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2020-2021 Budgets: To Go Further for Business Growth

2020-2021 Budgets: Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Calls upon Governments to Go Further for Business Growth

The objective of the measures proposed to the governments today is to enable our businesses to reach their full potential for growth. They’re the driving force of our economy and the source of our collective prosperity. It’s therefore essential that we continue to provide them with a business environment that is competitive and more conducive to innovation. Québec and Canada must take their rightful place among the world’s most successful nations.

– Emilio B. Imbriglio, President and CEO

MONTRÉAL, February 12, 2020 – Supporting competitiveness within the business world is one of the best ways to increase wealth. For this reason, in connection with the tabling of the next budget, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton is continuing to submit measures that it deems relevant to the Ministers of Finance of Quebec and Canada.

Emilio B. Imbriglio, the firm’s President and CEO, said: “We have been advising key decision makers in Quebec and Canada for more than 70 years. With over 2,800 professionals in more than 100 offices, our unique perspective from both an industry and regional standpoint allows us to understand the realities of businesses, determine their needs and provide expert advice to meet their expectations. We know them well and we know that a fair, sustainable, incentive-based tax system that is better suited to their reality is necessary, as are measures to motivate entrepreneurial succession, further encourage innovation and digital transformation, and maintain the workforce.”

Here are a few of our recommendations:

1. A fair, sustainable, incentive-based tax system suited to today’s situation

Among others, on the tax front, the firm is reiterating the importance for:

  • Governments to abolish corporate income tax on the first $500,000 of an SME’s taxable income, provided that the savings be invested in productivity, employment and innovation in a manner that avoids any possible abuse.
  • Governments to announce their intention to reflect upon and revise family taxation and, more broadly, for the federal government, in collaboration with the provinces, to establish a review process for the tax system, that would be led by independent experts and would lead to a major taxation overhaul for the country;
  • Governments to reduce the Canadian business payroll tax;
  • The federal government to undertake to amend the Income Tax Act to make business transfers to a family member and also for all businesses equitable, regardless of their size and industry and for the Quebec government to undertake to reduce or even remove the restrictions that apply to shareholders when transferring a business to a family member.

2. Entrepreneurial succession

In terms of entrepreneurial succession, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton is suggesting that, for example:

  • Governments set up a fund to support businesses so that they can call upon professionals to help them implement a formal and complete succession plan;
  • The federal government allow RRSPs to be used for funding entrepreneurs’ certified succession plans and for business investments;
  • The Quebec government implement various measures to promote the listing of Quebec companies on the stock exchange specifically by introducing a new simplified share savings type of plan for public SMEs and encouraging tax-advantaged funds to support them.

3. Innovation

It is proposed, for innovation and the 4.0 transformation, that:

  • Governments create an innovation tax credit to help SMEs increase their technology investments and continue to grow;
  • The Quebec government establish a program to support employee training for Quebec companies that are undergoing a digital transformation process; adapt vocational training programs to prepare the workers of tomorrow for a digitally transformed economy; and centralize the management of programs supporting the digital transformation of Quebec companies within a single department or Crown corporation;
  • Governments recognize, in the upcoming budget, blockchain technology and distributed registries as a strategic and undeniable economic issue.

4. Labour and immigration

The following measures are suggested in this respect, among others:

  • That governments make certain adjustments to address labour shortages by exempting from tax overtime for students and workers over the age of 65, as well as in certain industries;
  • That the Quebec Government streamline the administrative aspect by simplifying the conditions and procedures faced by SMEs in recruiting labour through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program;
  • That the Quebec Government ensure that the July 1, 2020 deadline for announcing the new Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP) be respected and that it be implemented no later than the end of 2020. The reform of the QIIP must make it possible to protect jobs in Québec’s financial sector and free up significant amounts of money to support Quebec’s strategic economic guidelines (productivity, innovation, labour shortages, business acquisitions, etc.);
  • That the federal government make adjustments to speed up processes in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) to allow newcomers (high and low wage earners) to work for Canadian businesses and to respond to the urgent needs of Canadian businesses within approximately three months rather than six to ten months; and
  • That the federal government consider reintroducing an innovative business immigration program providing for a more focussed use of funds than the previous program.

Read the prebudget proposals (available in French) forwarded to the federal and Quebec government and a summary of the recommendations.

About Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton

Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton is a professional services firm dedicated to the success of organizations and their leaders since 1948. The firm’s advisors are committed to helping clients thrive by obtaining a deep understanding of what is important to them, their business and their industry. This knowledge, combined with a team of motivated and talented professionals, helps accelerate growth. A Quebec and Canadian leader in the areas of assurance, tax, advisory services and business recovery and reorganization, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton relies on a team of more than 2,800 professionals, including approximately 200 partners, working in over 100 offices across the province and in the Ottawa and Edmundston regions.

Together with Grant Thornton LLP, another Canadian firm, and the Grant Thornton global organization, our global footprint spans across more than 140 countries with over 56,000 people who provide real insight, a fresh perspective and agility to keep clients moving ahead.


Francis Letendre
Head, Public Affairs
Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton
[email protected]

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