François Vaillancourt

François Vaillancourt is an emeritus professor in the department of economic sciences at the University of Montreal where he taught from 1976 to 2011. He completed his Ph.D. in economics at Queen’s University in 1978 and received a Doctorate honoris causa from the University of Geneva in 2021 for his pioneering work in the economics of language. Professor Vaillancourt was a Fulbright scholar in 2007 in Atlanta and was elected to the Royal Society of Canada in 2009. He was the Shastri lecturer in India has been a guest lecturer at the University of Toronto and Australian National University and a research scholar at the Institute for Research in Public Policy (1992-2000) and the C.D. Howe Institute (2000-2003). Professor Vaillancourt was also a research coordinator(Income distribution and Income security) for the MacDonald Commission (1983-1986). He has consulted for a number of international organizations such as the IMF, the World Bank, OECD, UNDP and national agencies such as Statistics Canada, Finance Canada, and the Seguin Commission. His fields of research include linguistic policies, intergovernmental financial relations, and tax compliance costs. He has published on a wide variety of issues including equalization in federal countries, education, minority language policies, federalism, and taxation. Professor Vaillancourt is widely acknowledged as one of the pre-eminent scholars on the issue of tax compliance and administrative costs.

Recent Research by François Vaillancourt

— Apr 30, 2024
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Personal Income Tax Compliance for Canadians: How and at What Cost?

Personal Income Tax Compliance for Canadians: How and at What Cost? uses a new survey and finds that roughly half of tax filers (50 per cent) prepared their 2022 income tax return themselves while more than one third (37 per cent) used a paid tax preparer—the study also suggests that one way to reduce these compliance costs is to produce prefilled income tax reports for Canadians, streamlining the process for taxpayers and saving them both time and money.

— Apr 25, 2019
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Tax Complexity in 2019: Can It be Tamed?

Tax Complexity in 2019: Can It be Tamed? finds that Canadians face a significantly more complicated tax system than existed just a few decades ago. For example, from 1990 and 2018, the text area of the actual Income Tax Act and related regulations increased by 72 per cent, from 974,050 cm² to 1,673,802 cm². The number of pages in the Act increased by two per cent, and page size increased by 69 per cent (from 354 cm² to 598 cm²). Research has shown that a complicated tax system imposes additional compliance costs on businesses and families, and higher administration costs on government.

— Apr 28, 2016
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Measuring Personal Income Tax Complexity in Canada

Measuring Personal Income Tax Complexity in Canada, examines the evolution of Canadian tax legislation, tax guides and tax expenditures in an effort to quantify complexity. For example, the study finds that between between 1981 and 2014, the number of federal personal income tax expenditures (i.e. targeted tax breaks for particular individuals or activities including deductions, exemptions, exclusions, and tax credits) available to Canadians increased from 101 to 128—an increase of 27 per cent.