As a Canadian tax accountant, I experience my share of frustrating and eye-opening stories as a result of our country’s onerous tax system. One story I will never forget is when one of my favourite clients left me forever.
Why did he leave me? The answer may shock you. He left for another country. He could no longer bear the oppressive tax rates of this great land of Canada.
My client—originally from Victoria, B.C., but living in Toronto—was a highly paid, hardworking professional at the top of his career. I remember his e-mail as if it was yesterday: “Neal, I’ve decided to move back to the West Coast. I plan to settle in either Vancouver or Seattle. To help with the decision, can you tell me what my after-tax income would be in each city?”
Here is what I wrote back to him:
“To my favourite client,
I am very happy for you that you’re moving back to the West Coast and I genuinely wish you the best of luck. I will be sad to lose you as a client but you have to do what’s best for you.