Prebudget consultations • The Order proposes major changes to make Quebec taxation more transparent, efficient and accessible
Montreal, February 17, 2015 – The CPA Order is recommending modernizing Quebec taxation through a major shift towards transparency, efficiency and accessibility. This is the focus of the 11 major recommendations the CPA Order presented today to Finance Minister Carlos Leitao as part of the Quebec government’s prebudget consultations.
In recent decades, Quebec has implemented a multitude of programs that should have created more wealth. Yet, in comparison to our North American neighbours, not only have the results not been forthcoming, but Quebec’s already fragile financial situation and economy are of increasing concern. Reforming Quebec’s tax system is among the necessary adjustments.
“The tax system is the fundamental basis of our economy and, to a great extent, of the relations between the population, businesses and the government. To make our tax system a driver of economic growth, it must be efficient, transparent and accessible,” stated Daniel McMahon, FCPA, FCA, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Order.
A single tax return and harmonized tax
In order to simplify taxation and make it more accessible, the CPA Order is proposing, among other things, to replace the two tax returns with a single one, for individuals and businesses alike. The same goes for the two sales taxes in effect in Quebec (GST and QST), which would be worthwhile merging into a single harmonized sales tax (HST). These measures would result in efficiency gains and considerable savings for governments, businesses and individuals.
Transparency and accountability
In a further effort to ensure transparency and accountability, the Order would like all government organizations to publish, in an accessible format, their audited financial statements no later than six months after the fiscal year-end. In addition, the Order is recommending that the government develop communication tools that would raise awareness of the actual cost of government services that individuals receive directly.
Lastly, the Order is putting forward proposals to review the government’s numerous tax expenditures, combat tax evasion more effectively, facilitate the transfer of family businesses, provide a better breakdown of government debt, and strengthen the mechanisms for measuring the effectiveness of government programs. Full details and the recommendations are available at cpaquebec.ca/memoire-budget.
About the Quebec CPA Order
The Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés du Québec has 37,000 members and 7,000 future CPAs. 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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Vice-President, Public Affairs and Communications
Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés du Québec
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