The Parliamentary Budget Office has recently released a report entitled “Federal Cost Estimate of Bill C-399: Volunteer Tax Credit”.  It is written by Stephen Tapp of the PBO and deals with a private members bill.  The discussion in the PBO report is interesting.

The summary is as follows:

This note responds to a request by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance for the PBO to estimate the cost of Bill C-399, which proposes tax incentives for volunteers. PBO estimates that the federal cost of this Bill, in terms of foregone tax revenue, would average roughly $150 to $430 million annually over the first five years of implementation. The range provided is from ‘low-cost’ and ‘high-cost’ scenarios that alter key assumptions and is intended to convey the uncertain nature of these estimates. In the low-cost scenario an average of 1.7 million volunteers claim the tax credit each year, versus 2.9 million in the high-cost scenario. The analysis highlights that the most important issue impacting the potential cost of this Bill — and which has not yet been precisely defined — is the interpretation of which volunteer organizations would be eligible because they “primarily aid vulnerable populations.” “