September 19, 2017
I’m gonna climb wearily back onto my soapbox, one more time.
Mr. Trudeau and his finance minister, Bill Morneau, will be inclined to make much hay from the fact that a few hundred physicians and medical students have this week put their signatures to an open letter in support of their tax proposals (for context, roughly 77,000 qualified physicians and surgeons serve our great country, with some 11,000 students in the long pipeline to become doctors.)
Well, I’d advise our fearless leaders not to be too hasty in hitching their tractor to the red Liberal baler: not much hay to be made here, as anyone who reads to the end of this letter of “support” will easily appreciate. https://docsandtaxes.wordpress.com/
After previewing a prelude of principles and facts upon which we can all agree (an equitable taxation system, negative health consequences of rising income inequality, lack of benefit packages for physicians, high burnout rates for doctors, incorporation mechanism granted to doctors by government in lieu of fee increases), the signatories to this document go on to endorse the minister in his initiative.
Their premise is essentially that provision of tax benefits via incorporation is not the most appropriate or fairest way to address the issues that gave rise to the mechanism in the first place.
However, they attach important caveats - essentially calling on government to make the proposed changes only in concert with a move to endow physicians with extended health benefits, paid parental leave, pension plans, medical student debt relief, and an allowance to make large retroactive payments to RRSPs, TFSAs, RESPs, and CPP (since many physicians, actively encouraged to incorporate, have for years not contributed to these vehicles in lieu of saving those funds within their corporation).
Well then. Sign me up, Mr. Morneau.
I’ll take all those benefits; gladly take receipt of a cheque to retroactively reimburse me for all those long years of training; and I’ll join you in the Pandora’s box of trying to figure out what sort of contribution I should be allowed to make to the alphabet soup of savings plans I haven’t contributed to for the years I’ve been incorporated, and how to deal fairly with investments we made in good faith within our small company.
With all that in place, I’ll happily roll up my medical corporation, secure in the safety net of my uber-supportive government, and go back to giving my full attention to where it should be - the care of my patients.
Perhaps best to just park that tractor, Mr. Trudeau.