Introduction to the Tax Policy Branch
Department of Finance
Introduction to Tax Policy Branch:
- Role of the Branch
- Who We Are
- Tax Policy Development Process
- Examples of Tax Policy Branch Issues
Role of the Tax Policy Branch
Tax Policy Branch provides analysis, research, and advice to the Minister of Finance on the Government of Canada's tax policy agenda.
- To generate sufficient revenue to finance government programs and priorities, the tax system has to work well and be:
- Efficient – Foster competitiveness, productivity and higher living standards;
- Fair – Share the tax burden fairly, and help meet the government's social priorities; and
- Simple – Be administered for and understood by Canadians (important for a 'self-assessment' system).
Who We Are
About 160 current employees playing diverse roles such as policy analysts (economists), research analysts, legislative drafters (lawyers), and negotiators (aboriginal tax policy, international tax treaties).
Organized along five divisions and liaise with Finance Legal Services.
Senior Assistant Deputy Minister: Andrew Marsland
- Assistant Deputy Minister, Tax Legislation: Brian Ernewein
- Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Analysis: Miodrag Jovanovic
Personal Income Tax
- Director General: Pierre LeBlanc
- Director General: Phil King
Business Income tax
- Director General: Maude Lavoie
- Director General: Ted Cook
Intergovernmental Tax Policy, Evaluation & Research
- Director General: Isabella Chan
- Finance Canada Legal Services
Tax Policy Development Process
Identify potential measures/issues:
- Review Ministerial requests, internal analysis, court rulings, issues identified by the Canada Revenue Agency in the course of its administration of our tax statutes, correspondence, Parliamentary initiatives, independent research, and consultations.
Assess and advise:
- Conduct research and analysis, consult internally and externally, develop specific options, and make recommendations to the Minister – keeping in mind the following analytical considerations:
- Consistency with tax policy principles, e.g., efficiency and effectiveness, consistency with other government priorities, distributional, environmental and revenue impacts, federal-provincial, Crown-Indigenous and international considerations, stakeholder reactions, GBA+, and administrative / compliance issues.
- Prepare budget text and/or news release; draft legislation and regulations; ministerial speeches; responsive lines; and work with our partners (e.g., Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Canada Border Services Agency)
Examples of Tax Policy Branch Issues
Outstanding Income Tax Amendments
- A number of proposed income tax amendments have been released and not yet enacted.
- Discussions will take place on whether to proceed with amendments.
Sales Tax and Excise Duty Agreements
- Ongoing management of the Comprehensive Integrated Tax Coordination Agreements (sales tax) and the Coordinated Cannabis Taxation Agreements (excise duty) with provinces and territories.
Digitalization and Taxation
- Digitalization has led to new types of digital products and services and new ways of doing business.
- OECD coordinating discussions on corporate income tax and digitalization.
Indigenous Tax Policy Negotiations
- Proposed new and amended sales tax agreements with Indigenous governments, and decisions related to the negotiation of tax matters in comprehensive land claim and self-government agreements.
Carbon Pollution Pricing and the Environment
- Responsible for the fuel charge component of the federal carbon pollution pricing system and the return of fuel charge proceeds to households through Climate Action Incentive payments
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