The Rich Are Richer

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    A new study shows the top 13 per cent of after-tax income in Canada goes to the top one per cent of income earners, with an additional $100,000 added to their income each year through private corporations they control. ‘Piercing the Veil,’ a tax study by Michael Wolfson, of the University of Ottawa; and Mike Veall, of McMaster University; and Neil Brooks, of York University; points to the role of tax planning in lowering tax bills for the wealthy. It says the ultra-rich – the top 0.01 per cent – earned $2.7 million to $3.5 million each through such corporations, money that would not ordinarily be measured when Canadian researchers look at income inequality. The study shows the wealthiest one per cent earn 10 times more than average Canadian and, the rich got 14.6 per cent richer in 2013. Studies based on income tax figures alone point to the top one per cent earning 10 per cent of Canadian after-tax income, but the authors of the study say it is considerably higher – 13 per cent – and has grown rapidly in the past five years. They conclude that income equality is higher than conventionally measured.