Taxing the officer dates back to 1580 B.C. It is also the key to Apu’s Theory on how Canadian income tax really works. Limited companies and corporations are familiar artificial persons in law. So are officers. Legal jurist Sir Frederick Pollock says:
Officer: The Roman invention, adopted and largely developed in modern law, of constituting the official characters of the holders of the same office… into an artificial person… of legal capacities and duties.
The opposite of artificial persons are private persons or natural persons. We are not artificial persons, but we can choose to represent artificial persons, such as officers.
Well known officers include corporation directors, Chief Executive Officers (CEO), and Chief Financial Officers (CFO). In the legal world, lawyers, judges, court sheriffs, and police officers all are court officers. Police dogs are sworn in as police officers so they are receiving the same legal protection as to two-legged police officers. HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN, the legal equivalent of all Canadians, is legally present in Canada through her office of the Governor-General. The Governor-General of Canada, an officer, represents her in Canada.
In another blog post I used Department of Justice Canada’s internal guidebook to show how the Income Tax Act (“ITA”) definition of “employee” clearly could be an ITA “officer”. In The Income Tax: Root of all Evil, Frank Chodorov says taxing officers dates back to 1580 B.C.:
We learn from this biblical story (1 Kings, Chapter 12) that income taxation is a very old custom. Antiquarians find mention of the practice in the annals of Egypt, as far back as 1580 B.C. In those days, it appears, the Grand Vizier did not levy on the incomes of his subjects but on the incomes of public officials; since the latter had nothing of their own to tax—public officials are not producers—their taxable funds consisted of what they had mulcted (exacted a fine) from the producing public. Since the tax collector gets his “cut” first, before turning over the balance to the central government, he can never be accused of accepting bribes…
Canada’s tax laws have improved on tax collection from 3,500 years ago. Like ancient Egypt, taxes are still on the income of public officials. Canadian tax laws deem Canadians to be officers receiving income as public money. “Public officials” are the “producing public”. Unlike ancient Egypt, they now have something to tax.
Since the “producing public” gets their “cut” first (their net income after taxes) before turning over the balance to the central government, they can never be accused of accepting bribes, or complain that they did not get paid for performing their fiduciary duties.
Canada’s income tax laws were carefully written to hide the individual taxpayers’ dual capacity. They were not written overnight. They had over 3,500 years to refine them.
Categories: Income tax, legal definitions
Tags: artificial person, includes, officer, public money