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Private corporations; Dividend sprinking; Surplus stripping; Income shifting; Passive investment


I am a tenured professor at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, teaching and researching in the area of tax law. I am the lead author of Principles of Canadian Income Tax Law (9th ed.) (Li, Magee and Wilkie, 2017) and International Taxation in Canada (3rd ed.) (Li, Cockfield and Wilkie, 2014). I am also the lead editor of Income Tax at 100 Years (Li, Wilkie and Chapman, 2017). I am a member of Panel of Experts Reviewing Federal Tax Expenditures (the Expert Panel) (, but was not involved in drafting the consultation paper on Tax Planning Using Private Corporations (the “Consultation Paper”).

I would like to comment on the Consultation Paper in terms of the nature and seriousness of the problems identified as well as the proposed solutions. My comments focus on fundamental issues of tax policy and tax legislation as opposed to the application of specific proposals to assumed facts or estimating the impact of the proposals.

I make these comments in my personal capacity as a concerned citizen, not as an employee of York University or a member of the Expert Panel. I have benefited from discussions with Robin Boadway and Scott Wilkie as well as from reading the Arnold Report (Canadian Tax Foundation, August 30, September 11 and 13, 2017). The views expressed below are those of my own.

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