By: Nizam Shajani, CPA, CA, MBA
Theoretically the total tax paid by a corporation and its shareholders should be the same. There should be no tax advantage if an individual earns their income via a corporation or is paid a salary. This is the theory of integration. When the tax system is not perfectly integrated, this may provide a tax planning opportunity or arbitrage.
The integration of the corporate and personal income taxes was a focus of the 1969 Royal Commission on Taxation, chaired by Kenneth Carter and often referred to as the Carter Commission. The Carter Commission included six volumes of tax reforms that were the basis of four years of political debate and included one series on surplus stripping. The recommendations and debates were carried through in the 1972 tax reforms and continue in the current income tax act (the Act).
Tax rates in Canada are progressive for individuals. Table 1 illustrates the progression as individuals who earn higher incomes pay higher rates of tax. Corporations however pay a flat rate of tax depending on the type of corporation and amount of taxable income earned as illustrated in Table 2. Integration of the tax system attempts to tax individuals, including individual shareholders at the progressive rates regardless of the income being earned via their corporation or personally.
In a perfectly integrated system, the amount of tax paid would be the same despite the vehicle from which the remuneration was received. This is not the case, specifically underlining the tax savings by renaming the vehicle to one that is most advantageous under the circumstances.
Shajani LLP offers tax planning Integration Worksheets which determines whether it is more tax efficient to earn different types of income through a corporation, or personally. Each solution is precisely calibrated to our client’s personal income. This service includes key average tax rates, the tax savings (cost) using a corporation, and potential tax deferrals. Contact Shajani LLP for your professional tax planning.
Table 1 – Combined Federal and Alberta Effective Personal Tax Rates 2020
|Income from||Income to||Other
|$ –||to||$ 48,535||25.00%||12.50%||-0.03%||15.86%|
|$ 48,535||to||$ 97,069||30.50%||15.25%||7.56%||22.18%|
|$ 97,069||to||$ 131,220||36.00%||18.00%||15.15%||28.51%|
|$ 131,220||to||$ 150,473||38.00%||19.00%||17.91%||30.81%|
|$ 150,473||to||$ 157,464||41.22%||20.61%||22.35%||34.51%|
|$ 157,464||to||$ 209,952||42.22%||21.11%||23.73%||35.66%|
|$ 209,952||to||$ 214,368||43.22%||21.61%||25.11%||36.81%|
|$ 214,368||to||$ 314,928||47.00%||23.50%||30.33%||41.16%|
Table 2 – Combined Federal and Alberta Effective Corporate Tax Rates 2020
 This paper includes excerpts from a paper written by Nizam Shajani for York University, Faculty of Law ‘A critical analysis of surplus stripping rules within the Canadian Income Tax Act and the related impact on integration of corporate and personal taxes’ (2020)
 Canada, Report for the Royal Commission on Taxation, 1966
 Canada, Report for the Royal Commission on Taxation, Number 15, Stripping of Corporate Surplus, 1963
Canada, Canada Revenue Agency, Canadian income tax rates for individuals – current and previous years https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/frequently-asked-questions-individuals/canadian-income-tax-rates-individuals-current-previous-years.html#provincial
Canada, Canada Revenue Agency, Corporation tax rates https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/businesses/topics/corporations/corporation-tax-rates.html
This information is for discussion purposes only and should not be considered professional advice. There is no guarantee or warrant of information on this site and it should be noted that rules and laws change regularly. You should consult a professional before considering implementing or taking any action based on information on this site. Call our team for a consultation before taking any action. © 2020 Shajani LLP