Focus on Tax 2016 Backgrounder

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1 Focus on Tax 2016 Backgrounder July 2016 Competitive Alternatives 2016 special report Focus on Tax is a supplement to Competitive Alternatives 2016, a global report released in March 2016 examining significant business costs across 10 countries. Focus on Tax 2016 assesses general tax competitiveness in 111 featured cities and 10 countries and compares various tax rates in each location including: corporate income tax, property taxes, capital taxes, sales taxes, miscellaneous local business taxes and statutory labour costs all resulting in a Total Tax Index (TTI). The US represents the study benchmark against which all other countries and cities are compared. The United States TTI is and Canada s TTI stands at 52.4, representing a total tax cost that is 47.6 percent lower than the US. Included below is a breakdown of the national findings for Canada and the 17 Canadian cities included in the analysis. To speak with a KPMG spokesperson about Focus on Tax 2016, please contact: Taxes analyzed in Focus on Tax 2016 Corporate income tax: includes income taxes imposed by all levels of government (national, regional and/or local), reflecting specific income tax rules for each jurisdiction. Other corporate taxes: includes property taxes, capital taxes, sales taxes and miscellaneous business taxes. These taxes are based on actual business costs that would be incurred by each business in each location. For example, property tax costs in US cities are calculated by applying the property tax assessment rules for each city to actual property values for that city. Statutory labour costs: includes statutory plan costs and other payroll-based taxes. These costs are calculated based on rates and rules applicable in each jurisdiction, as applied to actual wage and salary levels for the jurisdiction. Total tax costs are compared between countries and cities using a Total Tax Index (TTI) for each location. The TTI is a measure of the total taxes paid by companies in a particular location, expressed as a percentage of total taxes paid by similar firms in the US. As the benchmark country, the US has a TTI of This study also defines a second measure of total taxes, which expresses tax costs as an effective rate, rather than an index of taxes actually paid. This measure is the Total Effective Tax Rate (TETR), which is calculated as: Total taxes paid by a corporation divided by Standardized net income before income tax. Canada Most competitive corporate tax environment Canadian cities, Toronto (1 st ), Vancouver (2 nd ) and Montreal (4 th ) led rankings among 51 major international cities (with a population of two million or more) studied in 10 countries, with only Manchester, UK (3 rd ) joining them in the top four. Canada s federal corporate income tax rate of 15 percent provides a very competitive base for corporate tax even when combined with provincial rates, which typically range from percent. In comparison, the US federal income tax rate is approximately 34 percent. Among other corporate taxes, Canada s GST/HST sales taxes, which are generally refundable to businesses after Input Tax Credits are claimed, result in lower tax costs than the non-refundable sales taxes that apply in most US states. In addition, the fact

2 that business machinery and equipment is generally not subject to local property tax in Canada provides a further advantage compared to many international locations. For statutory labour costs, income thresholds for CPP and EI (at approximately $51,000) result in low statutory plan costs for Canada relative to many other countries. For example, while US FICA and UI contribution rates are similar to CPP and EI rates in Canada, a much higher income threshold for FICA results in significantly higher costs for US employers of well-paid professional and technical employees. All 17 of the Canadian cities featured have lower total tax costs than all US cities compared. The total tax index ratings of the Canadian cities featured range from 36.4 to 57.4 (where lower is better) while the most competitive US city, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has a rating of St. John s Ranks 1 st overall among 17 Canadian cities with a TTI of 36.4** St. John s, Nfld s ranking in the current study (1 st among 17 Canadian cities in 2016, versus 4 th among 15 cities in 2014) received a boost due to the introduction of a new tax credit for digital media activities in Newfoundland & Labrador in Ranks 1 st among 17 Canadian cities in the Manufacturing sector, due to the largest tax rate reduction for manufacturing and processing income among all the Canadian provinces.** Ranks 5 th among 17 Canadian cities in the R&D sector, with the 15 percent Newfoundland & Labrador refundable R&D tax credit helping to improve its result.** Ranks 7 th among 17 Canadian cities in the Digital Services sector, assisted by Newfoundland & Labrador s new 40 percent refundable credit on qualified labour for interactive digital media activity, which came into effect on January 1, The subsequent corporate income tax rate increase would not change this ranking. Ranks 13 th among 17 Canadian cities in the Corporate Services sector, with the second highest provincial income tax rate and above-average statutory labour costs impacting this sector. **Note: This analysis is based on tax data as of January 1, 2016 for all Canadian and international locations. This analysis does not reflect tax changes announced by Newfoundland & Labrador in its April 2016 budget, which includes a 1% increase in the general corporate tax rate and the elimination of a 9% tax rate reduction for manufacturing and processing income. These changes would cause St. John s to rank lower among Canadian cities. The impacts of these changes for St. John s are estimated as follows: ranking in overall results and manufacturing sector would drop from 1 st to 9 th among 17 Canadian cities; ranking in the R&D sector would drop from 5 th to 7 th among 17 Canadian cities; no change in ranking in the Digital Services and Corporate Services sectors. Fredericton Ranks 2 nd overall among 17 Canadian cities with a TTI of 39.0 Ranks 2 nd among 17 Canadian cities in the R&D sector, with the 15 percent New Brunswick refundable R&D tax credit helping to improve Fredericton s result. Ranks 3 rd among 17 Canadian cities in the Corporate Services sector, with fully-integrated HST, no local business tax, and low workers compensation costs all adding to its advantage in this labour-intensive sector. Ranks 3 rd among 17 Canadian cities in the Manufacturing sector, with higher property taxes impacting its ranking, even after allowing for the benefit of manufacturing investment tax credits available in Atlantic Canada. Ranks 11 th among 17 Canadian cities in the Digital Services sector, with a lower ranking as New Brunswick only has a very limited tax credit for digital media production. Moncton Ranks 3 rd overall among 17 Canadian cities with a TTI of 39.1 Ranks 1 st among 17 Canadian cities in the R&D sector, with the 15 percent New Brunswick refundable R&D tax credit positively impacting Moncton s result. Ranks 2 nd among 17 Canadian cities in the Corporate Services sector, with fully-integrated HST, no local business tax, and low workers compensation costs all adding to its advantage in this labour-intensive sector. Ranks 4 th among 17 Canadian cities in the Manufacturing sector, with relatively higher property taxes negatively impacting its ranking, even after allowing for the benefit of manufacturing investment tax credits available in Atlantic Canada. Ranks 10 th among 17 Canadian cities in the Digital Services sector, with a lower ranking as New Brunswick only has a very limited tax credit for digital media production. Edmonton Ranks 4 th overall among 17 Canadian cities with a TTI of 40.6 Edmonton s ranking in the current study (4 th among 17 Canadian cities in 2016, versus 1 st among 15 cities in 2014) has been impacted by the 2 percent increase in Alberta s corporate income tax rate that took effect in July 2015.

3 Ranks 1 st among 17 Canadian cities in the Corporate Services sector, with relatively low costs for other corporate taxes (sales tax, property tax) in this sector. Ranks 4 th among 17 Canadian cities in the R&D sector, with Alberta s 10 percent refundable R&D tax credit helping in this sector, but being less valuable than the 15 or 20 percent credits in some other provinces. Ranks 5 th among 17 Canadian cities in the Manufacturing sector, with low property taxes, no sales tax costs, and low statutory labour costs. Ranks 9 th among 17 Canadian cities in the Digital Services sector, with a lower ranking because Alberta does not have a tax credit for digital media production. Calgary Ranks 5 th overall among 17 Canadian cities with a TTI of 41.9 Ranks 5 th among 17 Canadian cities in the Corporate Services sector, with higher property-based taxes (including Calgary s business occupancy tax) representing the main point of distinction between results for Calgary and Edmonton in this sector. Ranks 6 th among 17 Canadian cities in the Manufacturing sector, with low property taxes, no sales tax costs, and low statutory labour costs. Ranks 7 th among 17 Canadian cities in the R&D sector, with Alberta s 10 percent refundable R&D tax credit helping in this sector, but being less valuable than the 15 or 20 percent credits in some other provinces. Ranks 12 th among 17 Canadian cities in the Digital Services sector, with a lower ranking because Alberta does not have a tax credit for digital media production. Halifax Ranks 6 th overall among 17 Canadian cities with a TTI of 43.8 Ranks 6 th among 17 Canadian cities in the R&D sector, with Nova Scotia s 15 percent refundable R&D tax credit positively impacting this result for Halifax. Ranks 8 th among 17 Canadian cities in the Digital Services sector, with a refundable credit for interactive digital media products in Nova Scotia assisting Halifax in this sector. Ranks 8 th among 17 Canadian cities in the Manufacturing sector. Ranks 11 th among 17 Canadian cities in the Corporate Services sector, with the equal highest provincial rate for corporate income tax offsetting the favourable statutory labour costs for Halifax in this sector. Charlottetown Ranks 7 th overall among 17 Canadian cities with a TTI of 44.2 Ranks 2 nd among 17 Canadian cities in the Manufacturing sector, with moderate property tax costs assisting results for Charlottetown in this sector. Ranks 8 th among 17 Canadian cities in the Corporate Services sector, with the equal highest provincial income tax rate in Canada offset by low statutory labour costs in this sector. Ranks 16 th among 17 Canadian cities in the Digital Services sector, with only limited financial support for digital media production projects. Ranks 16 th among 17 Canadian cities in the R&D sector, as PEI is the only Canadian province that does not provide provincial tax credits for R&D activities. Saskatoon Ranks 8 th overall among 17 Canadian cities with a TTI of 44.2 Ranks 7 th among 17 Canadian cities in the Manufacturing sector, helped by low property tax costs. Ranks 7 th among 17 Canadian cities for the Corporate Services sector, with the provincial PST adding to total tax costs when compared to the HST provinces. Ranks 8 th among 17 Canadian cities in the R&D sector, with the 15 percent non-refundable R&D credit in Saskatchewan eliminating all provincial corporate income tax, but not providing the advantage of refundable credits in some other provinces. Ranks 13 th among 17 Canadian cities in the Digital Services sector, with a lower ranking as Saskatchewan does not provide a tax credit for digital media production. Barrie Ranks 9 th overall among 17 Canadian cities with a TTI of 44.6 Ranks 1 st among 17 Canadian cities in the Digital Services sector, assisted by low property tax costs and the Ontario digital media tax credit. Ranks 9 th among 17 Canadian cities in the Corporate Services sector, with the lowest costs for other corporate taxes among the 17 Canadian cities, as a result of low property taxes.

4 Ranks 9 th among 17 Canadian cities in the R&D sector, with the provincial R&D tax credits in Ontario being less favourable than most other provinces. Ranks 11 th among 17 Canadian cities in the Manufacturing sector, with low property tax costs but relatively high corporate income tax costs due to a combination of low R&D tax credit and lack of investment tax credits in Ontario. Toronto Ranks 10 th overall among 17 Canadian cities with a TTI of 47.4 and 1 st overall among 51 major international cities (with a population of two million or more) Ranks 1 st among 51 major international cities in the Digital Services sector. The Ontario digital media tax credit has a significant impact on the results for Toronto in the digital media sector, and therefore also contributes to Toronto s overall positive ranking. The 35 percent tax credit rate for fee for service productions is applicable to the business case examined in this study, rather than the 40 percent rate applicable to general productions. Ranks 2 nd among 51 major international cities in both the Manufacturing and R&D sectors, behind Vancouver in both sectors. The 4.5 percent R&D tax credit in Ontario also assists Toronto in those business cases where R&D is a relevant consideration. R&D is a major factor in the R&D sector, but also a lesser consideration in some manufacturing operations such as pharmaceuticals, aerospace, and auto parts. Ranks 3 rd among the 51 major international cities studied for the Corporate Services sector, behind Vancouver and Manchester, UK. Moderate other corporate taxes also benefit Toronto most notably the provincial HST which generates tax savings for firms when compared to the non-refundable sales taxes that apply in some other Canadian provinces and most US states. Kelowna Ranks 11 th overall among 17 Canadian cities with TTI of 47.7 Ranks 4 th among 17 Canadian cities in the Corporate Services sector, assisted both by its low statutory labour costs in this labourintensive sector and corporate income tax savings from British Columbia s International Business Activities program. Ranks 9 th among 17 Canadian cities in the Manufacturing sector, with below-average property tax costs helping to enhance Kelowna s result. Ranks 11 th among 17 Canadian cities in the R&D sector, with British Columbia s 10 percent non-refundable R&D credit eliminating all provincial corporate income tax, but not providing the advantage of refundable credits as seen in some other provinces. Ranks 14 th among 17 Canadian cities in the Digital Services sector. British Columbia s provincial Digital Media tax credit has the lowest rebate rate among similar provincial credits and currently expires in September Vancouver Ranks 12 th overall among 17 Canadian cities with TTI of 49.0 and 2 nd among 51 major international cities (with a population of two million or more) Vancouver ranks 1 st among 51 major international cities in the Corporate Services, R&D and Manufacturing sectors. Vancouver ranks 3 rd among 51 major international cities in the Digital Services sector, behind Toronto and Montreal. The 10 percent R&D tax credit and 17.5 percent digital media tax credit in British Columbia have a significant impact on the results for Vancouver in those sectors, and contribute to Vancouver s overall positive ranking. British Columbia does not have an employer health tax unlike Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, and Newfoundland & Labrador. This contributes to Vancouver s favourable ranking in this area relative to other Canadian cities. Sault Ste. Marie Ranks 13 th overall among 17 Canadian cities with TTI of 49.5 Ranks 4 th among 17 Canadian cities in the Digital Services sector, with the Ontario digital media tax credit having a significant impact in this sector. Ranks 10 th among 17 Canadian cities in the Corporate Services sector, with the Ontario Employer Health Tax resulting in aboveaverage statutory labour costs in Sault Ste. Marie. Ranks 10 th among 17 Canadian cities in the R&D sector, with the provincial R&D tax credits in Ontario less favourable than most other provinces. Ranks 14 th among 17 Canadian cities in the Manufacturing sector, with above-average property tax costs impacting the results for this sector. Winnipeg Ranks 14 th overall among 17 Canadian cities with TTI of 50.4 Ranks 3 rd among 17 Canadian cities in the R&D sector, with Manitoba s 20 percent partially-refundable R&D tax credit helping to improve Winnipeg s result.

5 Ranks 13 th among 17 Canadian cities in the Manufacturing sector, with high costs for other corporate taxes (including PST sales tax applicable to manufacturing machinery) being partially offset by relatively low costs for corporate income tax, including an investment tax credit for manufacturing machinery. Ranks 14 th among 17 Canadian cities in the Corporate Services sector. Ranks 17 th among 17 Canadian cities in the Digital Services sector, with Winnipeg s property-based taxes (including local business occupancy tax) and non-refundable provincial sales tax resulting in high costs for other corporate taxes. Gatineau (national capital region) Ranks 15 th overall among 17 Canadian cities with TTI of 52.4 Ranks 2 nd among 17 Canadian cities in the Digital Services sector, with Quebec s digital media production and e-business tax credits assisting in this sector. Ranks 15 th among 17 Canadian cities in the R&D sector, aided by Quebec s 14 percent refundable R&D wage tax credit but high statutory labour costs due to Quebec s various unique statutory payroll levies. Ranks 15 th among 17 Canadian cities in the Manufacturing sector, with below-average property tax costs offset by high statutory labour costs. Ranks 16 th among 17 Canadian cities in the Corporate Services sector, with high statutory labour costs. Quebec City Ranks 16 th overall among 17 Canadian cities with TTI of 53.6 Ranks 5 th among 17 Canadian cities in the Digital Services sector, with Quebec s digital media production and e-business tax credits assisting in this sector. Ranks 14 th among 17 Canadian cities in the R&D sector, aided by Quebec s 14 percent refundable R&D wage tax credit but high statutory labour costs due to Quebec s various unique statutory payroll levies. Ranks 15 th among 17 Canadian cities in the Corporate Services sector, with Quebec s high statutory labour costs having a significant impact in this labour-intensive sector. Ranks 16 th among 17 Canadian cities in the Manufacturing sector, with above-average property tax costs. Montreal Ranks 17 th overall among 17 Canadian cities with TTI of 57.4 and 4 th among 51 major international cities (with a population of two million or more) Montreal ranks 2 nd among 51 major international cities in the Digital Services sector, behind Toronto. Montreal ranks 6 th among 51 major international cities in the R&D sector, behind Vancouver and Toronto, Rotterdam and Amsterdam in the Netherlands and Manchester, UK. Montreal ranks 6 th among 51 major international cities in both the Corporate Services and Manufacturing sectors, behind Vancouver, Toronto, Manchester (UK), Monterrey and Mexico City. The range of tax incentives included in this study for Montreal are an important advantage and contribute significantly to Montreal s relatively low tax costs compared to its global peers. Incentives considered include: o R&D - 14 percent credit on R&D wages o E-commerce - 30 percent credit on eligible labour o Digital media production - 30 percent credit on eligible labour for multimedia titles produced for commercialization in English is used here, a higher rate applies for production in French o International financial activities - 24 percent credit on eligible labour o Manufacturing - 4 percent credit on investment in manufacturing equipment in 2016 only The above incentives all contribute to Montreal s low effective corporate income tax rate, which in turn drives its low TTI. However, the corporate taxes and statutory labour costs are both above average in Montreal relative to the other Canadian cities compared.

6 Contact us Tonique Bedeau National Manager, Communications T: E: The KPMG name and logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of KPMG International. kpmg.ca

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