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This thesis looks at legal mechanisms allowing the non-collection of tax debts in the tax systems of Canada and the United States. The goal is to shed light on the choices made in Canada's tax collection system by juxtaposing it with the American system. The comparison reveals differences in the ways in which the two jurisdictions allow taxpayers to participate in the tax system and differences in how the two jurisdictions choose to make decisions about the forgiveness of tax debts. Although Canada has generally rejected the idea of compromise within the tax system, there is a tax policy case to be made in favour of the compromise of tax debts in certain situations.