Fair Tax Plan not fair, says chamber president

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

If you own a small business you might like to know how proposed changes to the income tax rules will affect you. If so, consider attending an information session being put on by the Slave Lake & Dist. Chamber of Commerce Sept 13.
“It’s the largest change to the tax structure in decades,” says Chamber president Francesca Giroux. “It’s not good for the average small business.”
The changes she refers to are proposed at this point, and Canadians have until Oct. 2 to comment on them. The federal government calls it the ‘Fair Tax Plan,’ but critics (including Giroux) say it’s anything but fair.
“There are two big aspects,” she says. “Eliminating income-splitting and increasing the rate on passive income.”
Both of these are used by small business owners to reduce their tax burden. Both are apparently considered ‘loopholes,’ by the federal government, through which millions in tax revenue are escaping. Income-splitting refers to paying dividends to family members, who may not be actively involved in the business. Passive income refers to income made via investments in other businesses.
“People do it to earn money for retirement,” Giroux says. “Small business owners do not get a pension, or (EI) benefits.”
Another thing about the proposed plan is that it increases the complexity of an already complex tax system. That might be good for accountants and lawyers, but not small business owners.
The Sept. 13 session will include a presentation by Nash Giroux LLP on the accountant’s perspective on the proposed new rules. MP Arnold Viersen is also scheduled to give a political perspective on the situation. It will likely include advice on how to lobby the government against going through with its plan.
The event goes at 7:00 p.m. at the Slave Lake Inn & Conference Centre in Slave Lake. It’s free of charge; all the Chamber is asking is that if you’re planning to attend, you let them know ahead of time. The phone number is 780-849-3222 and email [email protected]




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