A reset for the child tax benefit system Kevin Milligan ~ Vancouver School of Economics ~ University of British Columbia

"A reset for the child tax benefit system,"

Inroads Journal Issue 34, pp. 52-62, Fall 2013.
Google Scholar entry.


There is a logical foundation for differential treatment of families with children under our tax system. However, trying to make good on this principle of special tax treatment for children has resulted in overwhelming complexity. For example, a family in British Columbia in 2012 had to assess its eligibility for ten separate child-focused tax measures. These benefits cross paths, conflict and confuse. The way forward, I suggest, is to rationalize the cornucopia of credits into one delivery method (I propose a refundable tax credit), to remove overlap by consolidating existing measures into fewer programs, and finally to impose a seriously simplified structure on the whole system.


Published version, Fall 2013: link. (Subscription)

Alternative copy, Fall 2013: PDF.

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kevin.milligan@ubc.ca ~ Home Page ~ Vancouver School of Economics ~ UBC