June 27, 2013
Technical Tax Amendments Act paves the way to clear 12 years of backlog
VANCOUVER and OTTAWA - Bill C-48, the Technical Tax Amendments Act, 2012 received Royal Assent. As a result, hundreds of draft tax measures that have been stuck in a state of "legislative limbo" for over a decade are now law. The Certified General Accountants Association of Canada (CGA-Canada) had been advocating for swift passage of the bill that affects individual taxpayers, businesses and many sectors of the economy.
"Taking action to finally enact these tax measures will bring greater clarity, certainty and transparency to tax legislation, while strengthening the integrity of Canada's tax laws," says Anthony Ariganello, president and CEO of CGA-Canada. "But, unfinished business remains. Better discipline is still needed to prevent backlogs to accumulate in the future and this issue must be on Parliament's agenda once members return to the House of Commons after the summer recess."
Parliamentarians have also expressed concerns about the lengthy delays in legislating technical tax amendments and agreed this situation should not be allowed to happen again.
"Parliament has the ability to improve the process, to ensure that proposed tax changes are introduced and enacted within a reasonable amount of time and on a frequent basis," says Carole Presseault, vice-president of Government and Regulatory Affairs at CGA-Canada. "Failing to do so exacerbates the problems of tax complexity and uncertainty."
Moving forward, CGA-Canada encourages parliamentarians to establish a process that deals with technical tax amendments in a timely manner, which could include having the Minister of Finance introduce a technical tax amendments bill shortly following a federal budget.