OTTAWA, March 22, 2016 – Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton publishes its budget tax bulletin containing a summary of the main tax measures announced by Finance Minister, Bill Morneau. This document, prepared by a team of tax specialists in the lock-up, provides a broad view of the main tax measures and may be consulted at: www.rcgt.com/en/2016-federal-budget.
A budget that stimulates growth and investments
In a context where Canada’s economy needs support to create employment, attract investors and allow businesses to innovate and be more competitive, this budget is a breath of fresh air.
“Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton salutes the federal government’s initiatives, in particular the considerable increase in infrastructure investments, restoration of labour-sponsored venture capital, financing of research institutions and additional investments in the arts and culture. The introduction of measures that support corporate growth will provide businesses with better means to create wealth and promote entrepreneurial progress, which is key to ensuring the success of future generations,” stated President and CEO, Emilio B. Imbriglio.
According to Tax Partner Luc Lacombe, “Introduction of the Canada Child Benefit, extension of access to employment insurance to new entrants or re-entrants to the work force, restoration of the old age security eligibility age, and investments of $8.4B over five years to improve the socio-economic conditions of Aboriginals and their communities and making transformative changes are promising initiatives for families and their communities.”
“The fact that we can expect deficits in coming budgets is a call to prudence to avoid generating negative impacts on how Canada is evaluated, particularly by credit rating agencies. Given the massive infrastructure investments, considering the life cycle cost in each case should be an integral part of the evaluation process. To maximize the benefits of all strategic projects, it’s essential that their construction budget take account of operating, maintenance, financing and other costs to ensure they are a long-lasting success in Canadian communities,” Imbriglio added.
Further taxation and succession efforts needed
With respect to taxation, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton believes two important measures should be implemented promptly to reduce the corporate tax burden and improve the current system’s performance. “On the one hand, the corporate tax for SMEs whose annual income is less than $500,000 should be eliminated, provided they invest the resulting savings in upgrading equipment, improving performance, creating jobs or any type of innovation program that improves productivity and methods, and on the other, the system should undergo an in-depth overhaul” stated Jean-François Thuot, Tax Partner and Tax Services Leader.
Moreover, as it has done since 2010, the firm continues to advocate changes to the Income Tax Act. Section 84.1 should be amended to no longer penalize business transfers between family members, for example. “A Canadian business owner should not be at a disadvantage when selling the business to a son or daughter rather than a stranger. In fact, in this type of transaction, the seller loses the capital gains deduction benefit, which could be up to $825,000, which is not the case in a transaction with a third party. We also urge the Canadian and Quebec governments to harmonize their legislation in this respect,” Thuot added.
In the case of entrepreneurial succession, a major issue to ensure the longevity of Canadian businesses, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton would have liked to see a fund to assist businesses so they can call upon external professionals to support them in their transfer and success plan process. “Managers need to develop an appropriate succession plan that takes account of tax, strategic, human, legal and financial issues to pass the torch to the next generation. Entrepreneurs need to be properly prepared. It’s an essential condition to ensure our wealth creators’ success,” emphasized Éric Dufour, Saguenay – Lac-Saint-Jean regional Vice-President and National Business Transfer Leader.
The measures proposed to the federal government in a letter addressed to Finance Minister Bill Morneau may be viewed at the following address: www.rcgt.com/federalbudget-consultation-2016 (in French).
About Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton
Founded in 1948, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton has become a leader in the fields of assurance, tax, consulting services, and business recovery & reorganization. Its strength is based on a team of over 2,500 people, including some 230 partners. Together, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton and Grant Thornton LLP, another Canadian member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd, help dynamic Canadian organizations unlock their potential for growth with over 4,300 people and some 140 offices across Canada. Grant Thornton International Ltd provides clients with the expertise of member and correspondent firms in more than 130 countries, with over 40,000 people.
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