Taxing Canada’s Cash Cow: Tax and Royalty Burdens on Oil and Gas Investments


  • Jack M. Mintz School of Public Policy, University of Calgary
  • Duanjie Chen School of Public Policy, University of Calgary



This paper addresses in depth the impact of both corporate taxes and royalties on the decision to invest in the oil and gas sector for British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland & Labrador and in comparison to Texas. Similar to Chen and Mintz (2009), we estimate the marginal effective tax rate on capital for the oil and gas sector, comparable to other sectors in the economy. In our assessment, we include federal and provincial corporate income taxes, sales taxes on capital purchases and other capital-related taxes in our assessment such as severance taxes and royalties. Except for oil and gas investments in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland & Labrador offshore developments, oil and gas investments bear a higher tax burden compared to other industries in Canada. In other words, oil and gas investments are generally not “subsidized” but bear a higher level of taxes and royalties on investment compared to other industries.






Briefing Papers