Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by acknowledging that our government recognizes the major role of small businesses in job creation and economic development and in growing our middle class. Let me be clear, it is our government that is committed to reducing taxes on small businesses starting next year.
It would seem that my colleague on the other side has some confusion about the rules on how small business deduction applies to campgrounds and I am pleased to have this opportunity to clarify our government's position on this matter.
The hon. member opposite seems to be suggesting that this government has altered the rules. Let me be absolutely clear, the rules remain unchanged.
The small business deduction is a long-standing provision of the Canadian tax system. Generally, eligible businesses can claim the small business deduction on their first $500,000 of active business income. The intention is to provide these businesses with more after-tax income so they can reinvest in their businesses and contribute to Canada's economic growth and job creation.
I would like to remind my hon. colleague across the floor that when his party was in power, consultations with stakeholder partners were held on this specific matter and his government chose not to propose any changes. If the member opposite has a problem with the law, perhaps he should ask his colleagues why they chose not to change it when they had the chance.
As the minister clearly demonstrated the facts on this file in her response to the member opposite's written question, of the over 20,000 small and medium-sized enterprises reviewed by the CRA last year, fewer than 20 businesses classified as recreational vehicle parks and recreational camps were denied the deduction.
Furthermore, the taxpayers who disagree with their tax assessments have recourse. They can file an objection, a process which is described on the Canada Revenue Agency's website. Perhaps the fewer than 20 businesses that were denied the deduction may want to go down that route.
We remain committed to making sure that small businesses have all the necessary information to determine whether they are eligible for the deduction. On its website, the agency provides information about the small business deduction including information specific to campground owners.
Allow me to briefly outline the long-standing rules that apply to campgrounds so that everyone here may understand them more clearly. There are a number of conditions and corresponding requirements under the Income Tax Act that determine a business's eligibility for the small business deduction.
If the business's principal purpose is to earn income from renting out real estate, it is generally not eligible for the small business deduction unless it meets certain conditions. One of the conditions is that the business employs more than five full-time employees throughout the year. Again, I encourage people to visit the Canada Revenue Agency's website where these unchanged rules are explained in more detail.
I want to be absolutely clear that our government is strongly committed to supporting small businesses as we know that they create jobs and help strengthen the economy. Tax fairness for all Canadians is a priority for us.