Politics·Video

Boutique credits stretch tax code to the length of 5 football fields

The CBC's James Fitz-Morris looks at how complicated the tax code has become with the addition of boutique tax credits for seemingly everything under the sun. You think you're saving money, but at what cost?

Tax code now includes more than 120 boutique tax credits

The CBC's James Fitz-Morris drills down into the tax code to find out there are now more than 120 tax credits. This has stretched the tax code to the length of five Canadian football fields. You think you're saving money - but at what cost? 1:34

The Canadian tax code now contains more than 120 tax credits, and there seems to be no end in sight, as the promising of "boutique" tax cuts has become a staple of the modern election campaign.

Instead of focusing simply on an across-the-board tax reduction, the Conservatives have targeted particular segments of the electorate — and other parties have followed suit, most recently with the Liberals promising teachers a break on school supplies

There is something for everyone — volunteer firefighters, snowmobilers, service club members, commuters, and parents who use child care or enrol their child in sports, among many others. Stephen Harper recently unveiled a tax credit for single, widowed seniors

But all of these boutique tax credits have made the Canadian tax code a behemoth. As the CBC's James Fitz-Morris recounts in the video above, if you laid every page of the tax code end-to-end it would stretch more than five football fields. Yikes. 

While it might seem like you're saving money with these new credits, it has also made filing your taxes a whole lot more complicated.

The total cost to Canadians of filing taxes? A cool $6 billion a year, according to the Fraser Institute.