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Earlier this winter, demonstrators descended on a London Starbucks to protest the company's lack of corporate tax payments in Britain over the past three years.<252> (Luke MacGregor/Reuters)
Earlier this winter, demonstrators descended on a London Starbucks to protest the company's lack of corporate tax payments in Britain over the past three years.<252> (Luke MacGregor/Reuters)

Could 2013 be the year we finally learn to love the taxman? Add to ...

By contrast, a U.S. website called I Heart Taxes bills itself as “home of the proud taxpayer” and promotes the benefits of taxes, such as fighting fires, putting a man on the moon and funding education.

Certainly, France is keeping up its momentum , deterred neither by Mr. Depardieu’s defection nor a ruling by a French court last week that its 75-per-cent tax was illegal because it applied to individuals instead of households.

On New Year’s, French President François Hollande vowed to press ahead with the tax. “We will still ask more of those who have the most,” he said told the nation.

Paying up in Canada

Personal income tax was first introduced in Canada in 1917 to finance the First World War. The top rate in those days was 25 per cent on income exceeding $100,000. Since then, income taxes on Canada’s high earners keeps changing radically – both in terms of how we define a “high” earner and how much we tax them. Taxes have also become more complex as both federal and provincial governments got in on the levies. Herewith, the highest income rates in Canada:

98% – 1943’s top tax rate, on incomes exceeding $500,000.

65.6% – 1962’s top tax rate, on incomes exceeding $500,000.

51.09% – 1988’s top rates on incomes exceeding $95,408.

54.2% – 1998’s top rates on incomes exceeding $200,000.

50% – 2012’s top rates on incomes exceeding $132,406.

Rick Cash. Sources: Canadian Tax Foundation, Canada Revenue Agency

Paying up in the rest of the world

Federal income taxes vary wildly around the world, as a glance at individual income tax rates from 2012 indicates. While Canada ranks low in federal comparisons, however, we pay significant provincial income taxes – which, depending on where you live, can bump your rates up to 50 per cent.

29% – Canada

30% – Mexico

35% – United States

35% – Argentina

45% – France

50% – United Kingdom

50% – Japan

56.6% – Sweden

31.91% – Global average

Source: KPMG

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