One small­ward a com­pre­hen­sive tax re­view

The Cana­dian Cham­ber of Com­merce

The Peterborough Examiner - - Voice of Business - pe­ter­bor­oughcham­

The last time Canada un­der­took a com­pre­hen­sive re­view of its tax sys­tem, hu­mankind still hadn’t set foot on the moon. In the five decades since, a cut-and-paste ap­proach has made Canada’s tax sys­tem more cum­ber­some and in­ef­fi­cient. As the voice of more than 200,000 busi­nesses, the Cana­dian Cham­ber of Com­merce is launch­ing a project that will build the case for a com­pre­hen­sive re­view of Canada’s tax sys­tem. “Our com­plex and bur­den­some tax sys­tem is driv­ing away in­vest­ment and erod­ing Canada’s com­pet­i­tive­ness,” said The Hon. Per­rin Beatty, Pres­i­dent and CEO of the Cana­dian Cham­ber of Com­merce. “Cana­dian com­pa­nies face se­ri­ous com­pet­i­tive pres­sures from other ju­ris­dic­tions that are ag­gres­sively act­ing to help their busi­nesses grow and com­pete glob­ally. To en­sure Cana­dian busi­nesses are not com­pletely out of the game, our gov­ern­ment needs to launch a com­pre­hen­sive re­view of our tax­a­tion sys­tem to make it sim­pler and more mod­ern, and to re­duce com­pli­ance costs for busi­ness of all sizes.” The project be­ing launched to­day will be led by Dr. Trevin Strat­ton, the Cham­ber’s Chief Economist, and will in­clude a se­ries of round­tables that will bring to­gether busi­ness lead­ers and other stake­hold­ers to dis­cuss the chal­lenges Canada’s cur­rent tax sys­tem cre­ates for busi­nesses, in­no­va­tors, and job cre­ators. “Canada’s de­clin­ing tax com­pet­i­tive­ness im­pacts all as­pects of Cana­dian busi­ness, from cross­bor­der sup­ply chains, our abil­ity to at­tract in­vest­ment, to hir­ing and tal­ent re­ten­tion, as well as merg­ers and ac­qui­si­tions,” said Dr. Strat­ton. “While we are fo­cused on mak­ing the case for a com­pre­hen­sive re­view of the tax sys­tem, we also rec­og­nize there are mea­sures that gov­ern­ment can im­ple­ment right now to im­prove our com­pet­i­tive po­si­tion­ing.” “For ex­am­ple,” Dr. Strat­ton added, “al­low­ing busi­nesses to fully ex­pense the cost of new ma­chin­ery and equip­ment in the tax year the in­vest­ment is made or sim­pli­fy­ing the de­liv­ery of ben­e­fit pro­grams. Through this process we will also be ad­vo­cat­ing for changes like these that can help busi­nesses now.” The Cham­ber’s ef­forts will be sup­ported by Cana­dian tax­a­tion ex­perts, some of whom who will form the project’s Tax Ad­vi­sory Panel. The panel will in­clude: Dr. Trevin Strat­ton – Chief Economist, Cana­dian Cham­ber of Com­merce Bruce Ball – Vice Pres­i­dent, Tax­a­tion, CPA Canada Fred O’Riordan – Na­tional Leader, Tax Pol­icy, Ernst and Young Guy Le­gault – Pres­i­dent, Con­fer­ence for Ad­vanced Life Un­der­writ­ing Vic­tor Gomez – Di­rec­tor of Gov­ern­ment and Reg­u­la­tory Af­fairs, Sun Life The Cham­ber will is­sue a full re­port mak­ing the case for a com­pre­hen­sive re­view of the tax sys­tem, along with rec­om­men­da­tions for some im­me­di­ate steps gov­ern­ment can take to im­prove Cana­dian com­pet­i­tive­ness in ad­vance of the 2019 elec­tion.

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