Monday, June 17, 2013

Canadian Stocks and Canadian and Ontario Tax Revenue

I was reading this Star article about the differences between the Canadian and US stock markets this year. Specifically this part:

"Canadian stocks are down about 3 per cent since the opening of trading on Jan. 2, and in the past 12 months the S&P/TSX index — the broadest measure of market activity — is up 6 per cent.

It’s been a different story in New York. As the U.S. economy has emerged from hibernation, the Dow Jones Industrials are on a tear. The main average is up 12 per cent since Jan. 2 and 20 per cent in the past year."

We are getting close to mid-year  and with Canadian stocks down 3% there's a decent chance that Canadian stocks could finish with around a zero gain for the year. What does that mean for Canadian and Ontario tax revenue?

I'm not really sure, but I have to think that a flat market means less revenue from high income earners. Less people will sell stocks in a flat market for a significant game, Canada's big banks probably make less trading gains which lowers their overall profit, less taxes will be paid when people are forced to liquidate their RRSPs when they meet the age threshold, etc. etc. For Ontario especially which really weighs taxes towards higher earners and super high earners with the new highest tax bracket, this could be a bigger problem.

Something to watch for when looking at Canada and Ontario 2013 tax revenues assuming the markets don't rocket up by December 31st.

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