On April 11, 2019, the Honourable Victor Fedeli, Minister of Finance, presented the 2019 Ontario budget, titled “Protecting What Matters Most.” This budget announced a number of significant investments in child care, senior care, and mental health, as well as new measures to stimulate the economy and create more job opportunities for the residents of Ontario.
In addition to the commodity tax issues noted below, the following is a summary of other tax measures announced:
- To parallel federal initiatives, it is proposed that specified clean energy equipment, machinery and equipment used in manufacturing and processing may be written off immediately where assets were purchased after November 20, 2018, with other capital investments being eligible for accelerated depreciation in the first year of use;
- A specialized unit of taxation experts will work in conjunction with federal and provincial tax officials to minimize tax avoidance and evasion with a focus on identifying artificial transactions and closing tax loopholes;
- Simplification of the Cultural Media Tax Credit administration and application process in order to reduce the certification approval wait times and increase participation in the credit; and
- Other personal income tax relief measures to assist low-income Ontarians, and those incurring child care costs in the province.
The province continues to fight the federal government carbon tax in the courts. The province contends that Ontario is able to achieve greenhouse gas emission targets without implementing the carbon tax.
The budget includes amendments to the raw leaf tobacco provisions in the Tobacco Tax Act to create penalty and offence provisions in respect of: the use of new track and trace bale markers; and for failing to notify the Ministry of raw leaf tobacco destruction. In addition, amendments to remove “baling and packaging” from the definition of “producing” tobacco and to require raw leaf tobacco certificates to permit “baling and packaging.”
The minister announced a proposed clarification of the prescribing requirements as part of the on-reserve retailers gasoline tax refund process on sales to First Nation consumers.
Further information on Ontario’s 2019 budget may be found on the province's web site at: Ontario Budget 2019
If you have any questions about how these proposed changes might impact your organization, please do not hesitate to call the Ryan TaxDirect® line at 1.800.667.1600.