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PBO report shows tax changes remain costly and deeply confusing

CFIB urges government to delay implementation

March 8, 2018 – The Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO)’s report on income sprinkling released today confirms what groups like the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) have been saying all along: the tax changes are overly complicated and the government has drastically underestimated the impact and cost of its new tax rules.

“In addition to finding the government will be taking twice as much from businesses than projected just days ago in the 2018 budget, the PBO report reveals it is nearly impossible to figure out who will be potentially affected,” said Dan Kelly, CFIB president. “If Finance and the PBO struggle to figure out who will be whacked with higher taxes, God help us when this hits the CRA!” 

“Quite apart from the increased tax burden these measures bring to family-run businesses, our even bigger concern is that small firms will have no idea whether they will ultimately pass the tests or not,” added Kelly. “Once the audits start in a few years from now, business owners are not going to have the documentation to prove whether or not they pass the ‘bright line’ or ‘reasonableness’ tests, resulting in added red tape and years of tax court battles across the country.”

Despite some small steps in the right direction last October and in the recent budget, CFIB remains concerned that there is still not enough clarity to responsibly proceed. That concern was backed up by a Senate report calling on the government to wait a year before bringing in the new rules.

“The new rules remain a confusing mess for small business owners. We’re calling on the government to listen to the Senate, delay the implementation for a year and take the time to fully assess the impact,” said Kelly. “We’re also recommending that spousal income and dividends be exempted from the new rules.”

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Kiara Morrissey, CFIB
[email protected]  

About CFIB
CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members across every sector and region. Learn more at

March 8, 2018

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