Africa & Science – Afrika & Wissenschaft – Afrique & Science

Nr. 00233- Dec. 12th, 2018 – Weekly Newspaper devoted to Science & Technology in Africa ** Pour la promotion de l'esprit scientifique en Afrique

Science Day on Immigration and Tax policy: Saturday, September 8th, 2018 et the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM)

Flag Canada » Wherever I am, my father is always my father. My mother is still my mother,  and my sick daughter is still my daughter. « 

Topic: The Federal Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec faced with the Challenge of Tax Fairness: A Tax Policy that penalizes Citizens from Developing States

The endeavour is obvious. The desire to integrate newcomers is noticeable. Both levels of government are sincere. But tax injustice remains immeasurable. Earlier, in order to benefit from a tax return on the assistance provided to parents or dependents, the care receiving relatives had to live under the same roof with the applicant (taxpayer). But, for us, African immigrants, since Dad and Mom reside in Douala, Bamako, Lagos or Luanda, for example, we couldn’t take advantage of the tax credit devoted to caregivers. Only Canadian citizens born in Canada (the large majority of the population) regularly receive tax returns for care-giving. It is not the case for us, citizens born in Africa. Obviously, we are neither native Canadians nor native Quebecers. Meanwhile, we do pay taxes like any other citizens, regardless of our place of birth.

After several claims, both level of governments thought it might be useful to reform the tax law in order to allow the possibility to care-giving taxpayers to receive tax returns on expenses related to the assistance they have provided to parents or dependents in need. Consequently, nowadays, it is no longer necessary for the care-receiver to live under the same roof with an applicant (taxpayer). The care-receiver should however, reside on the national territory. Even if Dad and Mom live in Gaspésie and the applicant (taxpayer) resides in Montreal, the possibility for him to receive a tax return as a caregiver is now available. But, for us, African immigrants, since Dad and Mom live in Douala, Bamako, Lagos or Luanda, for example, we are not eligible for those financial incomes. Only native Canadians or native Quebecers (the large majority of the population) are eligible for tax returns as care-givers.

There is obviously a double standard in the citizenship policy, the place of birth serving as an axis of discrimination. Yet, when collecting taxes, Canada Revenue Agency and Revenu Québec do not distinguish between native Quebecers (or native Canadians) born in Kigali and those born in Rouyn Noranda or Longueuil, for example.

Questions

  • 1.    How can we explain such a discrimination in 2018?
  • 2.    Can we scientifically appraise this double-standard tax policy?
  • 3.  From an econometric point of view, what could be the consequences of the harmonization of tax policy? Would it have a major impact on public finances?
  • 4.   Is there any possibility to correct the situation without undermining the fundamental principles of Constitutional Law and Tax Law?

These are some of the questions that will be addressed by members of the scientific community on September 8, 2018 at the University of Quebec in Montréal. This scientific meeting is an African contribution to the 2018 legislative campaign in Quebec.

The program of this event is available at the following link:

ADI-Science-Day-Sept.08-2018-The-Programme

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