Surrey Business News

Red Tape Re­duc­tion Re­port In­di­cates Con­tin­ued Com­pli­ance Cost to Busi­ness

- Business · Surrey · Canada Revenue Agency · U.S. government

The Sur­rey Board of Trade ad­vo­cates for red tape re­duc­tion, which is ex­ces­sive bu­reau­cracy, rou­tines, rules and com­plex­ity at all lev­els of gov­ern­ment caus­ing de­lays or un­rea­son­able costs to busi­nesses. “Fil­ing forms and ap­ply­ing for li­censes are a part of do­ing busi­ness, how­ever, the Sur­rey Board of Trade wants to en­sure that it isn’t oner­ous on our busi­ness com­mu­nity,” said Anita Hu­ber­man, CEO, Sur­rey Board of Trade.

Over 67% of re­spon­dents to the Sur­rey Board of Trade’s an­nual sur­vey in­di­cated that the over­all costs of com­pli­ance with reg­u­la­tions have in­creased over the past two years at all lev­els of gov­ern­ment.

“An in­creas­ing num­ber of our re­spon­dents are find­ing reg­u­la­tory com­pli­ance to com­pro­mise in­no­va­tion and growth,” said Anita Hu­ber­man. “Red tape re­duc­tion is a low-cost way to stim­u­late the econ­omy and boost pro­duc­tiv­ity.”

Sum­mary of Sur­vey Re­sponses:

1. Im­pact of com­pli­ance: 71.8% re­ported mod­er­ate to ma­jor im­pact for busi­ness to com­ply.

2. Fi­nan­cial costs of com­pli­ance: 67% of re­spon­dents de­ter­mined that over­all costs have in­creased in the last 2 years.

3. Time taken to fill out forms: 64% of re­spon­dents found the time taken to com­ply has in­creased in the last 2 years, up 8% from last year.

4. Fil­ing taxes: 28% found pay­ing taxes to be a mod­er­ate to high cost of do­ing busi­ness with over 25% now out­sourc­ing in­come tax re­turn fil­ing.

5. Agen­cies with the most red tape: 44.7% iden­ti­fied Canada Rev­enue Agency to have mod­er­ate to high lev­els of red tape. Over 30% rated the PST with mod­er­ate to high lev­els of red tape with 29.4% find­ing that Worksafebc has mod­er­ate to high lev­els of red tape.

6. Im­ped­i­ment to in­no­va­tion:

71% of re­spon­dents re­ported that com­pli­ance is some­what to def­i­nitely an im­ped­i­ment to growth and in­no­va­tion, a sub­stan­tial jump from 51% in 2018.

7. Mea­sures that would re­duce red tape: 86% wanted a re­duc­tion in the fre­quency of re­port­ing to a min­i­mum, a sig­nif­i­cant jump up from 74% in 2018.

8. All lev­els of gov­ern­ment rated low for com­mu­ni­ca­tion. How­ever, there was a mod­er­ate shift in­di­cat­ing im­prove­ment for both the Fed­eral and Provin­cial gov­ern­ments, with the Fed­eral gov­ern­ment show­ing the great­est im­prove­ment. Provin­cially, there is a strong trend to­wards inad­e­quate. While there is no clear con­nec­tion, the in­tro­duc­tion of new taxes for de­vel­op­ment spec­u­la­tion and the em­ployer health tax may have had an im­pact.

To this end, the Sur­rey Board of Trade rec­om­mends:

1. That gov­ern­ments re­duce, where pos­si­ble, the num­ber of times busi­nesses must re­port the same in­for­ma­tion;

2. That all lev­els of gov­ern­ment im­prove their on­line ser­vice por­tals and call cen­tre ser­vices, us­ing clear lan­guage for in­struc­tions and en­sur­ing rel­e­vant links are up to date and work­ing. There is an op­por­tu­nity to im­prove the co­or­di­na­tion of com­pli­ance and en­force­ment ac­tiv­i­ties; and,

3. That gov­ern­ments stream­line and/or share their in­for­ma­tion gath­er­ing tech­nol­ogy to min­i­mize du­pli­ca­tion.

RE­PORT: businessin­surrey.com/pol­icy/in­ter­na­tional-trade

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