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.
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.
Cross-border personal tax
In an increasingly flexible world, moving across the border may be more viable for Canadians and Americans; however, relocating may also have complex tax implications.
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.
We bring a wide range of services to both individuals and businesses – including shareholders, executives, directors, lenders, creditors and other advisors who are dealing with a corporation experiencing financial challenges.
Market-driven expertise in investigation, dispute resolution and digital forensics
Viruses. Phishing. Malware infections. Malpractice by employees. Espionage. Data ransom and theft. Fraud. Cybercrime is now a leading risk to all businesses.
Running a business is challenging and you need advice you can rely on at anytime you need it. Our team dives deep into your issues, looking holistically at your organization to understand your people, processes, and systems needs at the root of your pain points. The intersection of these three things is critical to develop the solutions you need today.
Updates for creditors, limited partners, investors and shareholders.
ASPE Sec. 3041 Agriculture Understanding and applying the new ASPE Section 3041 AgricultureThe Canadian Accounting Standards Board (AcSB) has released new guidance on recognizing, measuring and disclosing biological assets and the harvested products of bio assets.
Tax alert Agricultural Clean Technology ProgramThe Agricultural Clean Technology Program will provide financial assistance to farmers and agri-businesses to help them reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Tax alert ACT Program – Research and Innovation Stream explainedThe ACT Research and Innovation Stream provides financial support to organizations engaged in pre-market innovation.
Tax alert ACT Program – Adoption Stream explainedThe ACT Adoption Stream provides non-repayable funding to help farmers and agri-business with the purchase and installation of clean technologies.
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 the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, many things are currently outside of your control. If you’re a business owner, or have substantial investment assets, you might feel especially challenged by the current market conditions. Yet, while you can’t control what’s happening in the markets, there are tax-planning tools that can still give you some control over your financial well-being. Specifically, an estate freeze can help you take advantage of current market conditions while providing you with some financial security and greater certainty in the future.
Estate freezes establish fixed value
An estate freeze is a tool that lets you “freeze” the value of your investments for tax purposes. The main benefit of an estate freeze comes from allowing you to cap the value of the estate taxes associated with your investments when you eventually pass away. On the date of death, you are deemed to have disposed of all your assets, including your investments, at their fair market value. However, if you own these investments through a corporation, you can freeze their value at today’s market prices using an estate freeze. This provides you and your family with greater financial certainty as you can more accurately estimate, and plan for, the amount of taxes that will be owing at death.
While there are different ways to accomplish this goal, in broad terms, an estate freeze involves transferring your investments into a corporation, or exchanging the shares in your already-existing corporation which owns your investments, for new fixed-value preferred shares. These new shares would not increase in value as the markets recover, thereby locking in the taxable value of your investment at that lower value.
To illustrate the potential tax savings of this strategy, let’s say you, or a company that you own, has investments that were worth $5 million in the market a month ago. Today, you hold the same investments but they’re worth around $3.5 million. An estate freeze could capture this value in a set of preferred shares now worth $3.5 million. In certain circumstances, this could result in a reduction of estate taxes of over $400,000.
If you already own fixed-value preferred shares in your company, you can still take advantage of the reduced value of your underlying investments and lower your future tax bill through what is commonly referred to as a “thaw and re-freeze” strategy. This would essentially involve reversing the existing $5 million freeze (using the example above) and issuing new fixed-value preferred shares at today’s lower value of $3.5 million, again reducing your future estate taxes by over $400,000.
It might seem counter-intuitive, but it’s a strategy that recognizes the current economic downturn as a reality. By choosing this approach, you’re adjusting the value of your investment to reflect that reality, while enabling your tax liability to match the new—and more accurate—value of your investments.
Family trusts provide additional flexibility
An essential part of your estate freeze tax planning is maximizing your future flexibility as it relates to a market recovery. Creating a family trust in conjunction with a well-planned estate freeze can give you both control and flexibility, even though you’ve capped your estate tax liability. If, in the future, you find that you need more personal income than you currently have access to through your new preferred shares, the use of the family trust affords you the flexibility and control to make adjustments accordingly.
We’ve previously written about how family trusts remain an important tax planning tool despite changes to the tax on split income (TOSI) rules. Although TOSI implemented limits on income splitting, there are still multiple tax and non-tax advantages to using a trust.
Together, the estate freeze and family trust can help you manage the current economic headwinds. As no two businesses are the same, it’s important to properly plan and implement your estate freeze, based on market conditions and on your objectives. It’s also imperative to structure your family trust so it complements your future goals and objectives, and considers any other tax rules that might apply. Your Grant Thornton advisor can help you set and meet those objectives.
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We understand that you want to be agile and responsive as the situation unfolds. Having access to experts, insights and accurate information as quickly as possible is critical—but your resources may be stretched at this time.
We’re here to support you as you navigate through the impacts of coronavirus on your business and your investments.