Michelle Gallant, who teaches taxation law, does not seem to understand the legal difference between tax avoidance and tax deferral (A little bit of 'haven' in each of us, April 16). I was horrified to see her say "tax avoidance is a common practice of most Canadians" and "putting money into (RRSPs) is tax avoidance."
What rot. RRSPs are a government-sanctioned tax-deferral plan. In contrast, to quote the Canada Revenue Agency, tax avoidance results when actions are taken to minimize tax. While within the letter of the law, those actions contravene the object and spirit of the law.
Certainly, the CRA will not be investigating those of us who are using RRSPs to defer our taxes on income. Further, while Gallant correctly describes a form of vendor-tax evasion, she makes a bizarre statemen: "We do not find it particularly criminal."
I wonder who her "we" refers to? Certainly the CRA will bring criminal charges if tax evasion is discovered, even on a small scale. The issue is the law, not the size of the transgression.