Federal government must keep its house in order and focus on country's tax regime: CICA

TORONTO, Sept. 20, 2012 /CNW/ - Strong fiscal management by the federal government and a greater focus on Canada's tax regime are crucial to enhancing economic growth and achieving a sustained economic recovery, according to the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA).

The CICA recently made its 2012 pre-budget submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance.

"We applaud the federal government for its plan to balance the budget over time through expenditure controls rather than increasing the overall tax burden on Canadians," says Kevin Dancey, FCA, president and CEO, CICA.  "This approach must continue."

In fact, the CICA states that the personal income tax burden should be eased.  "This will help Canadians prosper during these times of economic uncertainty and help attract and retain talent in the global marketplace," stresses Gabe Hayos, the organization's vice-president of taxation.

In addition, the submission notes that reducing the complexity of Canada's domestic tax regime is integral to easing the regulatory burden placed on Canadian businesses and attracting investment.

"Simplifying our tax system would make the country more competitive and allow both individuals and businesses to prosper," explains Hayos.  "Many aspects of Canada's tax system have become too complex for businesses and individuals and we recommend that the government establish a national consultation process to examine tax simplification measures."

For example, rather than introducing personal income tax credits that only add complexity, the CICA believes broad-based tax reductions represent a more meaningful approach and should be examined.

When it comes to reducing tax complexity, Hayos notes two aspects must be explored:  possible immediate actions and a more long-term approach to easing the regulatory burden.

Other topics addressed by the CICA include federal innovation funding, reducing red tape, expanding international trade agreements and helping internationally trained professionals succeed in their chosen fields.

The submission also notes that ensuring the adequacy of retirement savings is fundamental to addressing the challenges associated with an aging population.  It calls on the government to provide further incentives to help Canadians save for their retirement.  "Financial literacy also is a factor," says Dancey.  "Financial capabilities vary among Canadians so we must ensure that people have the skills and knowledge required to provide for their retirement."

The CICA pre-budget submission is available online (http://www.cica.ca/prebudget2012).

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 82,000 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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Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants

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