Comprehensive review will pave the way for better tax system: CPA Canada Report

Building on the momentum of stakeholders’ calls for a tax review, a new report by Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) sets out a clear path for undertaking an effective and successful investigation of how to overhaul our tax system to help our country grow and prosper.

Toronto, February 27, 2019Building on the momentum of stakeholders’ calls for a tax review, a new report by Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) sets out a clear path for undertaking an effective and successful investigation of how to overhaul our tax system to help our country grow and prosper. 

The tax system is currently not working for Canadian businesses or for individuals, and that has economic and social impacts. The Best Way Forward: Designing a Tax Review for Canada recommends that a review must focus on:

  • Making the tax system simpler, fairer, more efficient and internationally competitive
  • Simplifying and modernizing the tax policy that underlies the system
  • Ensuring changes to the CRA and tax administration that ease compliance for taxpayers

In recent months, there has been a groundswell of support for an extensive tax review – something that was last carried out in the 1960s. In the most-recent CPA Canada Business Monitor (Q4 2018), 79 per cent  of senior business professionals surveyed supported Canada undertaking a comprehensive review of Canada’s tax system.

 

Beyond CPA Canada, calls for a review have come from other national business organizations, leading think-tanks, parliamentary committees, the Advisory Council on Economic Growth and international bodies such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the International Monetary Fund. While a range of options on how to conduct a review are being put forward, there is complete agreement that a review has been put off for too long and the time to act is now.

“With the growing chorus for change, if the government does not announce this much-needed initiative in the next federal budget, we hope it and other parties will show their commitment by making a tax system review a key pledge in their campaign platforms for the upcoming federal election,” says Joy Thomas, president and CEO, CPA Canada.

According to CPA Canada’s tax report, an effective review should be:

  • Comprehensive in scope, putting all aspects of tax policy and administration and how they interact on the table in order to identify broad, systemic improvements
  • Conducted by an independent expert panel, appointed by the Minister of Finance
  • Governed by clear terms of reference setting out a broad mandate with respect to transparency, timelines, public consultation and review, as well as access to research and analysis resources
  • Followed by a published response and key actions on the part of the government

The Best Way Forward: Designing a Tax Review for Canada follows the two earlier reports in CPA Canada’s series:

To view the latest report, visit cpacanada.ca/taxreview.