Spending by stealth through tax expenditures in Canada

Hardly anyone noticed when the federal government appointed a committee of economists, accountants and lawyers to advise it on tax expenditures. This is not surprising because few people understand or even care about them. But they should. Tax expenditures are effectively  government spending in disguise.Stanley Surrey, a tax attorney working for the U.S. government, coined the term “tax expenditure” in the 1960s to refer to governments’ use of the tax system to achieve public policy objectives. The term includes tax breaks through preferential tax rates, exemptions, deductions, deferrals and tax credits. They can be found under the personal income tax

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