A strong Canada must include a competitive tax system: CPA Canada

The federal budget offers a broad range of initiatives to help Canadians achieve a better future but it could do more to meet immediate challenges faced in keeping Canada competitive, according to Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada).

OTTAWA, February 27, 2018 – The federal budget offers a broad range of initiatives to help Canadians achieve a better future but it could do more to meet immediate challenges faced in keeping Canada competitive, according to Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada).

“We operate in a global economy and uncertainty lingers, especially when faced by actions such as tax reform in the United States,” says Bruce Ball, vice-president, tax, CPA Canada. “An independent, comprehensive tax review would greatly assist in creating a best-in-class tax system to generate jobs, attract investment and foster inclusive growth for the benefit of all Canadians.”

While the fiscal blueprint does not pledge an extensive tax review, it does note that Finance Canada will conduct a detailed analysis of the U.S. federal tax reforms to assess any potential impacts on Canada. “This is an issue of immediate importance and more information on how this analysis will be carried out is needed,” says Ball.

Among the budget measures is a new approach relating to passive income for private corporations. Under the proposal, if a corporation and its associated corporations earn more than $50,000 of passive investment income in a given year, the amount of income eligible for the small business tax rate will be reduced.

“The new plan is much simpler than what was originally proposed, and the government deserves credit for listening to Canadians,” says Ball. “We still firmly believe that the best approach to deal with Canada’s tax system is not to assess proposals in isolation, but as part of a comprehensive review,” stresses Ball.

CPA Canada supports further investments and actions outlined in the budget to combat tax evasion. “This is a serious global issue and we will continue to work with the federal government and international bodies to help prevent abuse of the tax system.”

In addition, there is still no timeline to bring the annual federal budget back into balance. CPA Canada believes the country needs a plan for fiscal stability - one that establishes a target date for a return to balanced budgets over the medium term.

The government’s long-term goal of building a strong economy and society includes:

• Improving women’s economic success
• Providing additional assistance to low-income working Canadians
• Better support for Canada’s innovators
• Measures to enhance the well-being of Indigenous Peoples
• Creation of an Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare
• A significant investment in cybersecurity

CPA Canada welcomes the focus on those areas and tonight will make available a more detailed budget analysis document at cpacanada.ca/budget2018.