Agriculture groups are among more than 40 national organizations that have formed a coalition to fight the federal government’s proposed tax changes for incorporated businesses.
The Coalition for Small Business Tax Fairness sent a letter to Finance Minister Bill Morneau asking him to take the proposal off the table.
“In ten years at the Canadian Chamber, I’ve never seen an issue that has generated greater concern among our members. To make matters worse, allotting only 75 days for comment in the midst of the summer holidays is not a consultation, it’s a stealth attack on farmers and family businesses,” notes Perrin Beatty, president and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, in a coalition news release.
The proposed changes would restrict how small business owners could share income with family members, limit forms of saving within a business, and change rules on how capital gains are taxed, impacting how a business is transferred to the next generation.
“Ninety-seven per cent of Canadian farms are owned by families who form the backbone of rural economies and face unique challenges as independent businesspeople. The proposed changes to the tax code will dramatically limit the ability of these families to invest in their businesses, encourage the next generation to remain on the farm, and engage in succession and retirement planning,” says Jeff Nielsen, president of Grain Growers of Canada.
Ron Bonnett, president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, notes the federal government’s own 2017 budget highlighted agriculture as a sector primed for growth.
“If these tax changes are implemented as proposed, we’ll see increased tax burden for farms, reduced investment in growing our operations, and even more uncertainty and complexity for farm ownership transfers. We need to rethink these proposals to ensure that Canadian agriculture stays globally competitive.”
Introduced on July 18, the 75-day consultation period on the tax code proposal ends on October 2.
Coalition for Small Business Tax Fairness members (as of August 31):
Advocis – Financial Advisors Association of Canada
Agricultural Manufacturers of Canada
Association of Consulting Engineering Companies
Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance
Canadian Association of Farm Advisors
Canadian Association of Management Consultants
Canadian Association of Optometrists
Canadian Association of Radiologists
Canadian Bar Association
Canadian Cattlemen’s Association
Canadian Chamber of Commerce
Canadian Construction Association
Canadian Dental Association
Canadian Federation of Agriculture
Canadian Federation of Independent Business
Canadian Home Builders’ Association
Canadian Horticultural Council
Canadian Institute of Financial Planners
Canadian Institute of Heating and Plumbing
Canadian Institute of Steel Construction
Canadian Medical Association
Canadian Mortgage Brokers Association
Canadian Pharmacists Association
Canadian Pork Council
Canadian Taxpayers Federation
Canadian Veterinary Association
Canadian Water Quality Association
Coalition of Ontario Doctors
Conference for Advanced Life Underwriting
Family Enterprise Xchange
Federation of Ontario Law Associations
Grain Farmers of Ontario
Grain Growers of Canada
Independent Financial Brokers of Canada
Mechanical Contractors Association of Canada
National Exempt Market Association
Ontario Association of Radiologists
Ontario Medical Association
Retail Council of Canada
Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association