Canada: Entrée en vigueur de la taxe carbone fédérale le 1 avril 2019

Last Updated: April 11 2019
Article by McCarthy Tétrault MOVES, David F. Blair and Brian Lipson

Most Read Contributor in Canada, March 2019

Il existe un large consensus scientifique selon lequel les émissions de gaz à effet de serre (« GES ») contribuent à l'amplification des changements climatiques mondiaux. Loin d'être indifférent vis-à-vis ce constat, le gouvernement canadien a adopté, en juin 2018, son propre régime de tarification des émissions de GES (« Taxe Carbone  ») pour tenter de diminuer l'empreinte écologique du pays et encourager les Canadiens et les entreprises faisant affaires au Canada à faire preuve d'innovation et investir dans des technologies propres.

La Loi sur la tarification de la pollution causée par les gaz à effet de serre (la « Loi ») s'appliquera donc dans tous les provinces et territoires canadiens où aucun mécanisme de Taxe Carbone n'a été adopté, ou encore lorsqu'un tel mécanisme provincial existe mais ne satisfait pas aux critères nationaux établis par le gouvernement fédéral.

Ainsi, dès le 1er avril 2019, les provinces du Manitoba, du Nouveau-Brunswick, de la Saskatchewan et de l'Ontario (ci-après les « provinces assujetties ») devront imposer un prix minimum de 20 $ par tonne d'émissions polluantes pour tout combustible assujetti utilisé ou importé sur leur territoire. Le Nunavut et le Yukon seront, quant à eux, soumis à cette nouvelle Taxe Carbone à partir du 1er juillet 2019.

La Loi fait présentement l'objet d'une contestation juridique devant la Cour d'appel de la Saskatchewan puisque le gouvernement de cette province considère que la Loi est ultra vires et inapplicable. Le gouvernement fédéral a tout de même décidé d'aller de l'avant avec son programme.

1. Les particuliers

À compter du 1er avril prochain, les résidents des provinces assujetties devront, en raison de la nouvelle Taxe Carbone, supporter une hausse du prix du carburant à la pompe. En chiffres, cette hausse correspondra à une augmentation approximative de 4,4 cents le litre pour l'année 2019.

Toutefois, afin de diminuer le fardeau fiscal de ces résidents, le ministère des Finances a annoncé que ce supplément à la pompe fera l'objet d'un crédit d'impôt appelé « Incitatif à agir ». Il sera donc possible de réclamer ce crédit d'impôt fédéral dès la période fiscale de 2018.

Le montant alloué variera en fonction de trois variables, soit (i) la région géographique du contribuable; (ii) la moyenne de consommation de carburant établie pour la région visée; et (iii) le nombre d'individus vivant sous un même toit. À titre d'exemple, une famille moyenne en Saskatchewan pourrait compter sur une aide d'environ 609 $ comparativement à 256 $ pour une famille moyenne du Nouveau-Brunswick.

2. Les transporteurs routiers

(a) Assujettissement

La Loi prévoit plus de douze types d'entreprises étant soumises à l'application de la nouvelle Taxe Carbone. Parmi cette liste figurent, entre autres, les transporteurs routiers. Toutefois, afin d'être soumis à la Loi, le transporteur doit effectuer au moins une partie de ses opérations commerciales dans une province assujettie, et ce, par l'entremise d'un véhicule commercial déterminé1 utilisant du carburant à essence, du diésel, du gaz naturel ou du propane. Le transporteur qui répond à tous ces critères est tenu de s'inscrire comme transporteur routier auprès du registre fédéral de l'Agence du revenu canadienne (« ARC ») au plus tard le 31 mars 2019.

De manière plus spécifique, cette inscription permettra au transporteur de payer des redevances ou recevoir des rabais en fonction de son utilisation de combustible. En ce qui a trait aux activités commerciales au Nunavut et au Yukon, les inscriptions devront être faites au plus tard le 30 juin 2019.

(b) Renseignements à fournir au registre de l'ARC

Dans un premier temps, lors de leur inscription au registre de l'ARC, les transporteurs routiers dont les activités commerciales s'étendent au territoire d'une des provinces assujetties devront déclarer le type de carburant utilisé dans le cours normal de leurs activités. Cette déclaration peut être faite via le formulaire L400-2 E disponible sur le site de l'ARC.

De plus, tout comme les exigences qu'ont les transporteurs envers le fisc de leur province de domicile en vertu de l'Entente internationale concernant la taxe sur les carburants (« IFTA »), les transporteurs routiers seront tenus de remplir et de produire une déclaration trimestrielle à l'ARC. Cette déclaration trimestrielle devra indiquer la quantité de carburant utilisée ainsi que le nombre de kilomètres parcourus dans chaque province assujettie. Nous notons que la Loi s'applique à bien plus de véhicules que IFTA.

Cette information fournie à l'ARC permettra d'établir un ratio calculé en fonction de la quantité de carburant acheté dans une province assujettie par rapport au nombre de kilomètres parcourus dans celle-ci. Une fois ce ratio établi, il sera possible de déterminer si un transporteur routier a droit à un remboursement ou, au contraire, s'il doit payer des frais supplémentaires.

Finalement, nous notons que tout transporteur routier qui omet de s'inscrire auprès de l'ARC ou qui néglige d'effectuer les remboursements requis en temps opportun pourra se voir imposer une pénalité pouvant aller jusqu'à 2 000$.

Footnote

1 On entend par véhicule commercial désigné tout véhicule qui (i) assure le transport de biens ou de personnes entre des provinces ou à l'extérieur du Canada ou qui (ii) a un poids brut supérieur à 11 797 kg. Pour plus de précision, voir la définition de « véhicule commercial désigné » de la Loi sur la tarification de la pollution causée par les gaz à effet de serre, LC 2018, c 12.

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