Opinion Profession Taxation

Letter to the Editor: PM Trudeau’s comment takes aim at accountants amidst capital gains changes confusion

John Oakey of CPA Canada says the Prime Minister's recent comment about accountants was an unexpected turn in the capital gains debate

Author: John Oakey

AS THE DUST settles on the federal government’s latest budget, changes to the capital gains inclusion rate continue to ignite discussion across the country.

For Chartered Professional Accountants (CPAs), the debate has taken an unexpected turn in response to a recent reference from Prime Minister Trudeau on the role of accountants in the tax system, alluding to wealthy Canadians who “use accountants” to pay less tax.

We at CPA Canada — the profession’s national accounting body — champion the important role accountants play in shaping our nation’s financial landscape — on behalf of all Canadians.

At the heart of this endeavour lies a commitment to upholding a just and equitable tax regime.

The Canadian accounting profession is built on the pillars of ethics and integrity, and in a nation where the tax landscape is constantly shifting, accountants act as trusted advisers who guide taxpayers through the labyrinth of policies and changes with confidence and clarity.

CPA Canada and its members have long called for a comprehensive review of Canada’s tax system, continually urging for a robust framework that embodies simplicity, fairness, efficiency and competitiveness.

These principles guide our ongoing advocacy work with the federal government, including our pre-budget submission, which recommended that the government adhere to a principled approach to tax policy and administration that is driven by purpose and vision, as opposed to politics and expediency.

With a strong set of accounting and managerial skills required for today’s ever-evolving environment, CPAs understand the complexities involved in tax legislation and are dedicated not just to compliance but to leadership in fostering a stable and transparent financial environment.

These broad-minded, forward-thinking professionals undertake appropriate analysis, exercise good judgment and communicate effectively across diverse segments of the economy including industry, public accounting, government, education and the not-for-profit sector.

Our organization continues to hear from members who are concerned about the inadvertent consequences of the capital gains inclusion rate changes on middle-class Canadians. By offering guidance to individuals and businesses of every size, accountants help level the playing field, empowering all taxpayers to makes sense of their filing obligations.

We stand ready to work with the government to refine and enhance our tax system, ensuring it serves the best interests of our diverse population.

The profession’s focus is — and has always been — on advancing policies that support the economic well-being of all Canadians.

John Oakey is Vice-President of Taxation at CPA Canada. Under his leadership, the organization delivers practical information to the tax community while also influencing the development of an equitable, effective and efficient tax system in Canada. Title image: Composite Budget 2024 cover and Justin Trudeau, press conference video capture.

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