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The Ledger, Jan. 13: The week that was in Canadian accounting news

Are NAFTA negotiators and CRA tax haven collectors playing for time?

Author: Colin Ellis

TORONTO, Jan. 13, 2018 – Canadian Accountant's weekly round-up of Canadian accounting news stories:

NAFTA Negotiations Not Going Anywhere

Maclean’s Magazine is the Canadian winner on NAFTA reporting for the week as it reports on the complexities of competing NAFTA visions by US congressional leaders confused by their President and burdened with a full agenda in the lead-up to mid-term elections. One day threats, the next day appeasement from the weather-vane President.

As Andrew Coyne opines, the best strategy may simply be to wait for the end of the Trump administration, which continues to stumble from scandal to scandal. But the most instructive article of all can be read in New York Magazine, which gives an insider US point of view, while laying out the competing visions of NAFTA. Highly recommended.

Canada Revenue Agency Slow to Collect on Panama Papers

Is the CRA dragging its feet and not going after tax evaders named in the Panama Papers? As reported by the Toronto Star, half a billion dollars has been collected by tax agencies around the world since the Panama Papers leak in 2016. But the CRA won’t say if it’s collected anything. “It’s a further indication of the lackadaisical attitude of our revenue agency,” said Liberal Senator Percy Downe.

US Tax Reform Puts Canadian Tax System in Spotlight

A few articles this week on the potential for Canadian tax form, with Michael Wolfson in The Province, The Fraser Institute, and Ernst and Young.

Pelham Taxpayer Revolt Over Development Debt

An audit by KPMG of the Town of Pelham has done little to dissuade a taxpayer revolt over debt incurred due to a new development in the Ontario town. This report by the St. Catharines Standard is interesting in its review of municipal debt in Ontario and the infrastructure costs of development to taxpayers.  

Another Day, Another Merger

And congratulations to the good folks at Grant Thornton in Manitoba for adding two new partners.

Colin Ellis is editor-in-chief of Canadian Accountant.

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