October 21, 2013
Yes, I do know all that.
I think that the differences between banks and credit unions are considerable and sufficiently significant that direct comparisons are virtually impossible and would not really clarify anything and do not provide a basis for taxation of CUs. They are governed differntly, both internally and legally, with different regulations, so it's not apples to apples.
It would take major research to get into all the details and I am not about to do that.
It remains the case that banks exist to serve their shareholders (not their customers) and CUs exist to serve their members. Shareholders get major tax breaks BECAUSE banks pay taxes, but corporate taxes are minuscule compared to tax rates for individuals and most if not all comparable countries, never mind their considerable tax avoidance schemes for which they can deduct lawyers' fees, accountant fees etc. I imagine their lobbyists are also tax deductible. CU members pay full personal tax rate on all income from their member shares, should they receive any.
I have never really understood why some CUs have chosen to get into banking per se, but they wouldn't be doing it if it were disadvantageous due to onerous taxes. Of that much I am certain.
If anyone wants to argue this further, I suggest their time would be better spent doing some research. Tax court cases involving the banks would keep you busy for quite a while.
I don't plan to do any more than the necessarily superficial research I've already done - enough to convince me there's a lot more I could do. I think the current system is reasonable, at least in theory but it's clear the banks will do everything they can to avoid taxes and that they are happy to consume taxpayer dollars when CRA decides to take them on.
And, no, Bill, i am not your "most devoted fan". Don't flatter yourself.
Most people on this forum make an effort to stay on point and be reasonable most of the time. Let's try to keep it that way.
Most of us here are, by personality, quants, and we enjoy seeing where we can squeeze out that little bit extra and watching it pile up. For myself, I've been this way since childhood, so it ain't gonna change any time soon. Spouse does not have this gene, does not find playing with money entertaining as I do and is as likely to give it away as keep it!
But I do have a sense of humour - often very very dry, ironic, and even imperceptible to many - I blame my English mother. Would like more good jokes and stories!!