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  1. 1. On 25 February, Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa tabled the province’s fiscal 2016–17 budget. The budget contains no new taxes, but includes several tax measures affecting individuals, trusts and corporations. Deficit and Ontario debt outlook As set out in Table A, the minister anticipates a deficit of $5.7 billion for 2015-16, which is $2.8 billion less than projected a year ago. A further deficit of $4.3 billion is projected for 2016-17 and balanced budgets in 2017-18 and 2018-19. Measured in relation to the size of the economy, the Ontario accumulated deficit is expected to decline to 23.3% of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2018–19. In 2015, Ontario’s real GDP grew by 2.5%. The government projects real GDP growth of 2.2% in 2016, 2.4% in 2017, 2.2% in 2018 and 2.0% in 2019. 2016 Issue No. 8 25 February 2016 Tax Alert — Canada Ontario budget 2016–17 EY Tax Alerts cover significant tax news, developments and changes in legislation that affect Canadian businesses. They act as technical summaries to keep you on top of the latest tax issues. For more information, please contact your EY advisor.
  2. 2. Ontario budget 2016-17 | 2 Table A – Projections of Ontario budgetary deficit 2015-16 ($ billions) 2016-17 ($ billions) 2017-18 ($ billions) 2018-19 ($ billions) Revenue outlook 126.5 130.6 137.7 141.9 Program expense outlook (120.9) (122.1) (124.2) (127.6) 5.6 8.5 13.5 14.3 Interest on debt (11.2) (11.8) (12.5) (13.1) Reserve (0.2) (1.0) (1.1) (1.2) (Deficit) (5.7) (4.3) 0.0 0.0 Accumulated deficit 193.4 197.7 197.7 197.7 % of GDP 25.9% 25.4% 24.3% 23.3% Numbers may not add due to rounding. Following is a brief summary of the key tax measures. Business tax measures Corporate tax rates No changes are proposed to the corporate tax rates or the $500,000 small-business limit. Ontario’s 2016 and 2017 corporate tax rates are summarized in Table B. Table B – Corporate tax rates 2016 2017 ON Federal and ON combined ON Federal and ON combined Small-businesstax rate* 4.5% 15.0% 4.5% 14.5% Manufacturingand processingtaxrate 10.0% 25.0% 10.0% 25.0% Generalcorporatetax rate 11.5% 26.5% 11.5% 26.5% *The federal small-business tax rate is 10.5% in 2016, 10.0% in 2017, 9.5% in 2018 and 9.0% in 2019 and beyond. Business tax credits Further to a review of the province’s business support programs, Ontario proposes the following tax credit changes  Ontario research and development tax credit (ORDTC): The budget proposes to reduce the ORDTC rate from 4.5% to 3.5%.  Ontario innovation tax credit (OITC): The budget proposes to reduce the OITC rate from 10% to 8%. The rate reductions will be effective for eligible research and development expenditures incurred in taxation years that end on or after 1 June 2016. The reductions will be prorated for taxation years straddling that date.
  3. 3. Ontario budget 2016-17 | 3 Other business tax measures The minister also proposed the following business tax measures:  Apprentice training tax credit (ATTC): The government reiterated its commitment made in 2015 to continue to monitor and review the ATTC in the future to ensure it is encouraging businesses to provide apprentices with the certifications and skills they need. Further details on an engagement process with stakeholders will be announced in 2016. Personal tax Personal income tax rates The budget does not include any changes to personal income tax rates. The 2016 Ontario personal tax rates are summarized in Table C. Table C – 2016 Ontario personal tax rates First bracket rate Second bracket rate Third bracket rate Fourth bracket rate Fifth bracket rate $0 to $41,536 $41,537 to $83,075 $83,076 to $150,000 $150,001 to $220,000 Above $220,000 5.05% 9.15% 11.16% 12.16% 13.16% For 2016, the 20% surtax applies to basic Ontario tax in excess of $4,484, and the additional 36% surtax applies to basic Ontario tax in excess of $5,739. For taxable income in excess of $150,000, the 2016 combined federal-Ontario personal income tax rates are outlined in Table D. Table D – 2016 combined federal and Ontario personal tax rates Bracket Ordinary income* Eligible dividends Non-eligible dividends $150,001 to $200,000 47.97% 31.67% 38.80% $200,001 to $220,000 51.97% 37.19% 43.48% Above $220,000 53.53% 39.34% 45.30% *The rate on the actual capital gain is one-half the ordinary income rate. Personal tax credits The budget proposes a number of personal tax credit changes. Dividend tax credit The budget confirms that Ontario will automatically parallel the changes to the federal dividend gross-up rate applicable to non-eligible dividends that were announced in the 2015 federal budget. Specifically, the federal gross-up factor for non-eligible dividends is reduced from 18% to 17% effective 1 January 2016, to 16% effective 1 January 2018, and to 15% effective 1 January 2019.
  4. 4. Ontario budget 2016-17 | 4 As a result of the federal changes, Ontario’s dividend tax credit rate for 2016 will automatically decline from 4.5% to 4.2863%. The combined federal-Ontario top marginal rate on non-eligible dividends for 2016 will be 45.30% (see Table D above). Ontario announced that it will review its non-eligible dividend tax credit rate for 2017 and later years. Tuition and education tax credits The budget proposes to eliminate the Ontario tuition and education tax credits, beginning in the fall of 2017. This proposal is consistent with the federal Liberal government’s election platform promise. The tuition credit will continue to be available to Ontario students for eligible tuition fees paid in respect of studies up to and including 4 September 2017. Similarly, Ontario students will be able to claim the education credit for months of qualifying study that occur before September 2017. The eligible portion of these credits for the 2017 taxation year will be transferable to a qualifying family member (a parent, grandparent, spouse or common-law partner). Taxpayers who are resident in Ontario on 31 December 2017 and have unused tuition and education credit amounts available for carryforward will be permitted to claim these amounts in future taxation years. However, a taxpayer who moves to Ontario from another province after 31 December 2017 will not be able to claim any unused tuition and education credit amounts in Ontario. The additional revenue resulting from the elimination of these credits will be reinvested to support a new Ontario Student Grant or other postsecondary, education, training and youth jobs programs. The timing of the introduction of the Ontario Student Grant will correspond with the elimination of the tuition and education credits. Other personal tax credits The budget also proposes to eliminate the following two credits:  Children’s activity tax credit – The refundable children’s activity tax credit, which was first introduced in 2010, will be eliminated effective 1 January 2017.  Healthy homes renovation tax credit – The healthy homes renovation tax credit, which was announced in 2011 to help seniors remain in their homes longer, will also be eliminated effective 1 January 2017. Tax on split income Ontario proposes to parallel the federal tax on split income (sometimes referred to as kiddie tax), by introducing a new approach to how it taxes split income, effective 1 January 2016. This change is intended to close a tax planning loophole. The federal tax on split income is a special tax at the top marginal personal income tax rate imposed on certain income (referred to as split income) earned by individuals who are 17 years of age or under. Similarly, Ontario proposes to tax split income at Ontario’s top marginal personal income tax rate of 20.53%. No surtax will be payable on the split income.
  5. 5. Ontario budget 2016-17 | 5 Presumably, Ontario split income will continue to be determined on the same basis as federal split income. Federal split income essentially consists of dividends, certain capital gains, shareholder benefits on private corporation shares and certain income from a partnership or trust. Other personal tax measures Other personal tax measures include:  Simpler personal income tax system – Ontario announced that it will examine ways to simplify the calculation of personal income taxes (such as the Ontario surtax and the low income tax reduction) so that taxpayers can better understand their effective tax rates.  Tax-free savings accounts – The federal reduction in the annual contribution limit for tax-free savings accounts (from $10,000 in 2015 to $5,500 in 2016) will automatically apply for Ontario income tax purposes. Carbon cap-and-trade program In line with its Climate Change Strategy released in November 2015, the government confirms that Ontario will join California and Quebec in moving forward with the implementation of a cap-and-trade program on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, beginning in 2017. Cap-and-trade programs operate by placing a cap on total carbon emissions for a given period and allowing the market to set a price for such emissions through the distribution and sale of emissions permits or allowances. Carbon emitters in sectors covered under the program are required to hold a sufficient number of allowances to cover their annual emissions. The budget proposes that the following emitters will be subject to the cap-and-trade program:  Industries, institutions, electricity generators, and suppliers and distributors of heating fuels that emit 25,000 tonnes of GHG emissions per year or more  Suppliers and distributors of transportation fuels that distribute 200 litres of fuel per year or more  Electricity and fuel importers As in Quebec and California, Ontario will also provide allocation emission allowances free of charge to various industries to help maintain competitiveness and thus avoid the relocation of local industries to other jurisdictions. To move forward on initiatives related to the introduction of a cap-and-trade program, Ontario introduced Bill 172, Climate Change Mitigation and Low-carbon Economy Act, 2016, on 24 February 2016. This legislation, if passed, will set out a framework for the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a cap- and-trade system. It establishes targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (15% below 1990 levels by 2020, 37% below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80% below 1990 levels by 2050) and requires the Ontario government to prepare an action plan to achieve those targets. In addition, the legislation is designed to:  Ensure cap and trade auction proceeds are directed to a new Greenhouse Gas Reduction Account (to be used to fund green projects to reduce emissions) and require an annual public report on the funds flowing in and out of the account
  6. 6. Ontario budget 2016-17 | 6  Require the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change to prepare periodic progress reports with respect to the action plan and a review of the plan at least every five years  Allow for transitional allowances to large industrial emitters (to be phased out over a period of time)  Authorize the minister to enter into agreements with others (such as Quebec and California) for the harmonization and integration of the cap-and-trade system and similar programs Eligible initiatives (aimed at reducing greenhouse gases) that may be funded from the proceeds of the cap-and-trade system include those relating to energy use, land use and buildings, infrastructure, transportation, industry, agriculture and forestry, waste management, education and training, and research and innovation. Financial impact for energy consumers Table E outlines the government’s forecast of the impact the implementation of the cap-and-trade program will have on transportation and home heating costs: Table E – Impact on fuel costs Transportation Gasoline prices 4.3 cents/litre Home heating Natural gas prices 3.3 cents/litre Natural gas (average) costs $5/month Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) The minister provided an update on the province’s phased-in launch of the ORPP and the renewed national dialogue to enhance the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). In the event an enhanced CPP to meet the intended goals of the ORPP is not possible, Ontario will move forward with its own plan to implement the ORPP. To provide more time for discussion, Ontario is proposing to phase-in the launch of the ORPP by starting enrollment in January 2017, one year later than the original start date, and by starting the first phase of contributions in January 2018. The updated phased-in contribution schedule is described in Table F. Table F – ORPP contribution rates Type of employer 1 January 2018 1 January 2019 1 January 2020 1 January 2021 Wave 1: Large employers (500 or more employees) without registered workplace pension plans 0.8% 1.6% 1.9% 1.9% Wave 2: Medium employers (50-499 employees) without registered workplace pension plans 0.8% 1.6% 1.9% 1.9% Wave 3: Small employers (fewer than 50 employees) without registered workplace pension plans 0% 0.8% 1.6% 1.9% Wave 4: Employers without comparable workplace pension plans 0% 0% 1.9% 1.9% For more background information on the ORPP, read our Tax Alerts 2016 No.5, Ontario unveils details of the ORPP, and 2016 No.7, Ontario delays ORPP implementation.
  7. 7. Ontario budget 2016-17 | 7 Other pension-related changes The budget also announced the following pension-related changes:  Pooled registered pension plans (PRPPs) – To further facilitate harmonization with other jurisdictions and ensure the efficient operation of PRPPs, Ontario will introduce amendments to the Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act, 2015. Regulations to support the implementation of PRPPs in Ontario are under development. The province will also develop an appropriate test to determine whether a PRPP is a comparable plan for purposes of the ORPP.  Target benefit multi-employer pension plans – Ontario will continue to consult with affected stakeholders on all aspects of a target benefit multi-employer pension plan framework. Other tax measures Tobacco tax Effective 26 February 2016, the budget proposes to increase the tobacco tax rate from 13.975 cents to 15.475 cents per cigarette and per gram of tobacco products other than cigars. The rate per carton of 200 cigarettes will increase from $27.95 to $30.95. Beginning in 2017, the government proposes to increase the tobacco tax rates based on inflation over each of the next five years. Alcohol charges The budget proposes the following increases:  Effective in June 2016, a two percentage points increase in the ad valorem mark-up for wine products sold by the LCBO. An additional two percentage points increase will occur in April 2017, and again in April 2018, followed by a one percentage point increase in April 2019.  The basic tax on non-Ontario wine purchases at winery retail stores will be increased from 16.1% of the retail price to 17.1% in June 2016, 18.1% in April 2017, 19.1% in April 2018 and 20.1% in April 2019.  The minimum retail price for table wine will increase to $7.95 (including deposit) for a 750 ml bottle, phased in over three years. The minimum retail prices for cider, fortified wine and low-alcohol wine will also be phased in over three years. The government also proposes, in the future, to establish higher basic wine tax rates for sales at winery retail outlets that operate their stores in grocery stores, and to replace the current mark-up and commission structure at onsite distillery retail stores with a tax on purchases of spirits. Provincial land tax The provincial land tax (PLT) is the property tax paid in unincorporated areas of northern Ontario outside municipal boundaries. As part of the ongoing review of the PLT, Ontario will consult with northern residents on ways to further address tax inequities in the north. This consultation will take place before the province determines any PLT rate adjustments for 2017.
  8. 8. Ontario budget 2016-17 | 8 Underground economy initiatives In partnership with the Canada Revenue Agency, the province will launch specialized audit teams to focus on sectors that are at high risk of underground economic activity. These specialized audit teams will use advanced analytics and innovative enforcement tools. Learn more For more information, contact your EY or Couzin Taylor advisor or one of the following professionals: Toronto Karen Atkinson +1 416 943 2172 | Neil Moore +1 416 932 6239 | Ottawa Ian Sherman +1 613 598 4335 | London John Sliskovic +1 519 646 5532 | Kitchener Cynthia McIntyre +1 519 581 5455 | And for up-to-date information on the federal, provincial and territorial budgets, visit
  9. 9. Ontario budget 2016-17 | 9 EY | Assurance | Tax | Transactions | Advisory About EY EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities. EY refers to the global organization and may refer to one or more of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organization, please visit About EY’s Tax Services EY’s tax professionals across Canada provide you with deep technical knowledge, both global and local, combined with practical, commercial and industry experience. We offer a range of tax-saving services backed by in-depth industry knowledge. Our talented people, consistent methodologies and unwavering commitment to quality service help you build the strong compliance and reporting foundations and sustainable tax strategies that help your business achieve its potential. It’s how we make a difference. For more information, visit About Couzin Taylor Couzin Taylor LLP is a national firm of Canadian tax lawyers, allied with Ernst & Young LLP, specializing in tax litigation and tax counsel services. For more information, visit © 2016 Ernst & Young LLP. All Rights Reserved. A member firm of Ernst & Young Global Limited. This publication contains information in summary form, current as of the date of publication, and is intended for general guidance only. It should not be regarded as comprehensive or a substitute for professional advice. Before taking any particular course of action, contact EY or another professional advisor to discuss these matters in the context of your particular circumstances. We accept no responsibility for any loss or damage occasioned by your reliance on information contained in this publication.