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Poll Results: Budget 2018 Misses the Mark

Posted: April 03, 2018 By : Knowledge Bureau Writing Staff
Posted in: Strategic Thinking, Financial Literacy, knowledge bureau, Evelyn Jacks, federal budget, tax courses, financial advisors, income splitting, tax advisors, financial education, small business tax, CE summits, Liberal government, Morneau, online courses, financial workshops, passive investment income, budget 2018, online campus

According to Knowledge Bureau’s March poll results, financial professionals agree that Budget 2018 misses the mark. Why do tax and financial advisors believe that simplicity and fairness, in particular, were not addressed, and what impact does this have on the services you provide?

A resounding 92 percent of readers polled answered “no” to the question “Do you believe the February 27, 2018 federal budget achieves the ideals of fairness, equity, simplicity and certainty for our tax system?” Citing the impact on Canadian small businesses, a rising national debt, and an overly complex tax system among the reasons, it’s clear that many respondents hoped for more from this year’s Federal Budget. Provisions impacting the small business community were of particular concern.

The government deserves credit for omitting some provisions proposed last fall regarding passive investment income, and it’s clear that many readers polled are still breathing a collective sigh of relief about this. However, they also noted that the changes implemented, including eliminating grandfathering, could have an impact on their small business owner clients – and the consensus remains that entrepreneurs are being unfairly targeted.

These issues must now be addressed by tax and financial advisors through education and networking opportunities with clients and other advisor-specialists, making the process of ensuring taxpayer rights and accurate filing more onerous. Knowledge Bureau looks forward to meeting advisors at the end of May during the Spring CE Summits Tour to discuss these issues.  In the meantime, here is what the poll respondents had to say about the budget process:

Poll Respondent Comments:

Martin summarizes the thoughts of many of our poll respondents: “Not a lot of real change. The money and funding offered to specific programs (Innovation and skills plan, women in business, skills training and infrastructure for Indigenous peoples) - these are all extensions of what has happened in previous years. Interest rates, GDP, unemployment and oil prices aren’t expected to change much. Income tax revenues are expected to go up. Much the same as in the past several years. Small businesses will be hit harder, too. Its fairness, equity and simplicity are about the same as previous years. The government is good at introducing new taxes to increase revenues. When incentives are given to only certain groups and not everyone that has the same need, it is not equitable. There is nothing simple about the Canadian tax system and this budget just added some more things to watch out for come tax time.”

Ken agrees: “There is nothing simple about our tax system, and there is nothing in this budget that makes it simpler or gives any degree of certainty that it will improve any time in the near future.”

Ed comments on the impact on the small business community:  “Starting a business is a huge risk.  Without reasonable rewards, who would take such risks?”

Timothy concurs, touching on the elimination of grandfathering: “By not grandfathering existing corporate investment accounts, it’s punishing business owners who have diligently followed the rules for over 40 years.”

Be sure to weigh in on this month’s poll question “Do you agree that licensed day care centres should be fully government funded for children aged 2 1/2 until they are eligible for kindergarten?

Additional educational resources:

To learn more about interpreting and applying the provisions of Budget 2018 to better service your clients during the 2018 income tax season, sign up for the Spring CE Summits. T1 Professional Tax Preparation – Proprietorships can also help you address the unique needs of your small business clients. A free trial of this course is available!

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