The 2009 Federal Budget: Are dramatic tax changes on the horizon?

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SOURCE? TORONTO, Jan. 26 /CNW/ - On Tuesday January 27th, federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty will table the latest federal Budget. The Finance Minister has stated that the Budget will introduce notable tax changes as a means of supporting the wavering economy. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said that the government will take "big comprehensive actions" with the Budget, while the Finance Minister has said "(w)e are in extraordinary times (that call) for some extraordinary thinking." The ongoing economic uncertainty, coupled with the challenges posed by recent political manoeuvring, raise a host of tax questions, including: - Will the government attempt to encourage spending through a temporary GST reduction? - Will the government try to give a boost to the construction and real estate sectors with a tax credit for home renovation and/or construction? - Will the Budget include any broad-based personal income tax reductions? - Will the Budget introduce any corporate tax reductions or other incentives to motivate corporations to undertake capital expenditures? - Will the government make changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) through increased funding and/or extended benefits? - Will the government try to stimulate job-growth with a reduction in payroll taxes? - Will the Budget introduce any targeted tax incentives aimed at encouraging environmental change and the "green economy"? The enactment of any of these proposals would represent a notable shift in Canadian tax policy and would have significant implications for both the government and Canadian taxpayers. Todd Miller, Michael Templeton and David Wentzell are tax lawyers with McMillan LLP and are available to discuss the Budget and the federal government's future tax plans. Todd Miller is a partner in the firm's Tax Group and has broad experience counselling clients on domestic and cross-border financing transactions, securities offerings, mergers and acquisitions, and business divestitures. Todd has also developed expertise in the areas of estate planning, employee compensation, and the taxation of charities and other non-profit organizations. Michael Templeton is a partner in the firm's Tax Group and practices in the areas of international transactions, business taxation and tax litigation. Before joining the firm, Michael represented the Canada Revenue Agency in tax appeals and has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada on tax issues. David Wentzell is a partner in the firm's Tax Group. David's areas of expertise include the taxation of public and private investment funds and structured products, business acquisitions, securities offerings, and pension and retirement income plans.

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