A new report by the non-profit organization Canadians for Tax Fairness says Canada should institute a windfall tax on all large corporations to help recover some of the public funds awarded to businesses during the pandemic.
The report examines 37 publicly listed companies that received the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), a federal program designed to help employers retain employees during the pandemic.
It concludes that in 2020 and 2021, the 37 companies rewarded shareholders by spending a combined $81.3 billion on dividends and $41.1 billion on share buybacks.
Canadians for Tax Fairness says many of these companies also reported impressive profits in 2022 as pandemic restrictions lifted and the economy improved.
The group says a windfall profit tax on all large corporations would force corporations to give back some of the public funds they received and assist with the country’s overall recovery.
The head of the Canadian Revenue Agency recently said it wouldn’t be worth reviewing more than $15.5 billion in potentially ineligible pandemic wage benefits flagged by the Auditor-General.