Tax reform required to keep Canada competitive: CPA Canada

It is time for tax reform if the country’s economy is to strengthen, according to the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada).

TORONTO, October 27, 2014 – It is time for tax reform if the country’s economy is to strengthen, according to the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada).

Kevin Dancey, the organization’s president and CEO, today appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance as part of its annual consultation process in advance of the federal budget. A key focus of his committee presentation was improving Canada’s taxation and regulatory regimes.

“Tax reform would improve Canada’s international competitiveness, productivity, economic growth and long-term prosperity,” says Dancey. “There has not been a thorough review of Canada’s tax system since the Royal Commission on Taxation in 1966.”

Dancey is asking the committee to again endorse CPA Canada’s recommendation that the federal government undertake a comprehensive review of the country’s tax system to reduce its complexities and inefficiencies. In the past, the committee has endorsed tax simplification.

“We acknowledge that the government has introduced measures to lower taxes and has made improvements to ease the compliance burden, but more can be done,” explains Dancey.

CPA Canada is calling for the government to appoint an independent expert panel to provide advice on options to streamline the tax system. In addition, the organization wants the government to consider creating a permanent, independent tax simplification office, as in the U.K., to review existing and proposed measures.

“Strong management of the country’s finances is critical,” stresses Dancey. “We support the government’s goal to return to balanced budgets through spending restraint rather than increasing the overall tax burden.”

He also notes that red tape places an undue burden on business and stifles competition and growth. CPA Canada is again recommending that the government adopt standardized business reporting – namely XBRL – to help reduce compliance costs for business, and to improve the government’s data collection. Standardized business reporting was included in the committee’s recommendations in 2012 and 2013.

Dancey’s presentation also touched on several other key areas of interest to CPA Canada, including financial literacy, domestic and international trade along with research and development.

It was an historic presentation for CPA Canada with the profession just recently moving to one national body. On October 1, 2014, CGA-Canada joined CPA Canada to complete the integration of the country’s national accounting bodies.

CPA Canada’s pre-budget submission is available online.

About CPA Canada

Canada’s accounting profession is uniting under a new single designation, Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA). The profession’s national body, Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada), represents and supports more than 190,000 members across the country. CPAs are valued for their financial and tax expertise, strategic thinking, business insight, management skills and leadership. CPA Canada has consolidated the operations of three national accounting bodies: The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, the Certified General Accountants of Canada and The Society of Management Accountants of Canada. CPA Canada conducts research into current and emerging business issues and supports the setting of accounting, auditing and assurance standards for business, not-for-profit organizations and government. It also issues guidance on control and governance, publishes professional literature and develops certification and continuing education programs.

For more information, contact:

Justine Toqué
Communications Advisor
CPA Canada
T. 604 694.6700