said he is all for closing tax loopholes, but what the Liberals are proposing only recoups a fraction of what the federal government loses.

“Even all-in, if they change all these rules, they’re estimated about $250 million might come into the federal government,” Cullen said. “We know, just in tax shelters alone … rich people sending their money to Barbados or whatever … cost the government about $8 billion per year. They’re going after the small fish and keep throwing the big ones back in. It makes no sense.”