Dalhousie Law Journal


Tax Reform, Principal Residence, Process, Canadians, abstract, motherhood issue, obtrusive, resented, income tax


For most Canadians, "tax reform", in the abstract, is almost a motherhood issue: of course we're in favor of it, particularly if we are referring to that most obtrusive and resented of taxes, the income tax. In fact, as of the end of 1983, we shall have lived twelve years under an income tax r6gime that the federal government was pleased to call "tax reform". Why, then, should there be at least as much clamor for changes to the income tax now as there was in the early 1960s, when the federal government of the day felt impelled to appoint a Royal Commission on Taxation (the Carter Commission) to make a thorough study of the much criticized income tax law and to recommend major reforms? Plus fa change. While the intention to achieve "tax reform" was genuine, that term seems most inappropriate to describe the turmoil that has resulted in our income tax system, which is becoming less manageable with each year's massive set of new amendments. In retrospect, it was probably naive to expect any other result from this prolonged process, which began over twenty years ago. Nevertheless, it is ironic that we should be hearing a growing demand for the reform of tax reform.