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You're not going to get too far with 18 year old data. StatsCan has very current series available, and if you want to do the leg work you can update that table fairly easily. The changes in the tax system over 18 years are very substantial and this old data doesn't tell you anything about what is going on today.

Just one example: as income goes up, the incidence of capital gains and dividends goes up. Each are taxed at lower marginal rates than income from employment. Both rates have been subject to various changes for political and fiscal reasons over the past 18 years - for example, the Liberal Government ended full integration of taxation for non-public corporations and their shareholders sometime in the '90's.

I suspect that if you do the work you will find that a very large precentage of all income taxes are paid by the top decile of payers, but that the average rate payed by them is still under 35%.

The study is out of date, certainly. But I don't think the changes since then (including the ones you mention) have had the effect of transferring the tax burden to upper income households.

I'll be posting again on this in a day or two using more recent data - the basic pattern is still there.

Looking at the graph, I can't see how the commodity tax and income tax add up to the total tax. What else is in there--property taxes?

While waiting for the next post you may want to check:


A nice survey with some more recent studies.

The data behind the graph above (from the original article) is presented in Table 11, page 763. In particular, it shows what other taxes are included.

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