Mr. Speaker, the government assesses issues arising under the tax system on an ongoing basis. It relies on a range of approaches and information sources to develop an in-depth understanding of potential issues, including the statistical analysis of tax return data, the monitoring of the tax literature, and consultations with the Canada Revenue Agency, academics, tax professionals, and other stakeholders.
When the analysis identifies a need for action, options are developed and assessed against a range of criteria such as their impact on the fairness of the tax system, economic efficiency, and the ease of administration of the tax system.
This process was followed in the development of the proposals contained in the consultation document released on July 18, 2017. Tax data and other information were used to assess the scope of the issues and the impact of different options. In particular, the number of businesses that could be affected by the various options to estimate the fiscal impact of the proposals was assessed, within constraints imposed by available data.
Draft legislation was also released for two of the three proposals contained in the consultation document. Stakeholders, including farmers, were invited to comment on the proposals and the draft legislation. Stakeholders were also specifically invited to provide their views and ideas on whether, and if so how, it would be possible to better accommodate genuine intergenerational business transfers in the Income Tax Act while still protecting the fairness of the tax system.
The government will not be moving forward with measures relating to the conversion of income into capital gains. During the consultation period, the government heard from business owners, including many farmers and fishers, that the measures could result in several unintended consequences, such as in respect of taxation upon death and potential challenges with intergenerational transfers of businesses. The government will work with family businesses, including farming and fishing businesses, to make it more efficient, or less difficult, to hand down their businesses to the next generation.
In the coming year, the government will continue its outreach to farmers, fishers, and other business owners to develop proposals to better accommodate intergenerational transfers of businesses while protecting the fairness of the tax system.