Thursday, December 01, 2016

Rich medical specialists whine about tax changes

Specialist doctors are up in arms about a recent federal tax change that is soon to be voted into force.
The legislation is designed to close up a loophole, whereby specialist doctors use complex partnerships and corporate structures in order to tame advantage of the favourable small business tax rate (10.5% on business income up to $500,000, possibly soon to be reduced still further to 9%) rather than the corporate tax rate (15%) or even higher personal income tax rates.
An estimated half of Canada's 80,000 physicians are specialists, and they are among the highest earners in the country, although only about 10,000-15,000 of these are in a position to take advantage of the kind of income-pooling structures at issue here.
The Canadian Medical Association and other medical professional pressure groups say that some doctors could end up paying tends of thousands more a year in taxes as a result of the proposed tax changes, which gives a good idea of just how much these guys are pulling in. Those same pressure groups are scare-mongering that "thousands" of specialists will pull out of group medical offices and that many of them will leave for the United States as a result.
If they want to brave a Trump-led USA, then good luck to them, I say, although they may not find it quite as easy to get in say they think. If a few thousand dollars in tax is all that stands between these people and the abandonment of all that Canada has to offer, then I'm not sure we really want them. Certainly, taxation was never an issue that figured in our decision to move here all those years ago.
Thankfully, Finance Minister Bill Morneau appears unmoved by the whining of a bunch of rich medical professionals and Conservative MPs, and the legislation looks set to pass comfortably.

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