The Federal Government’s 2017-18 Budget gives Canadians a taste of what they might expect over the next couple of years: attempted efficiencies, closed tax loopholes, steady deficits, and a touch of caution. Budget 2017 outlines only $200 million in net new spending, but also an increase to the deficit of more than $5 billion for 2017-18, partly due to commitments from the previous budget, reduced revenues and increased general expenses.
There are no changes to corporate or personal income tax rates or the small business deduction threshold and no changes to capital gains taxation. In addition, the government did not address in the Budget a number of tax issues it has discussed since Budget 2016, indicating it will release more details on its plans to limit tax-planning strategies later this year. Concerns over potential changes to taxes, trade agreements and regulations in the United States have no doubt caused Canada’s Federal Government to reconsider its own tax strategy.
We can expect to see more substantial proposals for change as the year progresses. The government has clearly signaled that it will be looking for additional ways to prevent tax avoidance.