The Income War Tax Act, 1917 received royal assent on September 20, 1917. Sir Thomas White, the minister of finance who proposed the new tax, thought that Canadians would “cheerfully accept the burden and the sacrifice of this additional taxation” to finance the war effort, but he hoped that the tax would not long outlast the war. He did not get his wish. The income tax has continued and become more and more complex in the 99 years since its inception, and it has not always been cheerfully accepted by the citizens of Canada. However, it is a very important source of revenue for the government, supporting a number of social and other spending programs that citizens have come to expect and rely on.
Osgoode Hall Law School of York University and the Canadian Tax Foundation are planning a special centennial publication to mark the 100th anniversary of the Income Tax Act. To be released on September 17, 2017, this publication will examine the history of the Act and its 100-year evolution, assess its current state of health, and look ahead to how the Act could or should evolve in the next 100 years. Our objective is for the papers in this publication to illuminate readers’ understanding of the Act by tracing the development of some its key principles and their legislative expression.
The authors whose work is appearing in the centennial publication will present and discuss their draft papers at a symposium to be held May 11-12, 2016, in Toronto. Participants in the symposium will be encouraged to provide authors with comments and questions regarding their papers. The symposium will also include sessions featuring prominent observers of and contributors to the evolution of the Act—a range of experts from politics, public policy, tax practice, the judiciary, and academia, who will share their insights into and reflections on the past and future of the ITA. The centennial publication will include proceedings of these sessions. Authors and speakers participating in the event will include the Honourable Michael Wilson, retired Supreme Court Justice Marshall Rothstein, retired Deputy Minister of Finance Michael Horgan, retired Canada Revenue Agency Commissioner William Baker, Brian J. Arnold, Richard Bird, Neil Brooks, Robert Couzin, Jack Mintz and Warren Mitchell.
You may register for this unique event at the following link:
To encourage and enable active participation and discussion among attendees, authors, and speakers, the number of attendees will be limited.