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Sunday News Roundup 24.06.16: Capital gains narratives and more Canadian accounting news

Wrapping up the odds and ends from the past week in Canadian accounting news

Author: Canadian Accountant

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TORONTO, June 16, 2024 – As predicted in last week’s Sunday News Roundup, the Liberal government got what it wanted last week, forcing the Conservatives to take a stand on a hike in capital gains. The Hill Times had the best headline on the big event, Liberals ‘got what they wanted’ on capital gains vote, but success depends on which ‘narrative wins out,’ say observers, but the CBC At Issue panel had, as usual, some of the best analysis. 

The panel were not surprised by Pierre Poilievre’s position, which is consistent with position over the years, but were astounded that the Liberals seemed “completely unprepared” for his “economic vandalism” line of attack, despite weeks (if not months) of opportunity to prepare. As the panellists noted, Poilievre did not say he would repeal the hike if elected, as it will bring in much money to federal and provincial coffers, but will instead look to broader tax reform (for which accountants have been calling for some time). 

Among more commentary worth reading was Tony Keller, pointing out that “paying for and getting excellent public services, if done right, does not have to come at the expense of a dynamic economy,” Allan Lanthier arguing that “the government was hasty and dismissive as it cobbled together its tax proposal, an approach consistent with other recent tax legislative fiascos,” and we also recommend Andrew Chang’s About That video on the CBC: “Who’s telling the truth about the capital gains tax?” 

And now, on to the rest of the news from the past week in Canadian accounting. 

That's a lot of bare trust tax filings!

Speaking of the CBC, someone there was paying attention when Minister of National Revenue Marie-Claude Bibeau rose in response to a written question from Conservative MP Gary Vidal, and informed Parliament that 44,034 Canadians filed bare trust tax forms during the recent tax season screw-up. 

The varied costs to Canadians and the accounting profession of the bare trusts fiasco has been well-documented. A CPA Canada spokesperson said the “numbers don't surprise him … many of the accountants he spoke to who knew about the rule changes were preparing their clients' forms well ahead of the eleventh hour pause.” 

PCAOB leader reappointed to second term

Lost in the Canadian news this past week was an American story that will arguably have a greater impact in the long run to Canadian accountants than our first two stories. The Biden administration (through the SEC) has appointed Erica Y. Williams to a second term as PCAOB Chairperson through to 2029. 

Anyone who has been reading Canadian Accountant over the past few years will know the impact that Williams has had not only in the US but also in Canada. But to summarize, in broad strokes only — a far more vigilant and frequent record of audit inspections of Canadian firms, and a record of transparency that has called into question the culture of audit regulation in Canada.

We’re sure that there are some auditors who would love to see a return to the bad old days of the Trump Administration and its regulatory capture and defenestration of the PCAOB. But for the sake of the Canadian investors, most of us should hope that Williams stays on, and continues to wag her finger at the auditors around the world. 

Quick Hits: Articles of Interest 


Did corporate price-gouging help fuel high inflation? Meet the controversial economist who says it did (Toronto Star)
KPMG in Canada expanding investments and capabilities in generative artificial intelligence (Press Release) 


PwC asks for silence from departing staff in programme of UK job cuts (Financial Times) 

By Canadian Accountant staff.

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