Recent Publications

Recent Publications

March 14, 2018 by Martha MacRae, Todd King

U.S. Tax Reform Punishes U.S. Citizens Abroad

From a taxation perspective, the period from July 2017 to February 2018 has been one of the most tumultuous in recent history for Canadian private company owners. For those who also have the privilege of being U.S. citizens or resident aliens, things have gotten downright ludicrous. In a rush to pass into law the most sweeping tax reform in a generation, U.S. lawmakers have stuck U.S. citizens resident in Canada with retroactive, double taxation, the elimination of much of the tax deferral previously available in their companies, a looming April 17th payment deadline and virtually no rules or regulations to guide them through the chaos.

March 13, 2018 by Sean Kelly, Jason Melo

Should you be registered for Canadian GST/HST?

Foreign companies, individuals and organizations who provide goods and services to customers in Canada should consider whether their business activities in Canada invoke a requirement to register for the Goods and Services Tax / Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST). 

March 2, 2018 by Denver Nicklas

The capital gains exemption: beware of in-law quirks

In Canada, qualified farmland can be transferred from one generation to the next for any dollar amount between cost and fair market value (FMV) at the time of the transfer. Any capital gain triggered by the transfer is covered by the capital gains exemption (up to $1,000,000 for farmland), assuming the land is qualified farm property.

February 27, 2018 by John Oakey

How will the new Passive Investment Income rules actually affect CCPCs?

OTTAWA, ON – After months of public consultation, speculation and concern, the rules regarding Passive Investment Income have finally been unveiled. In today’s 2018 Federal Budget release the government announced that passive investment income over a certain limit will now reduce a Canadian-controlled private corporation’s (CCPC) small business deduction.

February 27, 2018


The Honourable Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance, today tabled his third budget – “Equality + Growth: A Strong Middle Class” – which supports the Government’s people centered approach. 

The highly anticipated budget released draft legislation related to passive income – the topic that has been on the minds of business owners, investors, and advisors since the July 18, 2017 Finance release which first introduced the subject.  The budget does not propose changes to tax rates at the business or personal level. The budget focused on five key spending areas – growth, progress, reconciliation, advancement and equality.

February 26, 2018 by Marlin Miller

Expand your structuring options: consider a limited partnership

While partnerships have existed for as long as people have been in business, their use in Canada has been relegated largely to certain industries and tax situations. The rules governing partnerships legally and under the Income Tax Act (the Act) generally are not as well defined or understood as those for corporations. However, given the increasing complexity of the corporate tax regime – especially for private corporations – partnerships can be flexible, practical alternatives to structuring many businesses. This is particularly true of limited partnerships.

January 5, 2018 by Marlin Miller

Infographic: The new rules of the road

On Dec. 13, 2017, Finance Canada released Amendments to the Income Tax Act and Regulations and Explanatory Notes, simplifying measures to restrict income sprinkling. This infographic will focus on the changes to the July 18 proposals, exclusions, reasonableness test and a brief update on the status of the proposed measures related to passive investments. 

December 21, 2017 by Kevin Tippett

Personal U.S. tax changes

*Updated January 9 2017

On November 2, 2017, the Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives released a tax reform bill entitled The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Since then, the House and Senate Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Conference Committee released its final version of the legislation that is expected to become law in the coming days. It is the most comprehensive U.S. tax reform in more than 30 years.

December 19, 2017 by Shelley Smith

How government pensions work for cross-border employees

If you have worked in both Canada and the United States or are contemplating a move to the U.S. after years of working in Canada (or vice versa), you may wonder about paying into both the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) system and the U.S. Social Security system. Will you be able to collect pensions from both countries? 

December 19, 2017 by Guy Desmarais

Just a spoonful of TOSI may help the medicine go down

The Department of Finance released its long-awaited proposed amendments to the tax on split income (TOSI) rules on December 13. The release completes a tumultuous year for small business owners, tax professionals, Department of Finance officials, Members of Parliament and the Minister of Finance. The initial July 18 proposals and the short consultation period precipitated a groundswell of consternation and frustration. 

December 19, 2017 by Ranjan Thiruchelvam

Farm corporations and claiming the small business deduction

Historically, the Government of Canada has supported the agricultural sector with favourable rules in the Income Tax Act (the Act), among other strategies. Recently, the government announced its intention to lower the small business tax rate from 10.5 per cent to 10 per cent, effective January 1, 2018, and to 9 per cent on January 1, 2019.

December 15, 2017 by Maxine Laforest, Caroline Morin, Julie Chrétien

The tech-savvy era of cloud accounting – Risks and benefits

In today’s increasingly digital world, having tools and programs that are as advanced as those of the competition plays a critical role in the success of any business. Cloud computing allows businesses to access their data anytime and anywhere via an internet connection, while reducing the headache of managing accounting records and transactions.

December 14, 2017 by Marlin Miller, Heather Forbes

Amendments to the Income Tax Act and status of proposed measures

On December 13, 2017, Amendments to the Income Tax Act and Regulations and Explanatory Notes to simplify measures to restrict income sprinkling were released by Finance Canada. Today’s Tax Flash will focus on the changes to the July 18 proposals, exclusions, reasonableness test and a brief update on the status of the proposed measures related to passive investments.

November 22, 2017 by Bill Crowther

Changes proposed to taxation of private corporations and their shareholders

On July 18, 2017, the federal government of Canada introduced proposals (“announcements”) curtailing the use of private corporations to gain tax advantages over other individuals in Canada who do not utilize such corporations. The proposals were positioned by the government as measures to ensure that the wealthy pay their fair share and the Canadian tax system is applied in a manner that is fair for all Canadians. If enacted as introduced, these proposals represent arguably the most significant changes to the taxation of private corporations in over 40 years. 

November 22, 2017 by Jim King, Inna Kleiman

Technical Bulletin: November 2017

Collins Barrow regularly publishes Technical Bulletin for the general interest of its clients and friends to highlight the continually changing accounting and assurance standards, and the interpretations thereof, in Canada. Since this is not intended to be a complete reproduction or summarization of the standard or document reviewed, we recommend that you refer to the original document(s) discussed in this Bulletin and/or discuss the matter with your professional advisor before acting upon any of the matters discussed herein.