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News & Knowledge

Less Money Mo’ Problems: Proposed tax reforms in Canada

1st August 2017
Yvan Guy Larocque & Rob Miller, Miller Titerle + Company LLP

Twenty years after the Notorious B.I.G. (along with Puff Daddy and Mase) released the hip-hop single “Mo Money Mo Problems”, Canada’s own Notorious B.F.M. (Honourable Bill Francis Morneau, Minister of Finance) released an updated and tax-focused take on the hip hop classic that, for some, will mean “Less Money Mo’ Problems”. MSI's Vancouver based law firm Miller Titerle Law Corporation provides more information on the proposed tax reforms.

In this paper on tax planning using private corporations, Canada’s Minister of Finance sets out a series of proposed tax reforms that could significantly impact private corporations, business owners, incorporated professionals, and other individuals who have relied on legal tax planning structures. These reforms, if implemented, will hinder previously legal tax-planning strategies such as:

  • Splitting income among family members (“income sprinkling”)
  • Utilising multiple lifetime capital gains exemptions
  • Converting dividend income into capital gains
  • Investing in passive investments within private corporations

Except for changes to capital gains conversions (which are effective as of 18 July, 2017), the proposed changes will come into effect in 2018. However, it appears that the Department of Finance is still looking for the best way to implement some of these reforms. Between now and October, the department is undertaking public consultation concerning the proposed changes and it is possible that the details may change depending on the volume and nature of feedback received. Given that tax reform played a significant role in the Liberal’s election platform, owners of private corporations should not simply hold their breath and hope the changes go away. At this point, the best course of action for anyone potentially impacted by the changes is to:

  • Provide comments to the federal government on the changes themselves as well as implementation details (this can be done by sending comments to
  • Engage your taxation and legal teams on how your business structure might be impacted and what you should be doing to prepare.

Read more about Less Money Mo’ Problems

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