03 Apr 2012
Maryse Janelle

Maryse Janelle

Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton demonstrated the extent of its tax expertise with regard to the Quebec Sales Tax (QST) at the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants’ Commodity Tax Symposium held in Calgary on March 6, 2012.

Maryse Janelle, Senior Director, Tax, at the Montréal office gave a conference entitled, “QST Harmonization: The Other Side of the Mirror” to help people in Western Canada understand and anticipate the proposed changes to the QST program that will affect their business. The audience of some one hundred people was mostly made up of company representatives from the natural resources and energy sectors.

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02 Apr 2012

Congratulations go out to Mélissa Lachance, Supervisor in the Saint-Hyacinthe office, on receiving the “Young Executive and/or Professional” award at the Gala Révélation Affaires 2012 organized for the past two years by the Chambre de commerce et de l’industrie Les Maskoutains.

The two year-old competition is open to all young entrepreneurs and/or professionals who are 35 years old or younger, regardless of their industry segment, company size or years of experience. The competition strives to encourage tomorrow’s leaders today and focuses on the creativity, leadership, and business acumen of young people in the Mascouche region.

The jury singled out Mélissa because of her passion for her profession and her dedication to humanitarian causes. In 2011, she was also awarded the Isabelle-Boisvenu prize, an award granted every two years by the Eastern Townships Chartered Accountants Group in recognition of a young CA’s exceptional professional achievement and community involvement. You may recall that Isabelle Boisvenu was an Assurance Supervisor with our Sherbrooke office from 2003 to 2005. Daughter of Senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu, Isabelle died in a road accident a few days before Christmas in 2005.

Featured in OCAQ Campaign

To top it off, Mélissa Lachance is also featured in the Ordre des comptables agréés du Québec’s “Everyone Wants a CA” ad campaign. Hats off to Melissa for her accomplishments and community involvement!

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30 Mar 2012

MONTRÉAL, March 29, 2012 – True to its tradition, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton releases its post-budgetary bulletin providing an overview of the tax measures that will affect individuals and businesses in the coming years.

“We are very proud to release this document, prepared by a team of tax specialists in the lock-up, which provides a broad view of the main tax measures in the budget tabled today by Canadian Finance Minister, the Honourable James M. Flaherty,” stated Jean Gauthier, Partner and National Tax Director. The summary may be viewed at the following address: www.rcgt.com/en/2012-federal-budget.

Direct innovation support encouraged but SR&ED tax credits cut back

While Canada expects modest growth in the short term, the government has chosen to support business and entrepreneurs directly by encouraging innovation and prosperity. According to Michel Lefebvre, Tax Partner and member of the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Program, “Investing in innovation is always a wise choice, however, it might have been wiser not to cut into the corporate tax credits provided under the federal government’s significant SR&ED program.”

To support research, innovation and entrepreneurship, the federal government’s 2012 economic action plan will provide $1.1 billion over five years in direct research and development support and $500 million for venture capital. “While this may be commendable, reducing the SR&ED program budget envelope by $1.33 billion over five years means the actual contribution to innovation is only $270 million over five years, which is not all that much,” added Michel Lefebvre.

Bernard Poulin, Tax Partner, echoed Michel’s comments, “We are aware that choices had to be made to support innovation, our competitive and growth linchpin. Nevertheless, it would have been better to maintain and even increase corporate SR&ED tax credits.”

Business transfer tax equity reminder

Additionally, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton is taking this opportunity to emphasize the need to quickly resolve a tax issue that has gone on far too long: tax inequity on business transfers. On December 2, 2010, the Firm sent a copy of its report – “Business Transfers: Problems and Suggested Solutions” (www.rcgt.com/en/news/business-transfers-report) – to the Quebec and federal Finance Ministers and has since pursued this issue through its budget comments last year and by making the tax authorities aware of this unfavourable situation. “At issue is the fact that, from a tax perspective, there is a disadvantage in selling a business to a son or daughter instead of to a third party. At a time when entrepreneurship is on the decline in Canada, it’s imperative to support family business transfers,” Jean Gauthier mentioned.

For her part, Suzanne Landry, University Associate, HEC Tax Professor, and the study’s main author added: “In an intergenerational business transfer, the capital gain is considered to be a dividend, which results in the seller losing the benefit of the $750,000 capital gain deduction. The federal government should resolve this inequity quickly to support our successors, a key component to our competitiveness.”

About Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton

Founded in 1948, today Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton is a leader in the fields of assurance, taxation, consulting services, business recovery and reorganization. Its strength is based on a team of over 2,200 people including some 230 partners in more than 90 offices in Québec, eastern Ontario and New Brunswick. For more than 30 years, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton has been a member of Grant Thornton International Ltd providing its clients with the expertise of the member and correspondent firms in more than 100 countries.

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Information:
Francis Letendre
Public Relations Consultant
Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton
Tel.: 514-390-4201
Fax: 514-554-1685
letendre.francis@rcgt.com
www.rcgt.com

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26 Mar 2012

Levels of stress felt by business leaders have shown their lowest annual increase since 2005 according to global research of 6,000 businesses from the Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR). With economies depressed and the outlook for many still uncertain, this raises the question of whether business leaders are managing their goals to alleviate stress, adding a further brake to growth, or whether they have learnt to better manage the challenges they are facing.

In 2010, net* 45% of business leaders reported an increase in stress levels over the past 12 months, but this fell to just 28% in 2011. And the pattern is consistent around the world; net 21% of business leaders in North America cite an increase in stress in the last 12 months, compared with 35% in 2010. Asia Pacific is the most stressed region with net 44% reporting an increase in stress over the past 12 months, but this too is down from 58% in 2010. Even in distressed Europe, where the focus of economic turbulence resides, the net increase in stress has declined from 40% in 2010 to 22% this year.

Ed Nusbaum, CEO of Grant Thornton International, said: “As the economic crisis has continued, the majority of business leaders have learnt to better manage the challenges they are facing, including dealing with stress by adjusting to more realistic performance measures and goals. This is just as true in the booming BRIC economies as in troubled Europe.

“What we are seeing from our clients across the globe is more effective management of this economic volatility and uncertainty. Businesses have also learned to analyse risks better, factoring them into their performance, and are setting themselves more realistic targets. And, of course, some businesses are faring well despite the bleak economic backdrop.”

The issue of stress in business was highlighted recently when António Horta-Osório, CEO of Lloyds Banking Group in the United Kingdom, was forced to take almost three months off because of a stress related illness.

The IBR indicates that reaching performance targets is by far the biggest headache for businesses; globally 30% of business leaders cite it as the major cause of workplace stress, as do 37 of the 40 economies covered by the survey. Stress caused by the volume of communications, office politics (both 11%) and work/life balance (9%) are much less cited.

Professor John Maule, an expert in Decision Research at Leeds University Business School in the United Kingdom, said: “The increased demands on managers that occur during periods of economic volatility have the potential to increase stress levels. However, people always try to actively manage the demands to reduce these levels. Since they are unable to do much about the pressures coming from the external business environment they must look internally for the solution.

“With achievement of performance targets the greatest contributor of stress for business owners, by reducing these goals they can lower the discrepancy between what they want to achieve and what might happen. This is an effective strategy for reducing stress, but the consequence of lowering performance aspirations will decrease economic activity – this at a time when it is most needed.”

Playing sports/exercising emerges from the research as the principal way in which business leaders relieve stress. Globally 62% of respondents relieve stress in this way, although interestingly this ranges from 78% in North America to just 40% in the BRIC economies. Other popular ways of relieving stress are entertainment both in (54%) and out (46%) of the home. Delegating work and keeping a regular working pattern (both 35%) are also cited by businesses.

However, the IBR indicates that just 42% of business leaders take a holiday to relieve stress, behind exercise/playing sports (62%) and entertainment in home (54%). This is despite a clear correlation between the number of holidays taken by business leaders and their levels of stress (as shown below).

Those countries where businesses take the fewest holidays – such as Japan, mainland China and Thailand – report the biggest increases in stress. Conversely, business leaders in the Netherlands, Russia and Denmark took the most days off in 2011 and reported the lowest increases in stress.

Ed Nusbaum added: “The results provide clear evidence that taking a holiday can reduce the impact of stress on business leaders. Business growth prospects benefit from having strong, focused direction so we strongly advocate taking the time to step away, reflect and recharge in order to bring a new perspective to decision making.”

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Notes to editors
The Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR) provides insight into the views and expectations of over 11,500 businesses per year across 40 economies. This unique survey draws upon 20 years of trend data for most European participants and nine years for many non-European economies. For more information, please visit: www.internationalbusinessreport.com.