14 Apr 2015

Taxation Partner Jean-Francois Thuot, commented on some of the latest tax news in an article published in Les affaires. To learn more about the new tax rules to consider when filing your income tax return, see the article.

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13 Apr 2015

As a leader in the financial recovery and reorganization market, Raymond Chabot is proud to launch its awareness campaign, “Ne perdez pas vos moyens“. The objective is to promote the importance of good personal financial management and break the taboo regarding Financial problems.

Quebecers are worried about their personal financial situation

According to the study on Quebecers and personal finances conducted by the CROP research firm exclusively for Raymond Chabot, Les Québécois et les finances personnelles 1, nearly one out of two people in Quebec is experiencing a difficult period regarding their financial situation. Four out of ten Quebecers (41%) consider their financial position is currently weak. This issue is particularly present in the 18-34 and 35-44 age groups, because one out of two members (50%) of this combined age group qualify their finances as fairly or very fragile. In addition, despite the extent of personal financial concerns (credit, savings, difficulty managing their budget, etc.), one out of two individuals (50%) say they feel uncomfortable discussing personal money issues with a member of their circle (family, friends, etc.). Money matters thus remain a taboo subject on which people prefer to say nothing, whether to people close to them or to specialized advisors.

This survey will benefit from very high visibility from the outset, because an article published this morning (April 13) in Le Journal de Montréal scoops the conclusions of this survey conducted of 1,650 Quebecers.

An awareness campaign with comedian Laurent Paquin

To raise Quebecers’ awareness about the importance of constant vigilance in dealing with their personal finances and to democratize this issue, about which often too little is heard, Raymond Chabot has called on Laurent Paquin. The popular comedian will be associated with the “Ne perdez pas vos moyens” campaign launched this week. Having experienced financial problems of his own, he will speak from personal knowledge, well able to understand the reality of those who are living with such a situation. Laurent Paquin will share his experiences through video clips released as Web commercials and columns published as advertorials in the province’s daily newspapers. All the tools of the Ne perdez pas vos moyens campaign are available at www.raymondchabot.com/conseils (French only).

Raymond Chabot invites everyone who watches the videos and reads the columns to share them with the people close to them to raise their awareness of the importance of saving and making a budget and adopting sound everyday consumer habits. In this vein, Partners Éric Lebel, Marc Lafrenière, Stéphane Gauvin and Éric Morin will participate in a media tour and act as spokespersons in their respective regions to promote healthy personal finances. They will also disclose a statistical picture of the situation specific to their region, based on data from the exclusive survey.

raymondchabot.com gets a facelift!

Web visitors to www.raymondchabot.com may notice that the website has been totally renovated and optimized to adapt to the various platforms (smartphones, tablets, etc.). Visitors can find the information they need more easily, from wherever they are in their path, and better recognize the options available to them. Moreover, the content specific to certain types of clientele (personal component or business component) has been added so that all the information found there is clear, useful and targeted.


1 Methodology: The CROP survey exclusive to Raymond Chabot was conducted on the Web in February 2015 among 1,650 Quebecers age 18 and over. It was made public on April 13.

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10 Apr 2015

In addition to releasing a tax bulletin and press release following the budget lock-up on March 26, 2015, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton experts briefed various media outlets about the issues that will affect economic and tax considerations in Quebec in the coming years.

Their post-budget comments mainly identify the impacts of the new tax measures on individuals and business managers.

A “good budget” for individuals

Luc Lacombe, Tax Partner, who attended the lock-up in Quebec City in order to quickly and efficiently summarize the key budget measures, explained that this is a good budget for individuals in several interviews on the following radio stations: Radio X (Québec region), 101.5 FM (Sainte-Marie-de-Beauce), 105.5 FM (Chaudière-Appalaches region, 101.9 FM (Victoriaville) and 97.3 FM (Thetford Mines).

In particular, Lacombe was pleased with the announced tax shield that had been recommended in the Godbout Report. It will allow individuals earning less than $50,000 to avoid losing certain tax credits, such as child care expenses or work premiums, should their income increase. “This measure puts an end to an injustice facing individuals who want to work overtime or find new employment […]. It’s an appealing measure that will help the middle class,” he concluded.

Additionally, he believes that the new budget will help seniors. To encourage experienced workers to stay in the work force, the government will increase current tax credits for workers aged 65 and over and will extend the age limit in both directions. Moreover, individuals aged 65 and over who have owned their principal residence for more than 15 years will benefit from a grant in respect of their property taxes.

Tax relief: “Nothing before 2016”

Another key measure for individuals is the abolition of the health tax. “This is good news,” said Jean-François Thuot, Tax Partner, who was also at the lock-up. In a video interview for the Journal de Montréal and the Journal de Québec, which was broadcast on 99.5 FM (Lac-Saint-Jean), he qualified his statement saying, “The bad news is, the measure doesn’t come into effect until 2017.”

Thuot further stated that most tax relief measures for individuals won’t come into effect until 2016. He is nevertheless optimistic about the future, stating, “We’ve achieved a balanced budget, so we can  expect good news in the future.”

SMEs also benefit from the budget

In interviews with Radio Canada Première and Radio Canada Estrie, Sarah Phaneuf, Tax Partner, declared that SMEs are the big winners in the 2015-2016 Quebec budget. She went on to say that SMEs will benefit from some tax reductions that bring the corporate rates of Quebec businesses more in line with those of other provinces, in particular, Ontario. “Most Quebec businesses will benefit from tax rates that will be reduced from 11.9% to 11.5% by 2020, in addition to further reductions for manufacturing sector businesses.”

For his part, Éric Dufour, Partner and Vice-President of the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region, emphasized the importance of new tax measures for inter-generational business transfers in an interview broadcast on Radio X and in an article in Le Quotidien. The government will be putting an end to the tax inequity that made it more advantageous to transfer a personal business to a third party rather than to one’s children.

However, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton laments the fact that, for the time being, the measure is only available to the primary and manufacturing sector and stated in a press release that the measure should be extended to all sectors.

The firm considers that “the table has been set for wealth creation in two ways: by returning to a balanced budget and by bringing in a breath of fresh air, from a tax perspective, for wealth creators: our dynamic local businesses.” (see the article in Info Dimanche which contains comments by a number of organizations on Quebec Finance Minister Carlos J. Leitão’s budget).

Interesting measures for regional economies

According to Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton’s experts, several measures are beneficial for regional economies.

First, the inter-generational transfers measure, mentioned above, will benefit SME owners in the regions. Éric Dufour also referred to the $1.5B fund being allocated to the maritime strategy that could benefit certain regional projects, such as Arianne Phosphate. He also mentioned the $35M set aside for aluminium processing and the government’s commitment to maintain an investment tax credit at a reduced rate of 8% for five years.

Luc Lacombe noted the manufacturing and processing tax credits that will be extended for several years and, on the infrastructure front, the reconstruction of the Québec City bridge.

Lastly, Sarah Phaneuf noted the 12 cent per liter tax decrease for gasoline retailers in regions bordering the United States. However, she is somewhat skeptical about the impact of this measure. “People don’t necessarily cross the border just to fill their gas tanks,” she mentioned.

An austere budget that raises serious concerns for the education sector

While the budget is not as austere as may have been expected, it does put considerable pressure on spending controls, stated Jean-François Thuot. “In the health and education sectors, it remains to be seen where the cuts will be,” added Luc Lacombe.

Réal Létourneau, Tax Partner and Vice-President of the Eastern Townships region, gave his opinion in an interview in La Tribune. He is concerned about the lack of importance attached to education in the Couillard government’s budget. “You can’t talk about prosperity without believing in knowledge,” he said. He believes that the 2% hike in education spending is insufficient, summarizing: “I’m glad to see that the budget has been balanced, but, I would have preferred to see a 1% increase in the QST, with the proceeds being invested in education”.

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If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.

 

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07 Apr 2015

In her remarks, Taxation Partner Édith Pion demonstrates that a successful business transfer depends on preparation and planning. The owners must organize the transition to ensure their company’s sustainability. To learn more about this important issue, see the article.