Media Releases

72% of Canadians think their tax burden is too high

Montreal, October 18, 2022 – With many predicting a recession and with inflation at a level not seen in 30 years, an Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of the MEI finds that more than seven in ten Canadians (72%) think the individual tax burden is too high, compared to one in five (21%) who think it’s at an acceptable level.

“The results of this poll reflect the weight of the tax burden on families,” explains Olivier Rancourt, Economist at the MEI. “In these times of economic uncertainty, few of them have enough money left over after all their bills are paid to build up a rainy-day fund or cover unforeseen expenses. Don’t forget that taxes are households’ number one expense, and by a long shot.”

Some 42% of Canadians also think the tax burden of companies is too low, but 71% realize that increasing the tax burden for companies will end up penalizing them as consumers because it will lead to higher prices.

“People expect governments to do their part to lighten their tax burden. They already feel they’re overtaxed, and they suspect that trying to squeeze more out of companies will just end up penalizing them indirectly,” says Krystle Wittevrongel, Senior Policy Analyst and Alberta Project Lead at the MEI.

Other highlights:

  • Among those who believe the tax rate for income over $250,000 should be higher than 50%, the majority think the rate should be 55%; 28% believe the rate should be 65%.
  • More than three quarters (77%) of Canadians believe that ‘the rich’ will be tempted to leave or transfer their assets to more attractive countries if their taxes increase too much; almost two thirds (64%) think fiscal laws are much too complex.
  • 4 in 10 Canadians (41%) believe that an increase of the tax burden for the ‘rich’ and the ‘very rich’ would have a positive impact.
  • A majority (55%) of Canadians believe that the ‘very rich’ use their money to buy luxury goods and services; a quarter (24%) believe they invest in companies and create jobs.
  • Canadians are divided about the tax rate for income over $250,000 a year.

The online poll was conducted by Ipsos on behalf of the MEI between September 27 and October 1st, 2022 with a representative sample of 1,027 Canadian residents aged 18 years and over. The results are accurate to within 3.5 percentage points (19 times out of 20) of what they would have been had all Canadians been polled. 

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The Montreal Economic Institute is an independent public policy think tank. Through its publications, media appearances, and advisory services to policy-makers, the MEI stimulates public policy debate and reforms based on sound economics and entrepreneurship.

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Interview requests:
Josée Morissette, Senior Advisor, Media Relations
Cell: 418-929-5291
Email: jmorissette@iedm.org

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