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
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Accounting Standards for Not-for-Profit Organizations
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Public Sector Accounting Standards
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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.
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.
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Builders And Developers
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Rental Property Owners And Occupiers
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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.
Recent changes in tax legislation have affected the way that trusts can be used, as well as the information they are required to report. Many have speculated that these changes have limited the usefulness of trusts as a tool for holding assets, but there are still many advantages to setting up a trust.
What has changed?
Limits on income splitting
The extension of the income splitting rules that came into effect on January 1, 2018 has made certain business owners question their current corporate structure. This is because the manner in which shares are held (i.e. through a holding company or through a trust) will affect whether the income received will be subject to tax on split income (TOSI), which imposes tax at the highest marginal rate on certain types of income.
For example, where shares of a private corporation (meeting the definition of a “related business” for the purposes of TOSI) are held by a family trust, and an inactive spouse and inactive adult children are beneficiaries of the trust, none of the family members will be able to exempt themselves from TOSI through the use of the “excluded shares” exemption (which may be available to taxpayers owning shares with at least 10 percent of the votes and value of a corporation). That’s because this exemption requires that the shares be held by the individual directly. As a result, taxpayers who own shares of a private corporation through a family trust will need to look to the other TOSI exclusions to alleviate the potential tax burden.
For some taxpayers this is an undesirable result, as the remaining exclusions typically require a certain level of involvement within the business, either through labour or capital contribution, while the “excluded shares” exemption allows individuals to receive income from a corporation simply on the basis of share ownership.
New reporting requirements
Another way that the advantages of using a trust may be limited in the future is through the new reporting requirements that will come into effect in 2021. These new rules will require that certain types of trusts file a T3 return more frequently and provide more personal identification information relating to beneficiaries, settlors and protectors of the trust.
The impact here is that by increasing these reporting requirements, the government will now have more information at its disposal regarding Canadian property and those who are entitled to it.
For example, where property is owned by a trust, the trust will now be required to file an annual T3 return that will notify the government when beneficiaries of the trust—in other words, those who are entitled to the property—change. This increased information is likely to form the basis for future tax changes. At the very least, it is sure to lead to additional scrutiny of taxpayers.
Advantages to using a trust
While these changes mean that some of the advantages to using a trust may be limited, there are still multiple tax and non-tax advantages to using a trust.
Multiplication of the Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption (LCGE)
From a tax perspective, one of the major remaining benefits of using a trust—when it comes to holding shares of a private corporation in particular—is that by having multiple beneficiaries to the trust, it is possible to effectively multiply the LCGE on the disposition of shares of a qualified small business corporation (QSBC).
Multiplying the LCGE will allow each family member that is a beneficiary to the trust to shelter from tax $848,252 (in 2018) of any gain that has been allocated to them on the sale. A family of four would therefore be able to jointly shelter $3.39 million in gains from tax through the use of a trust, which provides a significant tax advantage.
Maintaining QSBC status of shares
In light of the new income splitting rules, it is helpful to ensure that your private corporation meets the criteria for being considered a QSBC. This is due to the fact that taxable capital gains on the disposition of QSBC shares are exempt from TOSI. Where a private corporation is not considered a QSBC (as a result of holding a large value of passive assets), a trust can be a helpful tool for purifying the corporation to meet the definition.
For example, a trust with a corporate beneficiary could be introduced (through a reorganization) as a shareholder of an operating company (Opco). Opco could then pay dividends to the trust, which would then allocate the income to the corporate beneficiary, thus allowing for constant purification of Opco using inter-corporate dividends.