Canada: 2015 Federal Budget Commentary

Introduction

The Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Finance, today tabled Economic Action Plan 2015, the Harper Government's "balanced-budget, low-tax plan for jobs, growth and security."

Budget 2015 focused on four key areas:

  • Fulfill the Harper Government's promise to balance the budget in 2015. The Government will return to balanced budgets while maintaining the lowest federal tax burden on Canadians in over half a century.
  • Support jobs and growth by making Canada more competitive and allowing job-creating businesses to thrive; making new and innovative investments that build on the Government's historic support for infrastructure; and training a highly skilled workforce that responds to the evolving needs of employers.
  • Help families and communities prosper by continuing to provide tax relief and other support for hard-working families and individuals while enhancing opportunity for all.
  • Ensure the security of Canadians by supporting the Canadian Armed Forces and protecting Canadians from the threat of terrorism at home and abroad.

The following is a brief overview of the key tax measures.

Personal Tax Measures

There are no proposed changes to the marginal personal tax rates.

Dividend Tax Credit Adjustment for Non-Eligible Dividends

In conjunction with the proposed reduction in the small business tax rate (discussed in the business income tax measures), Budget 2015 proposes to adjust the gross-up factor and dividend tax credit rate applicable to non-eligible dividends, effective January 1st of each year.

Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)

The Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) is a flexible, registered general-purpose account that was introduced in 2009 to improve the taxation of savings, with an annual contribution limit of $5,000 per individual, indexed to inflation in $500 increments.

Budget 2015 proposes to increase the TFSA annual contribution limit to $10,000. This increase will apply as of January 1, 2015, so that a single annual contribution limit of $10,000 applies to the 2015 and subsequent calendar years. The contribution limit total to date will be $41,000. The TFSA annual contribution limit will no longer be indexed to inflation.

Home Accessibility Tax Credit (HATC)

Budget 2015 proposes to introduce a new Home Accessibility Tax Credit. This proposed non-refundable credit will provide tax relief of 15 per cent on up to $10,000 of eligible expenditures per eligible dwelling, per qualifying individual.

Seniors (individuals who are 65 years of age or older at the end of the particular taxation year), and persons with disabilities (individuals who are eligible for the Disability Tax Credit at any time in a particular taxation year) will be considered qualifying individuals for the purposes of the HATC. The credit may be claimed by the qualifying individual as well as individuals who may claim such qualifying individuals as dependents.

An eligible dwelling must be the principal residence of the qualifying individual at any time in the taxation year.

Expenditures will be eligible for the HATC if they are made or incurred in relation to the renovation or alteration of an eligible dwelling, provided that the renovation or alteration allows the qualifying individual to gain access to, or be more mobile or functional within the dwelling, or reduces the risk of harm to the qualifying individual within the dwelling, or in gaining access to the dwelling. Examples of eligible expenditures include expenditures relating to wheelchair ramps, walk-in bathtubs, wheel-in showers and grab bars. Eligible expenditures will include the cost of labour and professional services, building materials, fixtures, equipment rentals and permits. Items such as furniture, as well as items which retain a value independent of the renovation (such as construction equipment and tools), would not be integral to the dwelling and as such expenditures for such items will therefore not qualify for the credit.

The HATC will apply in respect of eligible expenditures for work performed and paid for and/or goods acquired after 2015. Any eligible expenditure claimed for the Home Accessibility Tax Credit must be supported by a receipt.

Minimum Withdrawal Factors for Registered Retirement Income Funds

A Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) must be converted to a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF), or the savings used to purchase a qualifying annuity, by the end of the year in which the RRSP holder attains 71 years of age. Contributions to a RRIF are not permitted and a minimum amount must be withdrawn annually beginning the year after it is established.

Budget 2015 proposes to adjust the RRIF minimum withdrawal factors that apply in respect of ages 71 to 94, on the basis of a five per cent nominal rate of return and two per cent indexing, instead of seven per cent and one per cent. These assumptions are more consistent with long-term historical real rates of return on a portfolio of investments and expected inflation.

Existing and New RRIF Factors

Age  (at start of year) Existing Factor (%) New Factor (%)
71 7.38 5.28
72 7.48 5.40
73 7.59 5.53
74 7.71 5.67
75 7.85 5.82
76 7.99 5.98
77 8.15 6.17
78 8.33 6.36
79 8.53 6.58
80 8.75 6.82
81 8.99 7.08
82 9.27 7.38
83 9.58 7.71
84 9.93 8.08
85 10.33 8.51
86 10.79 8.99
87 11.33 9.55
88 11.96 10.21
89 12.71 10.99
90 13.62 11.92
91 14.73 13.06
92 16.12 14.49
93 17.92 16.34
94 20.00 18.79
95 & over 20.00 20.00

The new RRIF factors will apply for the 2015 and subsequent taxation years. To provide flexibility, RRIF holders who at any time in 2015 withdraw more than the reduced 2015 minimum amount will be permitted to re-contribute the excess (up to the amount of the reduction in the minimum withdrawal amount provided by this measure) to their RRIFs. Re-contributions will be permitted until February 29, 2016 and will be deductible for the 2015 taxation year. Similar rules will apply to those receiving annual payments from a defined contribution RPP or a PRPP.

Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption for Qualified Farms or Fishing Property

Budget 2015 proposes to increase the Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption to apply to up to $1 million of capital gains (an increase from the current $813,600) realized by an individual on the disposition of qualified farm or fishing property. This measure will apply to dispositions of qualified farm or fishing property that occur on or after Budget Day.

The Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption applicable to capital gains realized on the disposition of qualified farm or fishing property will be the greater of (1) $1 million; and (2) the indexed Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption applicable to capital gains realized on the disposition of qualified small business corporation shares.

Registered Disability Savings Plan – Legal Representation

Budget 2012 introduced a temporary measure to allow a qualifying family member (i.e., a beneficiary's parent, spouse or common-law partner) to become the plan holder of a Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) for an adult individual who may lack the capacity to enter into a contract. Budget 2012 indicated that this measure would apply until the end of 2016.

This measure was introduced in response to concerns that a number of adults with disabilities have experienced difficulties in establishing an RDSP because their capacity to enter into a contract was in doubt. Some provinces and territories have instituted streamlined processes that allow for the appointment of a trusted person to manage resources on behalf of an adult who lacks contractual capacity, or has indicated that their system already provides sufficient flexibility to address this concern.

To give the remaining provinces and territories the opportunity to address the RDSP legal representation issue described above, Budget 2015 proposes to extend the temporary measure introduced in Budget 2012 to apply to the end of 2018. The rules implementing the Budget 2012 measure will not otherwise be changed and a qualifying family member who becomes a plan holder before the end of 2018 can remain the plan holder after 2018.

Repeated Failure to Report Income Penalty

Where a taxpayer fails to report an amount of income in a taxation year and had failed to report an amount of income in any of the three preceding taxation years, the taxpayer is liable to a penalty equal to 10 per cent of the unreported income for that taxation year. The repeated failure to report income penalty can sometimes be disproportionate to actual associated tax liability.

Budget 2015 proposes to amend the repeated failure to report income penalty to apply in a taxation year only if a taxpayer fails to report at least $500 of income in the year and in any of the three preceding taxation years.

This measure will apply to the 2015 and subsequent taxation years.

Alternative Arguments in Support of Assessments

There is a specific provision in the Income Tax Act which provides that the Minister of National Revenue may advance an alternative argument in support of an assessment at any time after the normal reassessment period. This process of raising arguments and counter-arguments "in the alternative" is a conventional part of the litigation process.

Budget 2015 proposes that the Income Tax Act be amended to clarify that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and the courts may increase or adjust an amount included in an assessment that is under objection or appeal at any time, provided the total amount of the assessment does not increase.

These measures will apply in respect of appeals instituted after Royal Assent to the enacting legislation.

Information Sharing for the Collection of Non-Tax Debts

To facilitate efficiency and coordination within the CRA, Budget 2015 proposes to amend the Income Tax Act, Part IX of the Excise Tax Act (in relation to the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax) and the Excise Act, 2001 (in relation to excise duties on tobacco and alcohol products) to permit the sharing of taxpayer information within the Agency in respect of non-tax debts under certain federal and provincial government programs. To ensure greater consistency in the information sharing rules in federal tax statutes, Budget 2015 also proposes to amend Part IX of the Excise Tax Act and the Excise Act, 2001 to permit information sharing in respect of certain programs where such information sharing is currently permitted under the Income Tax Act.

This measure will apply on Royal Assent to the enacting legislation.

Transfer of Education Credits – Effect on the Family Tax Cut

The previously announced Family Tax Cut rules prevent transferred education-related credits from being included in the calculation. Budget 2015 proposes to revise the calculation for the 2014, and subsequent taxation years, to ensure that couples claiming the Family Tax Cut and transferring education-related credits receive the appropriate value of the Family Tax Cut. After the enacting legislation receives Royal Assent, the CRA will automatically reassess affected taxpayers for the 2014 taxation year to ensure that they receive any additional benefits to which they are entitled under the Family Tax Cut.

Extending Compassionate Care Benefits

Budget 2015 proposes to provide up to $37 million annually to extend Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefits from six weeks to six months, as of January 2016.

Charities and Non-Profit Organizations

Donations Involving Private Corporation Shares or Real Estate

To increase support for charities, Budget 2015 proposes to provide an exemption from capital gains tax in respect of certain dispositions of private corporation shares and real estate. The exemption will be available where:

  • cash proceeds from the disposition of the private corporation shares or real estate are donated to a qualified donee within 30 days after the disposition; and
  • the private corporation shares or real estate are sold to a purchaser that is dealing at arm's length with both the donor and the qualified donee to which cash proceeds are donated.

The exempt portion of the capital gain will be based on the proportion of the cash proceeds donated to the total proceeds from the disposition of the shares or real estate. Anti-avoidance rules will ensure that the exemption is not available in certain circumstances.

This measure will apply to donations made in respect of disposition occurring after 2016.

Investments by Registered Charities in Limited Partnerships

Currently, charitable organizations and public foundations can only engage in related businesses, with the result that few are in a position to hold interests in a partnership. Private foundations cannot engage in any business activities, meaning that they cannot hold an interest in a partnership.

Partnerships are used extensively as investment vehicles to pool funding received by institutional and other large investors in order to invest in private market opportunities. Allowing registered charities to invest in limited partnerships would permit them to access a wider range of investment opportunities and diversify their investment portfolios. Since limited partnerships can also be used to structure social impact investments, allowing registered charities to invest in limited partnerships would also provide them the flexibility to use more innovative approaches to address pressing social and economic needs in Canada. Budget 2015 therefore proposes to amend the Income Tax Act to provide that a registered charity will not be considered to be carrying on a business solely because it acquires or holds an interest in a limited partnership.

To ensure that a registered charity's investment in a limited partnership remains a passive investment, the measure will apply only if:

  • The charity – together with all non-arm's length entities – holds 20 per cent or less of the interests in the limited partnership; and
  • The charity deals at arm's length with each general partner of the limited partnership.

This measure applies in respect of investments in limited partnerships that are made or acquired on or after Budget Day.

Gifts to Foreign Charitable Foundations

Budget 2015 proposes to amend the Income Tax Act to allow foreign charitable foundations to be registered as qualified donees if they receive a gift from the Government and if they are pursuing activities related to disaster relief or urgent humanitarian aid or are carrying on activities in the national interest of Canada. The Minister of National Revenue may, in consultation with the Minister of Finance, grant qualified donee status to a foreign charitable foundation that meets these conditions. Registered foreign charitable foundations will be included on the list of registered foreign charities maintained on the CRA's website.

This measure will apply on Royal Assent to the enacting legislation.

Business Income Tax Measures

Small Business Tax Rate

The small business deduction currently reduces to 11 per cent the federal corporate income tax rate applying to the first $500,000 per year of qualifying active business income of a Canadian-controlled private corporation (CCPC).

Budget 2015 proposes a two percentage-point decrease in the 11 per cent small business tax rate. The reduction will be implemented as follows:

  • effective January 1, 2016, the rate will be reduced to 10.5 per cent;
  • effective January 1, 2017, the rate will be reduced to 10 per cent;
  • effective January 1, 2018, the rate will be reduced to 9.5 per cent; and
  • effective January 1, 2019, the rate will be reduced to 9 per cent.

The reduction in the small business rate will be pro-rated for corporations with taxation years that do not coincide with the calendar year.

There is no proposed change to the small business deduction limit of $500,000 applicable to active income of a CCPC.

There are also no proposed changes to the general corporate income tax rates.

Manufacturing and Processing Machinery and Equipment: Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance

Budget 2015 proposes to provide an accelerated CCA rate of 50 per cent on a declining-balance basis for machinery and equipment acquired by a taxpayer after 2015 and before 2026 primarily for use in Canada for the manufacturing and processing of goods for sale or lease. Eligible assets are those that would currently be included in Class 29. These assets will be included in new CCA Class 53.

The "half-year rule," which allows half the CCA deduction otherwise available in the taxation year in which an asset is first available for use by a taxpayer, will apply to machinery and equipment eligible for this measure. These assets will be considered "qualified property" for the purpose of the Atlantic Investment Tax Credit.

Eligible assets acquired in 2026 and subsequent years will qualify for the 30 per cent declining-balance rate under Class 43.

Agricultural Cooperatives: Deferral of Tax on Patronage Dividends Paid in Shares

Eligible members of eligible agricultural cooperatives are able to defer the inclusion in income of all or a portion of any patronage dividend received as an eligible share until the disposition (or deemed disposition) of the share. Further, when an eligible agricultural cooperative issues an eligible share as a patronage dividend, there is no withholding obligation in respect of the patronage dividend. Instead, there is a withholding obligation when the share is redeemed. An eligible share must not, except in the case of death, disability or ceasing to be a member, be redeemable or retractable within five years of its issue.

Budget 2015 proposes to extend the tax this measure to apply in respect of eligible shares issued before 2021.

Quarterly Remitter Category for New Employers

Budget 2015 proposes to decrease the required frequency of remittances for the smallest new employers by allowing eligible employers to immediately remit on a quarterly basis. Eligibility for quarterly remitting will require the employer to maintain a perfect compliance record in respect of its Canadian tax obligations.

Eligible employers will be new employers with withholdings of less than $1,000 in respect of each month.

Employers will remain eligible for quarterly remitting, as provided under this measure, provided that their required monthly withholding amount remains under $1,000, or the withholdings for one employee at a salary of $43,500. If withholdings rise above that level, then the CRA will classify an employer as a weekly, twice-monthly, monthly or quarterly remitter in accordance with the existing remittance rules.

This measure will apply in respect of withholding obligations that arise after 2015.

Synthetic Equity Arrangements

The existing dividend rental arrangement rules are intended to deny the inter-corporate dividend deduction to a shareholder where the main reason for an arrangement is to enable the shareholder to receive a dividend on a share and the economic exposure to the share accrues to someone else.

Budget 2015 proposes to modify the dividend rental arrangement rules to deny the inter-corporate dividend deduction on dividends received by a taxpayer on a Canadian share in respect of which there is a synthetic equity arrangement.

A synthetic equity arrangement, in respect of a share owned by a taxpayer, will be considered to exist where the taxpayer (or a person that does not deal at arm's length with the taxpayer) enters into one or more agreements that have the effect of providing to a counterparty all or substantially all of the risk of loss and opportunity for gain or profit in respect of the share.

In general terms, an exception to the proposed dividend rental arrangement rule will be provided where a taxpayer can establish that no tax-indifferent investor (namely, tax-exempt Canadian entities and non-resident persons) has all or substantially all of the risk of loss and opportunity for gain or profit in respect of the share by virtue of a synthetic equity arrangement or another equity derivative that is entered into in connection with the synthetic equity arrangement.

This measure will apply to dividends that are paid or become payable after October 2015.

An alternative proposal, which would have a broader effect, could be supported that would deny the inter-corporate dividend deduction on dividends received by a taxpayer on a Canadian share in respect of which there is a synthetic equity arrangement, regardless of the tax status of the counterparty.

The Government invites stakeholders to submit comments by August 31, 2015 concerning whether the scope of the measure should be broadened as described above.

Tax Avoidance of Corporate Capital Gains (Section 55)

The Income Tax Act contains an anti-avoidance rule that generally taxes as capital gains certain otherwise tax-deductible inter-corporate dividends. This rule typically applies where a corporation that is about to dispose of shares of another corporation receives from that other corporation tax-deductible dividends that in substance reflect the untaxed appreciation in the value of the other corporation.

Budget 2015 proposes an amendment to ensure that the anti-avoidance rule applies where one of the purposes of a dividend is to effect a significant reduction in the fair market value of any share or a significant increase in the total cost of properties of the recipient of the dividend.

Related rules are also proposed to ensure this amendment is not circumvented. For example, if a dividend is paid on a share of a corporation, and the value of the share is or becomes nominal, the dividend will be treated as having reduced the fair market value of the share. As well, changes will address the use of stock dividends (i.e., dividends that consist of additional shares of the same corporation) as a means of impairing the effectiveness of the anti-avoidance rule.

Budget 2015 proposes an amendment to ensure that any dividend to which the anti-avoidance rule applies is to be treated as a gain from the disposition of capital property.

Budget 2015 also proposes that the exception for dividends received in certain related-party transactions be amended so that the exception will apply only to dividends that are received on shares of the capital stock of a corporation as a result of the corporation having redeemed, acquired or cancelled the shares.

This measure will apply to dividends received by a corporation on or after Budget Day.

Consultation on Active versus Investment Business

Active business income does not include income from a "specified investment business," which is generally a business, the principal purpose of which, is to derive income from property. A "specified investment business" does not include a business that has more than five full-time employees, with the result that income earned from such a business is eligible for the small business deduction even though its principal purpose is to derive income from property. Stakeholders have expressed concern as to the application of these rules in cases such as self-storage facilities and campgrounds.

Budget 2015 announces a review of the circumstances in which income from a business, the principal purpose of which is to earn income from property, should qualify as active business income.

The Government invites interested parties to submit comments by August 31, 2015.

Consultation on Eligible Capital Property

To reduce the compliance burden for taxpayers, Budget 2014 announced a public consultation on the proposal to repeal the eligible capital property regime and replace it with a new capital cost allowance class.

The Government has heard from a number of stakeholders and continues to receive submissions on the proposal. All representations will be considered in the development of the rules relating to the new capital cost allowance class as well as the transitional rules.

Budget 2015 states that it is the intention of the Government to release detailed draft legislative proposals for stakeholder comment before their inclusion in a bill.

International Tax Measures

Withholding for Non-Resident Employers

An employer (including a non-resident employer) is generally required to withhold amounts on account of the income tax liability of an employee working in Canada, even if the employee is a non-resident who is expected to be exempt from Canadian tax because of a tax treaty. It may be possible for the employer to obtain an employee-specific waiver from the CRA in order obtain relief from its obligation to withhold. However, the existing employee waiver system has been criticized as inefficient because each waiver is granted only in respect of a specific employee and for a specific time period.

In order to reduce the administrative burden of businesses engaged in cross-border trade and commerce, Budget 2015 proposes to provide an exception to the withholding requirements for payments by qualifying non-resident employers to qualifying non-resident employees. An employee will be a qualifying non-resident employee in respect of a payment if the employee:

  • is exempt from Canadian income tax in respect of the payment because of a tax treaty; and
  • is not in Canada for 90 or more days in any 12-month period that includes the time of the payment.

In order to be a qualifying non-resident employer, an employer (other than a partnership) must be resident in a country with which Canada has a tax treaty. In order for an employer that is a partnership to qualify, at least 90% of the partnership's income for the fiscal period that includes the time of the payment must be allocated to persons that are resident in a treaty country.

Although a qualifying non-resident employer will not be obligated to withhold under these circumstances, it will continue to be responsible for its reporting requirements under the Income Tax Act with respect to amounts paid to its employees. Certification will not affect the determination of a non-resident's Canadian tax liability. Employers will continue to be liable for any withholding in respect of non-resident employees found not to have met the conditions set out above. However, no penalty will apply to a qualifying non-resident employer for failing to withhold in respect of a payment if, after reasonable inquiry, the employer had no reason to believe, at the time of payment, that the employee did not meet the conditions set out above.

This measure will apply to payments made after 2015.

Streamlining Reporting Requirements for Foreign Assets

A Canadian-resident individual, corporation or trust that, at any time in a taxation year, owns specified foreign property with a total cost of more than $100,000 must file a Foreign Income Verification Statement (Form T1135) with the CRA.

The CRA introduced a revised Form T1135 in 2013. The revised form requires taxpayers to provide more detailed information regarding each specified foreign property. Stakeholders have commented that this approach has resulted in a compliance burden for some taxpayers that may be disproportionate to the amount of their foreign investments.

To reduce the compliance burden on taxpayers while maintaining the Government's commitment to combatting international tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance, Budget 2015 proposes to simplify the foreign asset reporting system for taxation years that begin after 2014. Under the revised form being developed by the CRA, if the total cost of a taxpayer's specified foreign property is less than $250,000 throughout the year, the taxpayer will be able to report these assets to the CRA under a new simplified foreign asset reporting system. The current reporting requirements will continue to apply to taxpayers with specified foreign property that has a total cost at any time during the year of $250,000 or more.

Captive Insurance

Budget 2015 proposes to amend the existing anti-avoidance rule in the Foreign Accrual Property Income (FAPI) regime that relates to the insurance of Canadian risks. This amendment is intended to ensure that profits of a Canadian taxpayer from the insurance of Canadian risks remain taxable in Canada. In particular, it will be amended so that:

  • a foreign affiliate's income in respect of the ceding of Canadian risks is included in computing the affiliate's FAPI; and
  • for these purposes, when an affiliate cedes Canadian risks and receives as consideration a portfolio of insured foreign risks, the affiliate is considered to have earned FAPI in respect of the ceding of the Canadian risks in an amount equal to the difference between the fair market value of the Canadian risks ceded and the affiliate's costs in respect of having acquired those Canadian risks.

This measure will apply to taxation years of taxpayers that begin on or after Budget Day.

Update on Tax Planning by Multinational Enterprises

In Economic Action Plan 2014, the Government invited input from stakeholders on issues related to international tax planning in order to improve Canada's participation in these international discussions. The consultations sought to obtain views on how to ensure tax fairness and better protect the Canadian tax base while maintaining an internationally competitive tax system.

The Government will proceed in this area in a manner that balances tax integrity and fairness with the competitiveness of Canada's tax system.

Update on the Automatic Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes

The exchange of tax information between countries is an important tool for promoting compliance and combating tax evasion.

In November 2014, Canada and the other G-20 countries endorsed a new common reporting standard for automatic information exchange developed by the Organisation for Economic Development and Co-operation and committed to a first exchange of information by 2017 or 2018.

Under the new standard, foreign tax authorities will provide information to the CRA relating to financial accounts in their jurisdictions held by Canadian residents. The CRA will, on a reciprocal basis, provide corresponding information to the foreign tax authorities on accounts in Canada held by residents of their jurisdictions. In order for the CRA to obtain the information to be exchanged, the common reporting standard will require financial institutions in Canada to implement due diligence procedures to identify accounts held by non-residents and report certain information relating to these accounts to the Agency. It will not require reporting on accounts held by residents of Canada with foreign citizenship.

Canada proposes to implement the common reporting standard starting on July 1, 2017, allowing a first exchange of information in 2018.

Other Tax Measures

Aboriginal Tax Policy

To date, the Government of Canada has entered into 35 sales tax arrangements under which Indian Act bands and self-governing Aboriginal groups levy a sales tax within their reserves or their settlement lands. In addition, 14 arrangements respecting personal income taxes are in effect with self-governing Aboriginal groups under which they impose a personal income tax on all residents within their settlement lands. The Government reiterates its willingness to discuss and put into effect direct taxation arrangements with interested Aboriginal governments.

The Government of Canada also supports direct taxation arrangements between interested provinces or territories and Aboriginal governments and has enacted legislation to facilitate such arrangements.

Previously Announced Measures

Budget 2015 confirms the Government's intention to proceed with the following previously announced tax and related measures, as modified to take into account consultations and deliberations since their announcement or release:

  • Legislative proposals released on July 12, 2013, providing new rules to ensure an appropriate income inclusion for stub-year foreign accrual property income on dispositions of foreign affiliate shares.
  • Measures announced in Economic Action Plan 2014 relating to the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax joint venture election.
  • In September 2014, the Government announced the Small Business Job Credit to provide relief to small businesses for Employment Insurance premiums paid in 2015 and 2016. The credit will be available to any firm paying employer EI premiums equal to or less than $15,000 in those years. The credit will effectively reduce small business EI premium rates by 28 cents from $1.88 to $1.60 per $100 of insurable earnings.
  • In October 2014, the Prime Minister announced further tax relief and benefit increases for all families with children.
    • An enhanced UCCB that would provide an increased benefit of $160 per month for children under the age of 6, and a new benefit of $60 per month for children aged 6 through 17, effective January 1, 2015. The enhanced UCCB would replace the existing Child Tax Credit for 2015 and subsequent taxation years.
    • A $1,000 increase in each of the maximum dollar amounts that can be claimed under the Child Care Expense Deduction, effective for the 2015 taxation year.
    • The Family Tax Cut, a federal non-refundable tax credit of up to $2,000 for couples with children under the age of 18, effective for the 2014 taxation year.
    • The Government doubled the maximum amount of expenses that may be claimed under the Children's Fitness Tax Credit to $1,000 as of 2014, and made the credit refundable, effective for the 2015 and subsequent taxation years.
  • A proposed change announced on December 23, 2014 to the limit on the deduction of tax-exempt allowances paid by employers to employees that use their personal vehicle for business purposes.
  • Regulatory proposals released on February 19, 2015, establishing a capital cost allowance rate of 30 per cent for equipment used in natural gas liquefaction and 10 per cent for buildings at a facility that liquefies natural gas.
  • Measures announced on March 1, 2015 to support Canadian mining:
    • Extending the 15% Mineral Exploration Tax Credit for investors in flow-through shares for an additional year, until March 31, 2016; and
    • Ensuring that the costs associated with undertaking environmental studies and community consultations that are required in order to obtain an exploration permit will be eligible for treatment as Canadian Exploration Expenses.
  • Measures to make the new Family Caregiver Relief Benefit and Critical Injury Benefit, announced on March 17, 2015 and March 30, 2015, non-taxable to Veterans.

Budget 2015 also reaffirms the Government's commitment to move forward as required with technical amendments to improve the certainty of the tax system.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions