United States – Canada FATCA Intergovernmental Agreement released

The long-anticipated United States – Canada Intergovernmental agreement (IGA) was released on February 5, 2014.

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), enacted by the US Congress in 2010, requires foreign financial institutions to use certain due diligence procedures to identify US persons who have invested in either non-US financial accounts or non-US entities. The intent behind FATCA is to keep US persons from hiding income and assets overseas, as US persons are required to report to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on their worldwide income regardless of their residency. FATCA will start to become operational on July 1, 2014. The US Treasury has entered into intergovernmental agreements with many countries in order to alleviate some of the burdens associated with FATCA compliance.

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2014 budget: transitioning towards a budget surplus

Employment still at the forefront

On the eve of an election year, Finance Minister James M. Flaherty opted to stay the course towards a balanced budget in 2015, banking primarily on employment support to drive economic growth.

Thus, the Economic Action Plan 2014 tabled today does not include any new taxes on families and businesses and balancing the budget in 2014 will generally rely on freezing departmental operating expenses. The conservative government projects that the deficit will decline to $2.9 billion in 2014–2015, with a surplus of $6.4 billion expected in 2015-2016, after taking into account a $3 billion annual adjustment for risk.

More forceful measures to further support the competitiveness of Canada and its businesses will most likely be announced next year in a more favourable budget context.

The following pages provide an overview of the budget’s tax measures.

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Navigating the changes to IFRS: a briefing for chief financial officers

The Grant Thornton International IFRS team has published the 2013 edition of Navigating the changes to International Financial Reporting Standards: a briefing for Chief Financial Officers. This publication has been designed to give chief financial officers a high-level awareness of recent changes that will affect companies’ future financial reporting.

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Flash bulletins provide a summary of the most recent news and publications from standard setters on accounting standards for private enterprises (ASPE), not-for-profit organizations (NFPO) and pension plans.

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