This part presents detailed information on the tax expenditures presented in this report, a list of which can be found in the "List of Tax Expenditures" section. The following information is provided for each tax expenditure:
A short description is provided of the key design features of the tax expenditure, as applicable on December 31, 2018 (unless otherwise noted).
Whether a measure is a tax expenditure under the personal income tax, the corporate income tax and/or the GST.
Indicates the group of taxpayers (e.g., families, seniors, small businesses) benefiting from the tax expenditure.
One of the following types of measures is attributed to the tax expenditure:
Indicates the legal provisions that relate to the tax expenditure. Only the main acting provision is generally indicated, but more than one provision may be indicated when a tax expenditure results from the interaction of multiple key provisions.
Indicates the date or year the tax expenditure was implemented and became effective. Key recent developments are also reported.
Indicates the objective(s) being pursued by the tax expenditure, as officially stated by the Government when the tax expenditure was introduced or subsequently. When no official statement could be found, the objective(s) currently pursued by the tax expenditure is indicated, as can be determined from the design and effects of the tax expenditure.
For presentation purposes, objectives have been classified in the following standard categories:
Objectives that are internal to the tax system:
To reduce administration or compliance costs
To provide relief for special circumstances
To assess tax liability over a multi-year period
To prevent double taxation
To recognize non-discretionary expenses (ability to pay)
To recognize expenses incurred to earn employment income
To recognize education costs
To promote the fairness of the tax system
To ensure a neutral tax treatment across similar situations
To implement intergovernmental tax arrangements
To implement a judicial decision
To extend or modify the unit of taxation
To provide income support or tax relief
To encourage savings
To encourage or attract investment
To encourage investment in education
To encourage employment
To support competitiveness
To support business activity
To achieve an economic objective - other
To achieve a social objective
The category indicates whether the measure is structural or non-structural. A structural tax measure is one whose main objective is internal to the tax system (see above list under "Objective"). When a measure pursues both structural and non-structural objectives, it is categorized based on an assessment of whether the structural or non-structural component predominates; for instance, the Home Accessibility Tax Credit supports independent living and as such is classified as non-structural, even though this credit also provides tax recognition for some non-discretionary expenses, which is a structural objective. The classification of a tax expenditure as structural or non-structural is not indicative of the relevance and performance of the measure.
Refundable tax credits (with the exception of the GST/HST Credit) are treated as direct spending for government accounting purposes, and for that reason are assigned to a separate category.
Indicates the manner(s) in which the tax expenditure is departing from the benchmark tax system (see the section "Main Types of Tax Expenditures" in Part 1 of the report). Measures that are part of the benchmark tax system are indicated as such.
Tax expenditures are classified based on their subject matter. This classification is provided solely for presentational purposes and is not intended to reflect underlying policy considerations. The following subjects have been identified:
Arts and culture
Business - farming and fishing
Business - natural resources
Business - research and development
Business - small businesses
Business - other
Donations, gifts, charities and non-profit organizations
Families and households
Intergovernmental tax arrangements
Savings and investment
The Canadian Classification of Functions of Government (CCOFOG) is a classification used by Statistics Canada in reporting government finance, fiscal and public sector statistics. This classification is a variant of the international functional expenditure classification standard that was developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to facilitate international comparisons. The full 2014 CCOFOG can be accessed on the Statistics Canada website.
This provides background information on spending programs of the federal government that are relevant to the policy area of the tax expenditure. Additional information on these programs can be found in the table at the end of Part 3 and in the Departmental Plans and Departmental Performance Reports of the relevant departments and agencies.1
Indicates the source of the data used in calculating the cost estimates and projections for the tax expenditure.
Provides a short description of the method used to calculate the cost estimates for the tax expenditure. For additional details, see the section "Calculation of the Tax Expenditure Estimates and Projections" in Part 1 of the report.
Provides a short description of the method used to calculate the cost projections for the tax expenditure. For additional details, see the section "Calculation of the Tax Expenditure Estimates and Projections" in Part 1 of the report.
Provides information (when available) on the number of individuals, families, corporations or other organizations that benefit from the tax expenditure. A taxpayer benefits from a measure when the measure reduces his or her net tax payable. Some taxpayers are not taxable and may not get any tax relief from a given measure even though, for instance, they claim a particular deduction or credit on their tax returns. In some cases, in lieu of information on the number of beneficiaries, information on the number of claimants or other information providing some indication of the number of potential beneficiaries is provided.
Cost estimates and projections for the tax expenditure, when available, are copied from the table in Part 2 for convenience. Additional details are also provided for some measures.
Cost estimates and projections are presented on a calendar year basis. The fiscal period of a corporation may overlap more than one calendar year; when this is the case, the value of a tax expenditure is allocated to the calendar year in which the corporation's fiscal period ends.
Totals may not add due to rounding.
Amounts under $500,000 are reported as "S" ("small"), amounts between $500,000 and $5 million are rounded to the nearest $1 million and amounts above $5 million are rounded to the nearest $5 million.
n.a. No data available to support a meaningful estimate or projection
1 These documents can be accessed on the Government of Canada website (www.canada.ca) under "Government-wide reporting". Departmental Plans were entitled "Reports on Plans and Priorities" prior to the 2017–18 release.