Proposed tax changes would lead to new risks for farmers

OTTAWA, August 31, 2017 – The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) is calling on farmers to voice concerns about proposed tax changes that could lead to severe negative impacts for farm business planning. Finance Canada tabled the proposals in mid-July and is accepting comments via a consultation that ends on Oct. 2nd.

CFA asks that the government take a different approach to consultation, grounded in more proactive, fulsome dialogue with the business community. A 75-day consultation in the middle of the harvest season is not enough to allow a comprehensive review.

“These tax proposals represent transformative changes that would bring about major uncertainty for farms that are incorporated, especially for multi-generational family farms. The government must recognize that small business owners face unique risks and costs – especially in agriculture where farmers must plan for a wide range of factors that can affect their operations from year to year,” said CFA President Ron Bonnett.

CFA is working with agricultural stakeholders and the broader business community to review the complex changes laid out by Finance Canada in ‘Tax Planning Using Private Corporations‘, and it’s clear that further study and technical analysis is required.

If these changes are implemented as proposed, farmers will face higher costs with fewer options to manage business risks, and the complexity of the proposals could lead to other unintended consequences. The added uncertainty could discourage business investments right at a time when farmers are making plans to position their operations toward meeting the ambitious targets outlined in the 2017 Federal Budget, which identified agriculture as a key growth sector.

Together with its members and other partners, CFA looks forward to engaging with government officials in a constructive, solutions-oriented discussion to resolve these challenges.

CFA has joined with 35 other organizations to form the new Coalition for Small Business Tax Fairness, which sent a joint letter sent to Finance Minister Bill Moreau, outlining shared views.

Farmers are encouraged to read about the changes and contact their Member of Parliament this week, before the planning gets underway for the fall parliamentary session. Visit CFA’s web site for details on how to get involved in a grassroots advocacy campaign, and be part of the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #unfairtaxchanges.


About CFA

Founded in 1935 to provide Canada’s farmers with a single voice in Ottawa, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture is the country’s largest general farm organization. Its members include provincial general farm organizations, as well as national and inter-provincial commodity organizations. Through its members, CFA represents over 200,000 Canadian farmers and farm families.

Media Contact:
Janice Hall
CFA Director of Communications
Phone: 613-236-3633 ext. 2322