Federal budget: Life insurers and banks will pay more taxes

Canadian Finance Minister, Chrystia Freeland, announces an increase in the tax rate for banks and life insurance companies for income above the $100 million ($1 million) threshold. Thus, the general federal tax rate on corporate income will increase from 15% to 16.5%. The 2022-2023 budget was presented on April 7.

Additionally, interim dividends are levied on the same financial institutions that will have to pay a one-time tax of 15% on taxable income over $1 billion (B$) for the 2021 tax year. These dividends will be paid in equal installments over a period the next five years.

Together, these two measures will generate $6.1 billion over five years. The ongoing tax on banks and life insurance groups is expected to generate approximately $445 million annually thereafter.

Ms Freeland justifies these actions by noting that the federal government’s direct support measures to support and revive the Canadian economy due to the COVID-19 pandemic have cost more than $350 billion in total. While many sectors are still on the path to recovery, major Canadian financial institutions have reaped significant profits during the pandemic.

According to Ottawa, federal measures to help individuals and businesses have gone a long way to reducing risk on these institutions’ balance sheets. So the government believes that they can now contribute to the overall recovery of Canada.

Changes will also be made to Income Tax Law To reduce the various loopholes that allow these same institutions and their shareholders to practice tax evasion.

Feedback from the business community

to me Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Quebec (FCCQ), “The federal government has unfortunately made a simplistic choice to increase taxes on financial firms and life insurance companies,” its press release states.

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“This is certainly not the desired path from the perspective of companies that have done well in recent years or are recovering quickly from the crisis,” he says. Charles MillardExecutive Chairman of the Federation.

Instead, the FCC believes that the government should review its spending to identify ineffective budget measures, which would constitute a better revenue recovery strategy for the state.

For his part, the Council of Employers of Quebec (CPQ) asserts that “the additional tax imposed on the financial sector risks affecting its competitiveness and could have repercussions for taxpayers.” CPQ adds the importance of strict spending control and sound management of public finances.

to me Board of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal (CCMM), this action “is likely to lead financial firms to increase fees charged to citizens and businesses, thus contributing to creating inflationary pressures on bank fees in Canada,” he notes. Michael LeBlancCEO of CCMM.

Taxes for small and medium businesses

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) welcomes the announcement regarding tax cuts for small and medium businesses. Corporations currently benefit from a 9% federal tax rate on the first $500,000 of taxable income, while the general corporate income tax rate is 15%.

Small and medium businesses are no longer entitled to this reduced rate when the level of employed capital in Canada reaches $15 million. The 2022 budget proposes eliminating access to the small business tax rate on a more gradual basis. The accent will be completely eliminated when the capital reaches $50 million.

“CFIB fought for years to lower the small business tax rate,” he recalls. Jasmine JanetVice President for National Affairs of the Federation. The growing SMEs did not have access to the reduced rate. Raising the cap to $50 million will encourage the growth of a large number of small businesses, according to Mr. Genetti.

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The Quebec manufacturers and exporters (MEQ) also agreed with this increase in the maximum level of capital employed in Canada, as did the FCCQ and CCMM.

However, CFIB regrets that the budget does not include any reduction in credit card fees for small and medium businesses. However, Ottawa promised to hold consultations in this regard. The union also stresses that there are no tax cuts on salaries.

IFRS 17

On January 1, new international accounting standards IFRS 17 will enter into force and will significantly change the way financial information is presented by Canadian insurance companies.

The 2022-2023 budget proposes legislative amendments to ensure support for the use of IFRS 17 for income tax purposes except for the new reservation, the contractual service margin, except for some changes. Without this exception, earnings received in the new reserve will be deferred for income tax purposes.

The measure should increase federal revenue by $2.35 billion over the next five years, Minister Freeland estimates. Transitional easing rules and related amendments have also been proposed to protect the minimum tax base.

More helplessness

In his tax bulletin, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton (RCGT) Like many other observers, he notes that the Trudeau government still does not plan to return to a balanced budget. Speaking before the House of Commons, the chancellor did not even mention the size of the budget deficit or the debt burden, apart from declaring an end to pandemic-related support measures.

The deficit for the current year should be $58.4 billion. In five years, ie in 2026-2027, the deficit will still be $8.4 billion according to Minister Freeland, who is still in the forecast stage without being a government commitment.

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The debt-to-GDP ratio should drop from 46.5% in 2021-2022 to 41.5% on March 31, 2027. Debt servicing will cost the government $42.9 billion in 2022-2023.

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