Don’t limit physi­cians abil­ity to in­cor­po­rate

Cape Breton Post - - Editorial -

Like most physi­cians, I am very con­cerned about pro­posed changes which would limit physi­cians abil­ity to in­cor­po­rate and save for re­tire­ment.

Physi­cians al­ready pay some of the high­est tax rates and we pay a pro­por­tion­ally higher rate of in­come tax than in­di­vid­u­als with the same life­time earn­ings but whose in­come earn­ing years start at an ear­lier age.

That is be­cause our pe­riod of high earn­ing is com­pressed into fewer years, so that we are sub­ject to a higher mar­ginal rate dur­ing our best earn­ing years.

We are also sub­ject to a dis­crim­i­na­tory tax which is not charged to any other in­di­vid­u­als. We are forced to pay GST or HST on sup­plies we pur­chase for our prac­tice, but, un­like other busi­nesses, we can­not pass the tax on to our cus­tomer – the gov­ern­ment.

If I had not been al­lowed to in­cor­po­rate a few years ago, I would not have been able to save enough for my re­tire­ment. Politi­cians seem to for­get that although doc­tors were forced to work for the gov­ern­ment in­stead of their pa­tients, un­like other in­di­vid­u­als who vol­un­tar­ily work for the gov­ern­ment we do not re­ceive a pen­sion other than Canada Pen­sion when we re­tire. We work hard dur­ing our earn­ing years and de­serve the chance to have a com­fort­able re­tire­ment.

De­spite the heavy taxes Cana­di­ans pay for Medi­care, our health care sys­tem has some of the long­est wait times in the de­vel­oped world. This is be­cause of a bloated bu­reau­cracy, crum­bling in­fras­truc­ture and the Canada Health Act, which sti­fles in­no­va­tion and en­cour­ages waste.

Chang­ing the in­cor­po­ra­tion laws as they ap­ply to doc­tors will ag­gra­vate the ex­ist­ing short­age.

Please think th­ese things through be­fore the health care sys­tem suf­fers any fur­ther dam­age from gov­ern­ment in­ep­ti­tude. Harry F. L. Pol­lett, MD, FRCPC East Bay

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