Companies across Canada, both large and small, have a wide variety of specific concerns with tax policy and administrative issues. Responsibility is split inside the Government of Canada and equally challenging in provincial jurisdictions. While federally, Finance Canada is charged with developing the policy and legislation, the Canada Revenue Agency administers and enforces the rules and regulations. This sometimes leaves the corporate taxpayer caught in the middle, between two departments that each point to the other when changes, solutions or relief are required.
As governments struggle with deficit and debt reduction, changes to taxation policies are inevitable and will significantly influence the conduct of business. The future of pensions in Canada has also emerged as a major topic occupying both the provinces and the federal government and any mandated changes to contribution levels would significantly affect corporate finance strategies.
Current tax and finance policy issues that play directly into corporate finance strategies include:
HST introduction in Ontario and B.C.
Cost of capital implications of changes in domestic and international regulation of financial intermediaries
Future availability of funding via “flow through shares”
Impact of National securities regulation;
Comprehensive review of Canada’s retirement income system
Fiscal and tax measures to improve productivity, research and innovation