Taxation of Top Incomes in Canada—Recent Developments in Rates and Redistribution

Michael Smart, Canadian Tax Journal (2019; 67(2))
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Paper Citation

Smart, Michael (2019), “Taxation of Top Incomes in Canada—Recent Developments in Rates and Redistribution”, Canadian Tax Journal Vol. 67(2), 349-61.

Paper Abstract

The “Finances of the Nation” feature presents annual surveys of provincial and territorial budgets and data-driven analyses of taxation and public expenditures in Canada. This series is a successor to the annual monograph titled Finances of the Nation (and, previously, The National Finances), published from 1954 to 2013 by the Canadian Tax Foundation.
The key data sets prepared for the Finances of the Nation project are available for download at
In this article, Michael Smart presents evidence on the evolution of top tax rates and tax progressivity since 1982. While top tax rates have recently increased substantially, the impact of these changes on redistribution through the tax system has been rather small to date. Smart suggests some possible explanations for this finding.