Financial reporting and accounting advisory services
You trust your external auditor to deliver not only a high-quality, independent audit of your financial statements but to provide a range of support, including assessing material risks, evaluating internal controls and raising awareness around new and amended accounting standards.
Accounting Standards for Private Enterprises
Get the clear financial picture you need with the accounting standards team at Grant Thornton LLP. Our experts have extensive experience with private enterprises of all sizes in all industries, an in-depth knowledge of today’s accounting standards, and are directly involved in the standard-setting process.
International Financial Reporting Standards
Whether you are already using IFRS or considering a transition to this global framework, Grant Thornton LLP’s accounting standards team is here to help.
Accounting Standards for Not-for-Profit Organizations
From small, community organizations to large, national charities, you can count on Grant Thornton LLP’s accounting standards team for in-depth knowledge and trusted advice.
Public Sector Accounting Standards
Working for a public-sector organization comes with a unique set of requirements for accounting and financial reporting. Grant Thornton LLP’s accounting standards team has the practical, public-sector experience and in-depth knowledge you need.
Tax planning and compliance
Whether you are a private or public organization, your goal is to manage the critical aspects of tax compliance, and achieve the most effective results. At Grant Thornton, we focus on delivering relevant advice, and providing an integrated planning approach to help you fulfill compliance obligations.
Research & development, government incentives
Are you developing innovative processes or products, undertaking experimentation or solving technological problems? If so, you may qualify to claim SR&ED tax credits. This Canadian federal government initiative is designed to encourage and support innovation in Canada. Our R&D professionals are a highly-trained, diverse team of practitioners that are engineers, scientists and specialized accountants.
Keeping track of changes and developments in GST/HST, Quebec sales tax and other provincial sales taxes across Canada, can be a full-time job. The consequences for failing to adequately manage your organization’s sales tax obligations can be significant - from assessments, to forgone recoveries and cash flow implications, to customer or reputational risk.
Global mobility services
In today’s competitive and global marketplace, your employee mobility strategy is a critical factor for success. International opportunities are key to attracting top talent and instilling a global mindset across your organization. Your people truly are your most valuable asset, and as your expatriate workforce continues to grow, a seamless global mobility program is essential to achieving your overall business goals.
US corporate tax
The United States has a very complex and regulated tax environment, that may undergo significant changes. Cross-border tax issues could become even more challenging for Canadian businesses looking for growth and prosperity in the biggest economy in the world.
US personal tax
Whether your business is only beginning to sell to US customers, or US customers represent the core of your business, anticipating and dealing knowledgeably with the US tax environment is critical to your bottom line. Our full-service US corporate tax group can help in all tax aspects of doing business in the US. Given high US corporate tax rates, don't be surprised by a US tax liability only to find out that there were planning opportunities available to reduce it.
While there is great opportunity for businesses looking to expand globally, organizations are under increasing tax scrutiny. Regardless of your company’s size and level of international involvement—whether you’re working abroad, investing, buying and selling, borrowing or manufacturing—doing business beyond Canada’s borders comes with its fair share of tax risks.
Transfer pricing is a complex area of corporate taxation that is concerned with the intra-group pricing of goods, services, intangibles, and financial instruments. Transfer pricing has become a critical governance issue for companies, tax authorities and policy makers, and represents a principal risk area for multinationals.
Succession & estate planning
Like many private business owners today, you’ve spent your career building and running your business successfully. Now you’re faced with deciding on a successor—a successor who may or may not want your direct involvement and share your vision.
Tax Reporting & Advisory
The financial and tax reporting obligations of public markets and global tax authorities take significant resources and investment to manage. This requires calculating global tax provision estimates under US GAAP, IFRS, and other frameworks, and reconciling this reporting with tax compliance obligations.
Our transactions group takes a client-centric, integrated approach, focused on helping you make and implement the best financial strategies. We offer meaningful, actionable and holistic advice to allow you to create value, manage risks and seize opportunities. It’s what we do best: help great organizations like yours grow and thrive.
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Builders And Developers
Every real estate project starts with a vision. We help builders and developers solidify that vision, transform it into reality, and create value.
Rental Property Owners And Occupiers
In today’s economic climate, it’s more important than ever to have a strong advisory partner on your side.
Real Estate Service Providers
Your company plays a key role in the success of landlords, investors and owners, but who is doing the same for you?
There’s no business quite like mining. It’s volatile, risky and complex – but the potential pay-off is huge. You’re not afraid of a challenge: the key is finding the right balance between risk and reward. Whether you’re a junior prospector, a senior producer, or somewhere in between, we’ll work with you to explore, discover and extract value at every stage of the mining process.
Oil & gas
The oil and gas industry is facing many complex challenges, beyond the price of oil. These include environmental issues, access to markets, growing competition from alternative energy sources and international markets, and a rapidly changing regulatory landscape, to name but a few.
In a recent blog post I looked at a number of impacts that may be experienced by Canadian business owners should recent tax proposals become law.
Many of these are more germane to long-term tax planning, however, one of them may have very immediate consequences. In the case where a business owner passes away or has recently passed away, the estate and executors will likely face immediate issues—and the potential for double taxation.
When a business owner passes away, he/she is deemed to have disposed of all capital property, including shares of his/her private company, for proceeds equal to their fair market value immediately before death, and any resulting gain will be taxed at the relevant capital gains tax rate. However, when the estate winds up or liquidates the company over time, under the proposed legislation the beneficiaries of the estate will receive dividends and will be subject to tax on the same amount for which the deceased owner paid capital gains taxes; in other words, there is the potential for double taxation.
In the past, “pipeline” planning allowed the estate to transfer the shares of the private company to a new holding company in exchange for a promissory note equal to the value at the time of death, and shares for any value in excess of that amount. Funds would then be distributed by the private company to the new holding company as a tax-free inter-corporate dividend and the promissory note is repaid without further tax.
This mechanism enables the beneficiaries to extract the assets from the private company without additional shareholder tax given that the estate has already paid tax on the gain in the shares on death. However, under the new proposals, the transfer of the private company shares in return for a promissory note would now trigger a dividend, even though the deceased has already paid capital gains tax on death.
If pipeline planning is no longer a viable alternative, there will be essentially only two tax efficient options when private business owners pass away:
- Within the first year of the estate, executors can redeem the private company shares and trigger a deemed dividend which reduces the cost of the shares thereby, creating a capital loss which the estate can use to offset the capital gains triggered on death. In other words, this strategy converts the capital gain realized by the deceased into dividends. It’s worth noting, however, that making the decision to do this so quickly may be both impractical and problematic, especially if the will is challenged or other litigation holds up settlement of the estate beyond the allotted year.
- Alternatively, the estate can sell the private company shares to an unrelated third party through a holding company—a solution that, in essence, could see a loss in family ownership of a business that has been in the family for generations. This tax policy change can affect the whole family business succession model and may have significant consequences for tomorrow’s private business community.
For those involved in executing the estate of a private business owner who has recently died or who is expected to die imminently, figuring out the best way to manage things is an immediate concern.