2020-2021 Quebec Budget: Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Would Have Liked to See More Tax Relief for Businesses
QUÉBEC CITY, March 10, 2020 – Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton expressed its opinion on the Quebec budget tabled today and published its tax bulletin that was drafted today by a team of tax experts present at the lock-up in Québec City.
The firm welcomes François Legault’s government second budget and appreciates the measures aimed at protecting the environment with the $6.2B electrification and climate change framework policy over six years, investing more massively in education with additional funding of $1.5B between now and 2025, and supporting investments, innovations and improved business productivity with more than $1B.
However, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton would have expected a greater reduction in the corporate tax burden and more convincing support for entrepreneurial succession, two key elements for ensuring the sustainability of Quebec’s economic drivers.
A fair, incentive-based tax system!
For several years now, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton has been calling for a review of the Quebec and Canadian tax systems. Emilio B. Imbriglio, President and CEO stated: “In addition to having lost its advantage over the U.S. since the President’s corporate tax reform, our small business tax system is outdated, and the corporate tax burden is too high. To give a real boost to our businesses, it would have been better, even necessary, to reduce the general corporate tax rate to keep it at a more attractive level compared to the United States and review corporate and family taxation, which includes several unfair provisions that are not suited to today’s realities.”
Appropriate measures for business growth
The budget contains key announcements for the economy and its businesses that the firm would like to highlight, specifically as it relates to the new tax credit for investment and innovation, the C3i. Tax Partner, Luc Lacombe said: “This $525M tax support over five years is an excellent way to accelerate the purchase of equipment in order to allow businesses to innovate and remain more competitive. In addition, the incentive deduction for the commercialization of innovations (IDCI) is good news for reducing income taxes on products developed and marketed using Quebec corporations’ intellectual property. The synergy capital tax credit is also a significant measure for businesses that want to support innovative enterprises’ growth. This credit is equal to 30% of the investment value up to $750,000. Moreover, funding announced for regional economic development of close to $1B between now and 2025, including $316 million for the tourism sector, is also a strong budget provision to ensure a strong and prosperous Quebec.
Doing more in immigration, a key to Quebec’s success
Despite these announced measures to better integrate immigrants into the labour market, there is still work to be done such as provide foreign workers quickly and effectively. Marc Audet, President of AURAY Sourcing, a subsidiary of Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton stated: “The Quebec government must streamline the administrative aspects for temporary workers by simplifying the conditions and procedures faced by SMEs in recruiting labour. The budget is providing $10M to attract the most qualified foreign talent to Quebec. Employers’ efforts to recruit internationally would require more convincing government assistance.”
Marc Audet added: “The Quebec Immigrant Investor Program needs to be maintained, in a renewed format, because of the positive spin-offs for the Quebec economy, both in terms of the candidates’ profile and their contribution to financing business projects and government programs. We sincerely hope that the program’s suspension will not last too long, allowing Quebec to maintain its leadership with this globally coveted clientele particularly as a result of strategic partnerships developed between various government departments and the private sector.”
Going beyond entrepreneurial intentions and approaches
If Quebec wants more owners, and consequently more businesses, the ownership rate must increase, rather than decrease, as is currently the case. Éric Dufour, Regional Vice-President and National Business Transfer Leader stated: “New entrepreneurs need to move from intent to start-up and therefore need to have a better understanding of all the government support programs available to them. The success of Quebec’s entrepreneurial succession also depends on businesses’ ability to develop a formal, written succession plan and on greater financial support from the government to ensure that leaders are accompanied by professionals. We reiterate that, in order to ensure the effective implementation of succession plans—an essential condition for the success of business transfers—the Quebec government must develop new mechanisms particularly as it relates to the certification of professionals and accreditation of succession plans.”
Imbriglio stated: “The budget contains some sound measures for our economic drivers. However, the tax burden on businesses remains high, and the economic environment could be difficult. In 2021, the Quebec government is forecasting a balanced budget, after the payment to the Generations Fund. Let’s hope that our companies’ perform according to their ambitions and that our public finances remain healthy.”
Please consult Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton’s pre-budget recommendations submitted to the Canada and Quebec Finance Ministers.
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.
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