Supporting competitiveness within the business world is one of the best ways to increase wealth. For this reason, in connection with the tabling of the next budget, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton is continuing to submit measures that it deems relevant to the Ministers of Finance of Quebec and Canada.
Emilio B. Imbriglio, the firm’s President and CEO, said: “We have been advising key decision makers in Quebec and Canada for more than 70 years. With over 2,800 professionals in more than 100 offices, our unique perspective from both an industry and regional standpoint allows us to understand the realities of businesses, determine their needs and provide expert advice to meet their expectations. We know them well and we know that a fair, sustainable, incentive-based tax system that is better suited to their reality is necessary, as are measures to motivate entrepreneurial succession, further encourage innovation and digital transformation, and maintain the workforce.”
Here are a few of our recommendations:
1. A fair, sustainable, incentive-based tax system suited to today’s situation
Among others, on the tax front, the firm is reiterating the importance for:
- Governments to abolish corporate income tax on the first $500,000 of an SME’s taxable income, provided that the savings be invested in productivity, employment and innovation in a manner that avoids any possible abuse.
- Governments to announce their intention to reflect upon and revise family taxation and, more broadly, for the federal government, in collaboration with the provinces, to establish a review process for the tax system, that would be led by independent experts and would lead to a major taxation overhaul for the country;
- Governments to reduce the Canadian business payroll tax;
- The federal government to undertake to amend the Income Tax Act to make business transfers to a family member and also for all businesses equitable, regardless of their size and industry and for the Quebec government to undertake to reduce or even remove the restrictions that apply to shareholders when transferring a business to a family member.
2. Entrepreneurial succession
In terms of entrepreneurial succession, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton is suggesting that, for example:
- Governments set up a fund to support businesses so that they can call upon professionals to help them implement a formal and complete succession plan;
- The federal government allow RRSPs to be used for funding entrepreneurs’ certified succession plans and for business investments;
- The Quebec government implement various measures to promote the listing of Quebec companies on the stock exchange specifically by introducing a new simplified share savings type of plan for public SMEs and encouraging tax-advantaged funds to support them.
It is proposed, for innovation and the 4.0 transformation, that:
- Governments create an innovation tax credit to help SMEs increase their technology investments and continue to grow;
- The Quebec government establish a program to support employee training for Quebec companies that are undergoing a digital transformation process; adapt vocational training programs to prepare the workers of tomorrow for a digitally transformed economy; and centralize the management of programs supporting the digital transformation of Quebec companies within a single department or Crown corporation;
- Governments recognize, in the upcoming budget, blockchain technology and distributed registries as a strategic and undeniable economic issue.
4. Labour and immigration
The following measures are suggested in this respect, among others:
- That governments make certain adjustments to address labour shortages by exempting from tax overtime for students and workers over the age of 65, as well as in certain industries;
- That the Quebec Government streamline the administrative aspect by simplifying the conditions and procedures faced by SMEs in recruiting labour through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program;
- That the Quebec Government ensure that the July 1, 2020 deadline for announcing the new Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP) be respected and that it be implemented no later than the end of 2020. The reform of the QIIP must make it possible to protect jobs in Québec’s financial sector and free up significant amounts of money to support Quebec’s strategic economic guidelines (productivity, innovation, labour shortages, business acquisitions, etc.);
- That the federal government make adjustments to speed up processes in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) to allow newcomers (high and low wage earners) to work for Canadian businesses and to respond to the urgent needs of Canadian businesses within approximately three months rather than six to ten months; and
- That the federal government consider reintroducing an innovative business immigration program providing for a more focussed use of funds than the previous program.
SOURCE Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton