Letter: ‘Foolhardy’ federal tax proposal would damage small business

Editor: As a business lawyer and corporate counsel for hundreds of incorporated small businesses in Langley, I am deeply concerned about the recent disastrous and foolhardy proposal by Finance Minister Bill Morneau to eliminate income splitting in private corporations.

While I understand the flawed attempt to politically sell this as some misguided form of “Robin Hood” progressive taxation, in reality, the overwhelming majority of the Langley companies that I represent as counsel are “one woman” or “one man” shops: incorporated family businesses that utilize income splitting as a form of tax planning for their immediate families.

These companies are primarily incorporated landscapers, HVAC contractors, electricians, plumbers, maintenance contractors, service providers, and other skilled trades: hardly the so-called “rich” doctors and lawyers that this scheme falsely claims to target.

In a business environment where we purportedly have a massive shortage of skilled tradespersons, why are be even considering a regressive tax regime that will limit options for small businesses and eliminate dividend sprinkling as a form of tax planning for middle class small business owners and their families?

I encourage all members of the Langley business community to email your comments on the proposed tax changes and their deleterious effect on Langley small businesses and their families to the federal government at email address: fin.consultation.fin@canada.ca.

The deadline for submissions is Oct. 2, 2017. With your help, perhaps the federal government will reconsider this attack on middle class families.

Scott Johnston

Barrister &Solicitor,