RMT Clients Are Speaking Up
SEPTEMBER 6, 2017
We have been overwhelmed with the thoughtful responses our clients have prepared in response to the Liberal governments attack on entrepreneurs and will be releasing a series of those responses in the coming weeks. Here is an example of a letter written to our clients MP and the Minister of Finance:
I’m writing to you with respect to the proposed tax changes which will negatively impact many Canadian entrepreneurs and small businesses. I began my career as an entrepreneur, and for the first 20 years of my working life ran a privately-held small business that had about 75 employees. As a result, I’m well-aware of the commitment, risks, frustrations and rewards associated with running a small business in Canada. The second stage of my career was as an employee of a multi-national corporation. As a result, I am also well aware of those same items as they pertain to being an employee. In my experience there are significant differences between the two worlds – most having to do with risk and reward.
As an entrepreneur and owner of a growing business, I can well remember looking at my personal tax bill and noting that I got less for my overall tax paid than my employees did. It was frustrating to think that I was creating employment for many people directly and indirectly, and yet there was little recognition of the risks my family and I were taking to provide the platform for this. The only way to level the playing field was through careful tax planning. As an employee I did my job well, growing a business in the corporate world. I was unable to take advantage of some of the tax planning that I had done in my small-business life, but was not concerned because the personal risks I took were lower and not as fundamental, and the systemic advantages that are available to employees were available to me.
When I read Minister Morneau’s article in the Globe and Mail yesterday, I must say that I was taken aback by its populist tone and irritated by Mr. Morneau’s statement that his business background puts him in the position to understand what it takes to run a business. I think this is only partly true. I would respectfully submit that when he assumed control of his family business it was well past the stage where he would have had to undertake many of the personal risks that most entrepreneurs and small business owners shoulder. This takes nothing away from his outstanding success in growing that business to what it has become. It’s just that I don’t think he can claim to truly understand what it takes to run most of the businesses that the proposed changes will impact.
A colleague of mine, who heads an accounting firm focused on small business, has written a thoughtful letter to Minister Morneau which illustrates far better than I can the impact of the proposed changes. You can find it directly below this article.
It’s all about balance. These changes will remove some of things that level the playing field and make taking the risks associated with starting and growing a small business worthwhile. Don’t we want to encourage people to start and build businesses in Canada? I think we do. Do you? If so, please pay attention to what’s happening with respect to these proposed changes and to the reaction that’s being generated by them. If we want to introduce more fairness into our tax system, let’s be brave and rethink the model totally rather than unfairly singling out a diverse group.