Government has targeted individuals who earn income in excess of $190,000 annually. This 1% is really the middle class. Even the middle class as defined by the government has suffered substantial tax increase. The vast majority of Canadians will be impacted directly or indirectly by this policy.
The new rules (which for the most part, take effect immediately) are complex, especially for busy business owners who don’t spend a lot of time researching tax legislation. And, because these changes take effect immediately, many current income-splitting and passive investing strategies might not be efficient on a go-forward basis.
“I’ve got three issues about how this has come about:
1. It has been marketed under the guise of fairness, taking from those who “have” and redistributing to those who “don’t”. It is anything but.
2. Don’t introduce something so jarring, to the small business community in particular, in the dead of summer with a 75-day consultation period and try and pushing something through over on us under some false marketing.
3. When you get into the mechanics of the plan… my conclusion is that they’ve wrapped a bunch of issues into one big basket and tried to shove them all through under the title of fairness …
This is a radical shift to how we many of us have been doing business over the last 30 years. That is what is fundamentally unfair.”
Bruce Croxon, Round 13 Capital
Income splitting and the deferring of taxation were express promises made in 2012.
The Federal Government has eliminated or greatly reduced access to this tax relief.
Professional corporations still make sense … but they will require the professionals themselves to be far more understanding of current tax policy.
The primary concerns are that tried-and-true prudent tax planning strategies were all attacked.
It granted CRA overreaching new powers, making it virtually impossible to pass a business onto the next generation. This change dis-incentives entrepreneurs to go into business or professional practice. Canadian business owners responded vigorously and the measures were rescinded … but what was finally tabled challenges personal initiative and its rewards.
The new tax measures take aim at deferral though the punitive passive income limits that will cost up to $70,000 to businesses in 2019.
When doctors were given the ability to incorporate over a decade ago in Ontario it was an express promise to allow them to save for retirement in their corporations and to have some tax relief by paying their spouses (and adult children) dividends.
This has now been taken away.
Canadian businesses and individuals are currently taxed at punitively high rates, in most provinces in excess of 50% on income greater than $200,000.
Canadian entrepreneurs and professionals are also at a severe disadvantage when compared to their American counterparts. Currently American tax rates on business income are below Canadian rates and the top American federal rate of tax of 37% doesn’t kick in until over $500,000 of income.
WILMOT GEORGE, CFP, TEP, CLU, CHS
Wilmot is Vice-President, Tax, Retirement and Estate Planning of CI Investments Inc. Wilmot has been seen and heard on various financial forums including The Globe and Mail, The National Post, Advisor.ca and Investment Executive. In addition, he has delivered presentations for The Financial Advisors Association of Canada (Advocis), the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and The Institute of Advanced Financial Planners (IAFP).