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Canada To Clear Technical Tax Amendment Backlog

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Canadian Finance Minister Michael Flaherty has introduced legislation designed to clear a backlog of outstanding income tax and sales tax amendments.

If the Technical Tax Amendments Act, 2012 passes through parliament, it will be the first time in a decade that a comprehensive package of technical income tax amendments has done so. According to Flaherty, the lack of such legislation has resulted in a significant backlog of outstanding measures that need to be addressed. The legislation will therefore provide certainty for taxpayers, Flaherty said.

The majority of the proposals have already been released for public consultation. They include technical income tax amendments relating to the taxation of Canadian multinational corporations with foreign affiliates, and changes to the taxation of non-resident trusts and their beneficiaries and of Canadian taxpayers who hold interests in offshore investment fund property. Amendments will also be made relating to foreign tax credit generators, conversions of specified investment flow-through trusts and partnerships into corporations, and the creation of a regime of information reporting on tax avoidance transactions.

The Atlantic investment tax credit will be modified, as will the Apprenticeship Completion Grant, Employment Insurance for the self-employed, and real estate investment trusts. The motion also relates to the deductibility of contingent amounts, withholding tax applicable to certain interest payments made to non-residents, and certain life insurance corporation reserves.

The more minor technical income tax measures relate to labor-sponsored venture capital corporations and to the allocation, among provinces and territories, of the taxable income of airline corporations. Technical amendments to the Excise Tax Act include relieving the Goods and Services Tax and the Harmonized Sales Tax on the administrative service of collecting and distributing the levy on blank media imposed under the Copyright Act.

Going forward, the government says that it will continue to work toward ensuring that necessary technical amendments are put forward for consideration on a regular and timely basis.