Did you know that an individual inheriting a building could have to pay GST and QST upon receiving the inherited property?

In fact, the transmission of estate property to heirs constitutes a sale and as a result, can be subject to the Goods and Services Sales Tax (GST) and the Québec Sales Tax (QST). Therefore, when transmitting a commercial building, the estate (i.e. the seller) will have to collect and remit GST and QST.

There are exceptions

There are however situations where the estate does not have to collect sales tax. For example, when the heir (or acquirer) is registered for GST and QST, the estate is not required to collect taxes that are otherwise applicable.

Before transmitting estate property, make sure you properly understand your obligations and comply with commodity tax rules.

The Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton’s tax advisors can guide you in this type of tax planning. Contact our professionals for assistance with this process.

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The likely enactment of Bill C-45 on the legalization of cannabis will definitely impact human resource management.

There are numerous concerns:

  • Will productivity and absenteeism be impacted?
  • How can the legal framework be respected?
  • What recourses will be available to measure consumption?

These are important matters to consider and they confirm that Canadian businesses will need to adapt.

Managers’ concerns

A survey by the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés reveals that some three-quarters of its members are concerned by the legalization of cannabis. Close to 40% of them also believe that drug use in the workplace is already a problem.

Managers need to start looking at how they will manage the impact of legalizing the recreational use of cannabis. They will need to strike a balance between the right to privacy and the obligation to provide a safe work environment for all. They need to manage this challenge proactively and be prepared when the time comes.

Screening, personal rights and disciplinary measures

When it comes to health and accident prevention, all employers have a legal obligation to ensure the health, safety, physical and psychological well-being of their employees.
They have a management right that allows them to implement a policy prohibiting the possession or consumption of drugs and/or alcohol in the workplace.

In order to justify the imposition of sanctions, they need to have a clear, unequivocal policy that employees are aware of and that will be strictly applied.

Consumption and addiction

The courts have recognized that drug addiction is a disabling dependency. Accordingly, under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, an employer is obliged to accommodate an employee with an addiction, provided it does not result in undue hardship.

What does this mean? An employer cannot dismiss an employee with an addiction, i.e., an employee who is handicapped by an addiction to drugs or alcohol on the sole grounds that the employee is not able to perform the work effectively.

When is a policy required?

There are many factors supporting the importance of instituting a policy on the use of any substance that could impair a person’s faculties. For example, it could be a “zero tolerance” policy, with severe penalties, including dismissal, for anyone who breaks the rules.

How the new policy is implemented internally will be the key to its success. All of the employees must be aware of the new policy. It is recommended that a number of employees be an integral part of the process to ensure that the information is disseminated more quickly.

Talk to one of our experts to find out more about your rights and obligations and set a clear internal policy on drug and alcohol consumption.

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Did you know that you could be entitled to a partial GST and QST refund if you have substantial renovations done to your dwelling?

Renovations are considered substantial when all or substantially all (90% or more) of the existing building is removed or replaced, except for the foundations, outside walls, inside supporting walls, floors, roof and stairs.

Refund eligibility conditions

Your dwelling is eligible for a partial refund when all of the following conditions apply:

  • The housing is a single-unit residential complex (including a duplex) or a residential unit held in co-ownership.
  • You or one of your relations was the first to occupy the premises after the renovations had begun.
  • The housing is being renovated to serve as your or a relation’s primary place of residence.
  • For the GST rebate, when the renovation was substantially (90% or more) completed, the fair market value of the property was $450,000 or less.
  • For the QST rebate, when the renovation was substantially (90% or more) completed, the fair market value of the property was $300,000 or less.

Application deadline

The refund application must be submitted no later than two years after the first of the following:

  • The date on which the renovations were substantially (90% or more) completed;


  • Two years after the date on which you or one of your relations began using the premises as a primary place of residence after the renovations had begun

Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton’s tax advisors can guide you in filing and maximizing your claim. Contact our professionals for assistance with this process.

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Pierre Fortin
Partner | CPA, CA | Management consulting

Several businesses see digital transformation and the promises of Industry 4.0 as ways to improve their level of operational excellence. Did you know that operational excellence is also one of the key steps towards a successful digital transformation?

Seize the opportunities

For several years now, news has spread about the opportunities offered by digitization to improve an organization’s efficiency and effectiveness.

First, while computerization served to automate low value-added activities in an operational, administrative or manufacturing process, digitization pushes this concept even farther.

For example, with the digitization of processes and the inclusion of computer systems, today’s businesses generate colossal quantities of data. The data collected are often used for monitoring purposes, i.e. in scorecards or operational and financial reports.

Improve the overall effectiveness and efficiency

In the manufacturing field for example, innovative solutions born from artificial intelligence and advanced analytics can now help unlock the predictive potential of these data, accelerate decision-making when non-compliance or failures are detected, and as such, improve the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the production chain.

Even client experience improvement initiatives via digitization opportunities can result in unexpected efficiency gains. For example, processing client data using advanced analytics provides an unequalled level of understanding of clients.

In addition to improving the experience of these clients through greater tailoring of services, a better understanding of your clients provides sharper focus on investments and employee and manager work on current projects and activities that have true value for the client, and improves your efficiency at the same time.

Lastly, discovering trends in demand fluctuations allows businesses improve operational planning and reconcile sales with operations (break down the silos!) to enable the business to produce a good or deliver a service just in time and with the required quality.

The fact that all of this happens, more often than not, on the factory floor or at any other point where the company’s activities are carried out, is directly in line with the philosophy behind operational excellence, which sees “operators” as the main levers for the continuous improvement of a business.

The challenges of 4.0 and operational excellence solutions

Beyond the opportunities, the promises of Industry 4.0 also involve real challenges for businesses.

Management methods

The notion behind Industry 4.0 will force business culture to go from a hierarchical structure to one of accountability and move towards a learning culture. Furthermore, the increased sharing of data among a business’s divisions will result in changes in behaviour and paradigms. Silos will be removed, managers from different business units will no longer keep information from each other.


Corporate digitization will require implementing training programs to update the staff’s skills based on the company’s, clients’ or business partners’ new needs.

Investing in labour training is key since employees will have to deal with the digitization, connected devices and algorithms. With the support of these components, businesses will take operational decisions at an unparallelled level and pace.

Business models

Industry 4.0 offers the possibility of transforming all products into a single service platform.

Aligning the business strategy and vision

To ensure the longevity of the short-term gains of Industry 4.0 (e.g. automating a process or procedure), the company will have to ensure that its actions align with its business strategy and global vision.

Operational excellence, with its close management bases, already commits the business, its employees and first-line managers to a culture of accountability and sharing and ultimately, the decentralization and acceleration of decision-making (with a minimum of guides or parameters).

It makes it possible to settle inefficiencies before scaling them by automating part of your activities.

The world is changing; your challenges will too. Make sure you maintain your operational excellence. Get ready to act. Our experts can help.

07 May 2018  |  Written by :

Pierre Fortin is a partner at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton. He is your expert in Management...

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