Tax changes for wealthy individuals proposed in this year’s federal budget could have unintended consequences on charities, according to one Canadian tax expert.

The federal budget tabled Tuesday included plans to raise the alternative minimum tax (AMT) rate to 20.5 per cent from 15, and place new limits on exemptions under the system. The changes would take effect in 2024.

Alexandra Spinner, tax partner at Crowe Soberman LLP, told BNN Bloomberg that she predicts the taxation changes on Canada’s highest earners may end up adversely trickling down into the charitable donations they make.

“I’m not sure the government intended this, but I actually think ... the issue will be to charities,” Spinner said in a Wednesday television interview.

She explained that tax professionals like herself work with the wealthiest Canadians to determine how much money they can donate to charities without having to pay the alternative minimum tax.

“We work backwards, we let them know and they make that donation,” Spinner said in a Wednesday interview. “With these new AMT rules I suspect that the amount that they can donate will be lower in terms of until they get into that AMT threshold.”

Spinner said she sees the alternative minimum tax as an “anti-deferral regime,” as it is creditable for up to seven future tax years.

She said most high-income people can manage their taxable income to ensure they get a credit from the tax in future years, casting doubt on the federal government’s assertion that the changes will be a revenue generator.

“I wonder if in actual fact if that net benefit will come through.”