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Quebec Budget: Concrete steps to ensure tax fairness

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Quebec City, March 27, 2018 – The Quebec CPA Order welcomes Quebec’s 2018-2019 budget tabled today by Finance Minister Carlos Leitão. “With this budget, Quebec is giving itself the means to take on the challenges of the digital economy and ensure tax fairness for all Quebecers,” said Geneviève Mottard, CPA, CA, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Order.

The Order is pleased to see that the 2018-2019 budget takes into account some of its concerns. Most important is the collection of sales tax on e-commerce sales, an initiative to be rolled out in three ways: mandatory collection on intangible goods and services sold from outside Canada; mandatory collection on tangible and intangible goods and services from the rest of Canada, with compulsory registration of Canadian suppliers in the enterprise register; and concrete commitments that the collection of sales tax at the borders will be more effective. While implementing these measures may be complex, over time, they will correct a tax inequity that puts Quebec businesses at a disadvantage.

The Order is also pleased that Quebec’s strong economy and sound public finances are enabling the government to begin repaying its debt. While this is good news, the Order believes that a collective conversation is essential to adopting a clear policy for using the Generations Fund to repay the debt — a policy that is transparent and based on risk management.

As well, the Order is concerned about the use of the Stabilization Reserve Fund to balance the budget for the next three fiscal years. The stabilization reserve, which was established to protect against financial shocks caused by economic recessions or other unforeseen situations, now seems to be viewed as a tool providing additional fiscal flexibility. The Order therefore hopes that careful consideration will be given to formally establishing an optimal stabilization reserve level that would adequately protect against contingencies, and to defining conditions and parameters for using it.

“In a sense, the Stabilization Reserve Fund and the Generations Fund are our collective nest eggs and should be managed with vision and care. Now that the economy is back on track and the government has some new fiscal flexibility, it’s a good time to examine the management parameters of these funds,” added Ms. Mottard.

Lastly, the Order is disappointed that several of its proposals to increase government transparency and efficiency as well as simplify taxation, in particular for seniors, were not included in the budget. Its recommendation to introduce a single tax return for individuals and businesses, as is already the case in virtually all Canadian provinces, was not taken either, even though a February 2017 Aramis survey showed that 78% of Quebecers favoured such a proposal.

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.

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See the brief submitted by the Order (in French only) >

Information:

Jean-Louis Laplante
Manager, Public Affairs
Quebec CPA Order
T. 514 288.3256 [3024]  1 800 363.4688
jllaplante@cpaquebec.ca


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