Canada's CAs recommend three paths to red tape reduction

TORONTO, Jan. 28 /CNW/ - Eliminating, simplifying and automating regulatory processes are three paths identified by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) to reduce red tape at the federal level.

The CICA today participated in a Toronto roundtable discussion organized by the federal Red Tape Reduction Commission. The Commission asked participants to identify red tape irritants that hinder business growth in Canada.

A simple test works well when it comes to eliminating unnecessary regulation, says Nigel Byars, CA, executive vice-president, CICA. "If a net benefit is not apparent in relation to a particular regulation, the regulation should be eliminated," he notes. "The benefits must clearly exceed the cost of compliance."

In terms of simplification, the CICA says tax complexity must be addressed.

"This is an important matter when it comes to attracting investment," says Byars. "Concerns over Canada's tax rates and tax regulations are among the top five problematic factors cited by business executives for doing business in this country, according to the World Economic Forum. The system must be simplified to reduce the costs associated with the burden of compliance."

CICA recommendations include allowing consolidated tax returns or loss transfers for groups of related companies and a review of the thresholds used for income tax and GST purposes.

Turning to automating regulation, the Institute notes that Canadian companies must report similar information in many different formats to meet the needs of numerous government departments and agencies.

"The repackaging of this information places a considerable burden on companies," says Byars. "We recommend the adoption of Standard Business Reporting, more specifically, eXtensible Business Reporting Language or XBRL. This data tagging mechanism could be used in all government filings to both reduce compliance costs and heighten the efficiency and accuracy of data collection."

The CICA welcomes the focus on red tape in an effort to promote better business growth and the Institute looks forward to the Commission's findings.

Chartered Accountants (CAs) are Canada's most valued, internationally recognized profession of leaders in senior management, advisory, financial, tax and assurance roles. Through their integrity, expertise, and internationally recognized qualification standards, Canada's 78,000 CAs sustain their influence and leadership position both in Canada and globally. As trusted business advisors to Canadian organizations of all sizes, Canada's CAs foster confidence in Canadian business and contribute to the health and sustainability of Canada's capital markets and economy. The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) represents Canada's CA profession both nationally and internationally. The CICA is a founding member of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and the Global Accounting Alliance (GAA).

SOURCE Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants

For further information: or to arrange an interview, contact: Tobin Lambie, Manager, Media, CICA, (416) 204-3228,,

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