Ottawa, October 2, 2017 – As the hurried consultations for the biggest small business tax changes in decades comes to an end yesterday, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) submitted a detailed response on behalf of its 109,000 small and medium-sized business members and released the following statement.
STATEMENT FROM CFIB PRESIDENT DAN KELLY:
“Over the past 75 days, Canada has witnessed something very rare—a spontaneous, grassroots response from small business owners, a group typically way too busy to mount protests and campaigns about government policy.
I have been impressed to see business owners from coast to coast reaching out to their MPs, setting up special websites and packing local meeting halls. The federal government’s proposed tax changes have caused a firestorm of reaction from small business owners, which appears to have genuinely surprised our political leaders.
But it is of no surprise to us at CFIB. There has been a growing sense on the part of entrepreneurs that governments don’t understand them, appreciate their contributions or care about their future. On top of planned hikes in Canada Pension Plan premiums, Employment Insurance, carbon taxes or pricing and provincial minimum wages, these changes appear, to many, to be the straw that may break the camel’s back.
CFIB calls on the federal government to reflect on both the substance of the proposals and the strategy it used to launch them. This type of divisive politics has no place in Canada, particularly from a government that has branded itself on bringing Canadians together.
CFIB’s submission and the work of the Coalition for Small Business Tax Fairness (of which CFIB is a member) have provided strong evidence from tax professionals that the proposals will: (a) affect middle income business owners with as little as $50,000 in income; (b) raise effective tax rates on business owners to levels higher than personal taxpayers; and (c) create scenarios for retroactive taxation – particularly on capital gains.
CFIB recommends these proposals be dropped and replaced with a process to work with the business community to ensure there are no abuses of income tax rules. Far more than a few tweaks of the proposals are required. As the government has the power to effectively implement the proposals at any time—even before a budget or passing legislation—CFIB will continue its campaign to inform MPs and the public of the concerns of small business owners in the weeks ahead.
While small business owners are angry, it is not too late for government to chart a new course and build a solid relationship with the nation’s entrepreneurs. CFIB stands ready to help.”
CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across ever