Canada continues to be seen as less competitive when compared with the United States, according to a survey of business leaders released July 17 by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada).
The CPA Canada Business Monitor (Q2 2018), which surveyed professional accountants in leadership positions, reveals that 68 per cent of the respondents view Canada as a less competitive place to invest and do business versus the United States when compared with a year ago. This viewpoint is basically unchanged from the previous quarter.
Canada’s tax burden
When asked about the primary reason for the country being less competitive, Canada's overall tax burden was the top response, cited by 29 per cent of participants. U.S. tax reform was second, referenced by 14 per cent of those surveyed.
"Canada's tax system is fundamental to creating a competitive environment," says Joy Thomas, president and CEO, CPA Canada. "The survey findings reinforce the need for a comprehensive review of Canada's tax system, led by an independent expert panel, that would strive to reduce complexities, address inefficiencies, improve fairness and ensure economic competitiveness."
The number of respondents expressing optimism about the prospects for the Canadian economy over the next 12 months was 32 per cent, essentially unchanged from the opening quarter. However, that is down significantly from the second quarter of 2017 when 50 per cent of respondents expressed an optimistic outlook, observes CPA Canada.
The top two challenges to the Canadian economy identified by survey participants in the survey are U.S. trade protectionism (39 per cent) followed by uncertainty in the Canadian economy (14 per cent).