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Quebec budget: The CPA Order presents 11 proposals to the Finance Minister

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Montreal, January 28, 2019 – As part of the pre-budget consultations currently being held by the Finance Minister, the Quebec CPA Order submitted a brief to the government today containing 11 proposals to ensure responsible and sustainable management of public finances, foster government transparency, and promote tax fairness and consistency.

To be responsible to future generations – Produce long-term economic and fiscal projections and create a parliamentary budget officer position

The CPA Order recommends that the government regularly produce long-term economic and fiscal projections, and ensure their proper dissemination. According to the professional order, the Quebec government’s long-term financial sustainability cannot be assessed through current economic and fiscal outlooks, specifically its ability to maintain existing levels of public services for future generations. With this in mind, the creation of a parliamentary budget officer position, whose independence and legitimacy would be conferred through appointment by two thirds of the members of the National Assembly, would be a significant step forward.

“The slow demographic growth rate and ageing population pose major challenges that will have long-term effects on government finances,” said Geneviève Mottard, CPA, CA, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Order. “It is therefore essential to have an informed public debate on the budget choices made today which will impact future generations.”

In fairness to Quebec retailers – Charge QST on online sales of tangible goods

The online shopping phenomenon, which emerged just a few years ago, is growing exponentially, and the supply of tangible goods is increasingly becoming more global. Even though this new business model is attractive to consumers, it is unfair to Quebec businesses that are required to collect QST. It also weakens the government’s ability to fund public services.

In its brief, the CPA Order emphasizes the importance of adapting the tax system to this reality and quickly introducing a permanent and efficient QST collection mechanism. While implementing such measures may be complex, it is not impossible. It is, after all, a question of fairness for Quebec-based retailers.

To better support seniors in their choices – Ensure better integration and consistency of tax measures for seniors

For several years, the CPA Order has been concerned about the cumbersome nature of the tax system for seniors. No fewer than 16 tax measures are affected by changes in income for this often-vulnerable group, which accounts for a growing share of the population. And yet, nothing suggests that the measures have been harmonized or that objectives are always met.

As more and more seniors are joining the workforce due to the labour shortage and the government struggles to ensure they have adequate access to dedicated services, a reform to simplify and optimize taxation for seniors is required.


The CPA Order’s other proposals:

  • Establish and formalize principles for the management and use of the Stabilization Reserve
  • Adopt a policy on Generations Fund disbursements
  • Introduce a single tax return for individuals and corporations
  • Make the information collected in the Quebec enterprise register more accessible
  • Enhance the relevance and consistency of tax measures
  • Harmonize pension plan disbursement rules
  • Provide easier access to the financial statements of public and parapublic agencies

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 financial reporting, management accounting, strategy and governance, audit and assurance, 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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