Quebec Budget 2017-2018 - A budget providing new fiscal flexibility to Quebecers
Among the positive elements, the Order underscored the prospect of balanced budgets until 2021-2022, and the continuing focus on achieving a debt-to-GDP ratio of 45% in 2026. “Working towards this objective and contributing to the Generations Fund are important steps in support of intergenerational equity,” added Ms. Mottard. The Order also commends the measures initiated to reduce the tax burden of individuals, specifically the elimination of the health contribution as of 2016 and the increase in the basic personal amount.
However, the Order is disappointed that its proposals aimed at achieving greater transparency and tax equity were not retained. The CPA Order put forward eight proposals during the pre-budget consultations, all of which were guided by principles of sound governance, transparency, effectiveness and efficiency.
The Order’s proposals included simplifying the tax system by introducing a single tax return for individuals and corporations, as is already the case in almost all other provinces, and fully harmonizing the sales taxes (GST and QST) by implementing a real harmonized sales tax. These two measures alone would generate estimated savings of more than $500 million per year for the public coffers, and in the case of the HST, would also be fairer for taxpayers and Quebec-based retailers. Lastly, because the QST is not charged on online purchases outside Quebec, the government loses $177 million in uncollected sales taxes.
The Order notes that according to an Aramis survey conducted last month, 78% of Quebecers are in favour of having a single tax return, while 51% find it unfair that online purchases outside Quebec are not subject to the QST.
Integration of immigrants
Lastly, the Order commends the additional initiatives put forward in the budget to help newcomers enter the job market, including the development of new tools for the recognition of acquired competence and skills, as well as measures supporting a better applicant/internship/job match.
“For the CPA Order, helping newcomers enter the job market, particularly regulated professions, is a major issue that concerns us. We are currently developing innovative solutions to foster the integration of internationally trained professionals. The measures announced today are consistent with our actions,” said Ms. Mottard.
About the Quebec CPA Order
The Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés du Québec has 39,000 members and 5,000 future CPAs, making it the third largest professional order in Quebec. The Order ensures the protection of the public and the visibility of the profession. It represents all areas of expertise of the accounting profession, including assurance, financial accounting, management and management accounting, finance and taxation.
Manager, Public Affairs
Ordre des CPA du Québec
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