Adviser alert – March 2018

Potential accounting consequences of the US tax reform for IFRS preparers

The Grant Thornton International IFRS team has published IFRS Viewpoint – Potential accounting consequences of the US tax reform for IFRS preparers. The IFRS Viewpoint series provides insights on applying IFRS in challenging situations. Each edition will focus on an area where the standards have proved difficult to apply or lack guidance. This edition provides guidance on the potential accounting consequences arising from the recent reform of the United States’ tax system.

On December 22, 2017, the President of the United States (US) signed into law the ‘Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’ (Act). The Act is a sweeping reform of US taxation which is likely to have a significant impact on financial statements prepared under IFRS for entities with US operations. Furthermore, because the Act became law on December 22, 2017, its effects must be included in interim and annual reporting periods that include that date. The range and complexity of the Act means that companies with US operations need to analyse the impact of the Act in detail. This IFRS Viewpoint addresses some of the issues that entities will face when doing so.

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Gaston Fournier
Manager | M.A., CHRP | Management consulting

It’s your business—you’ve invested time and energy, but has the time come to consider selling or transferring it? Here’s some advice for a successful transition.

Experts agree that it takes an average of seven years to complete a successful transfer. Only about one third of the 100,000 businesses that will be carrying out a transfer in the next ten years will do so successfully. About 91% of entrepreneurs do not have a succession plan. Is this your situation?

You need to surround yourself with the right professionals for this process. One benefit is that they can make keep discussions on track and foster a smooth transition. It’s also important to keep in mind that this transfer may take place gradually, over several years.

Cover all the bases

Make sure you have all of the experts you need for a successful transfer. There are numerous facets to an organizational change of this magnitude: human, financial, tax and legal, among others.

Work with experienced advisors

Call on advisors with business transfer experience who can see the big picture, because the success of this process depends on how well the advisors can work together as a team.

Reflect your business’s situation

Choose one person from the group that you trust, who knows your business’s situation and understands the related human and interpersonal issues. This person can act as the “integrator” with an overall view of your needs and objectives. That person’s role will be to identify your needs and call on the right resources at the right time.

Have an objective observer

Encourage neutrality. The professionals must be capable of giving you an objective opinion. To ensure the business’s longevity, they should consider the needs of the transferor and transferee in the process. This may include, for example, doubt about the transferees’ abilities, questions about everyone’s future role, the business’s value.

Generally, the following experts are involved in a successful transfer:

  • specialists in business transfers, strategic planning and human resource management;
  • an account manager,
  • a financial planner or development capital investor,
  • a business valuation specialist,
  • a tax specialist,
  • a lawyer,
  • an accountant,
  • a notary
  • a communication management consultant and family mediator and,
    in some cases, an industrial psychologist.

By surrounding yourself with the right experts, you’ll be well positioned to ensure a successful business transfer!

08 Mar 2018  |  Written by :

Mr. Frounier is a manager at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton. He is your expert in human resources...

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There seems to be a growing trend for seniors to live together. Historically associated with younger people, the phenomenon of sharing a residence appears to be drawing a new generation.

For some seniors, it’s an opportunity to avoid isolation and loneliness. It also has the benefits of being able to share interests and activities, without necessarily sharing their love life.

What’s more important, like teens and young adults, seniors see the significant advantage of sharing housing costs. In the context of their generally more limited income and with the constantly increasing life expectancy, living with someone is an appealing solution to deal with this reduced income.

Tax impact

Living together is seen as another option for balancing one’s budget.

Despite the undeniable benefits of shared housing, are there tax impacts? A reader recently had questions about how her plans to move in with someone would affect her tax situation. Let’s look at some of the considerations more closely.

After they have lived together for 12 months, two individuals of the same or different sex are considered to be common-law spouses and would therefore be required to change their marital status when filing their tax returns.

Since some tax credits are calculated on a family income basis, the change of status could result in the two individuals losing certain tax benefits. However, just the fact of being roommates does not trigger a change in marital status.

To conclude that roommates are common-law spouses, they have to have lived in a conjugal relationship for 12 months.

Common-law spouses

Tax legislation does not define a conjugal relationship, therefore, the facts underlying the relationship will generally determine whether two individuals are common-law spouses.

The tax authorities usually consider two individuals to be in a conjugal relationship if they live in the same residence, present themselves as a couple, declare themselves to be spouses for insurance or pension purposes, enter into agreements or loans together, have intimate relations, etc.

There is no dominant factor per se, all of the facts at hand must be analyzed to determine if roommates are common-law spouses.

The main point to remember is that simply living together is not sufficient to consider that roommates are spouses.

Tips

1. Roommates should ensure that they properly report the nature of their relationship to the tax authorities.

2. Having a roommate means you can no longer claim the tax credit for a person living along.

3. Misrepresenting the situation could lead to a review of your tax situation and the need to repay certain benefits.


Consult your tax advisor for help in assessing your situation.

This article was published in French in Journal de Montréal and Journal de Québec on 2018, February 27.

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Welcome to IFRS Newsletter – a newsletter that offers a summary of certain developments in International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) along with insights into topical issues.

We begin this first edition of 2018 by considering the potential effect of the recent U.S. tax reforms on IFRS preparers with operations in the United States. We also remind readers of the key aspects of the two major new standards that have come into effect on January 1, 2018 (IFRS 9 Financial Instruments and IFRS 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers) and take a look at issues that are currently attracting regulators’ attention.

We then move on to look at amendments the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has recently made to its standards. Further on in the newsletter, we present IFRS-related news at Grant Thornton and a general round-up of financial reporting developments.

We finish with a summary of the implementation dates of recently issued standards, and a list of IASB publications that are out for comment.