Profession Business Taxation

Sunday News Roundup 22.02.06: O’Toole accounting, tax hawks, schwing and more 

Wrapping up the odds and ends in this week’s Canadian accounting news

Author: Canadian Accountant

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TORONTO, February 6, 2022 – The Freedom Convoy rolled into Ottawa last week hoping to bring down the Liberal government of Justin Trudeau. They brought down Erin O’Toole instead, ushering in another leadership race among members of the Conservative Party of Canada. That may be welcome news among Canadian accountants — the majority of whom traditionally vote Conservative — as Conservative support slipped among Canadian accountants in the 2021 Election. 

Vaccine mandates and government shutdowns — the issues that fueled the Ottawa protest — divided chartered professional accountants in the last election as well, with support slipping to both the Liberals (mandates and shutdowns good) and the People’s Party of Canada (mandates and shutdowns bad). Pierre Poilievre, the member of Parliament for the Ottawa-area riding of Carleton, is the frontrunner in the leadership race. 

We will be watching closely to see whether Poilievre can inspire Canadian accountants in ways that his predecessors, O’Toole and Andrew Scheer, could not. And now, on to more news from the past week in the exciting world of Canadian accounting. 

Wax on, wax off the anti-vax tax

Lost in the hullabaloo over Freedom Convoys and Conservative politicians was the announcement this week that Quebec would drop its plan to make adults who refuse COVID-19 vaccines pay a special health contribution. Premier Francois Legault, perhaps mindful of the fleur-de-lis waving at the Ottawa protest, said the idea was too divisive. 

But if you’re still intrigued with the idea, read Fred O’Riordan, National Leader of Tax Policy at EY Canada, writing for Canadian Accountant on whether Quebec's health tax on the unvaccinated can "move the needle." 

G&M: No movement from Liberals on family transfers

Patrick Brethour of the Globe and Mail had a scoop this past week: Apparently the Liberals are dithering on amendments to the new rules on intergenerational business transfers. As you might remember, a lot of ink has been spilled over the passage of Bill C-208, including our series of articles from Allan Lanthier. According to Brethour, the Liberals have failed to embark on any consultation, let alone draft any amendments. 

Tax hawks: The sky is falling

No week would be complete without some think tank or business leader complaining about high taxes. This past week it was Frank Stronach in the Toronto Star, arguing that Canada is over-governed, overtaxed and overregulated. Just one reader in the comments section supports Stronach’s view: Syd, a self-described “Chartered Accountant for almost 45 years,” who explains why it’s a “good article.” 

And Jack Mintz opined in the Financial Post that government spending will lead to a 22 per cent hike in taxes to balance the budget. “Over-bearing governments, burdensome public services and runaway public costs destroy the vitality of the private sector through excessive taxation,” writes Mintz. 

Schwing! Revenu Québec busts swingers

Something was always screwy at Club Frenchkiss in Laval, Quebec. Apparently the nightclub that “catered to wife-swappers and swingers” wasn’t paying its income or sales taxes, according to Laval News. Apparently “the company failed to report and to remit to Revenu Québec sales taxes that it collected, an amount calculated to be $17,325.32.” You can fool around with (or without) your partner, but don’t fool around with Revenu Québec. 

Accounting Firms Mergers & Acquisitions

Grant Thornton welcomed the firm of LM Rourke, CPA into the GT fold this past week. The firm is located in Collingwood, Ontario and serves clients in Simcoe County. Grant Thornton also announced its 2022 list of new partners and principals

UK auditors busted in big, big ways

As the Canadian audit regulatory regime moves towards more transparency at glacial speed, it’s fascinating to watch what is playing out in the UK. KPMG recently made the astounding confession that it had intentionally misled audit regulators and has now been hit with a $1.8 billion lawsuit over its audit of Carillion. 

Also fascinating to observe is this article, which identifies one audit partner (a former KPMG senior partner) as possibly the worst auditor in the UK.  Why fascinating? Because back in 2009, UK regulators implemente a rule requiring the audit engagement to sign the auditor’s report. The US implemented a similar rule in 2017. Canada does not have a similar rule. 

Quick Hits

CRA crackdown on 'carousel fraud' can hurt innocent businesses: lawyer (Canadian Lawyer)
Finding the tipping point of stock collapses (Advisor’s Edge)
Is a big writedown lurking in your portfolio? Keep an eye on goodwill (Globe and Mail)
IFRS Foundation wants inaugural ISSB board members (press release)

By Canadian Accountant staff.

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