Renewing My Commitment to Blogging in 2014

February 3rd, 2014 by Dan Stone

Renewing My Commitment to Blogging in 2014I am one of a few lawyers at DSF whose primary focus is tax law.  As such, the marketing manager has been after me for a while to start submitting regular tax law blogs.  I have been hesitant to write tax blogs because whenever I talk to my wife about recent developments in the Canadian or US tax world, she invariably falls asleep.  Not exactly the vote of confidence I am looking for…

There are other reasons as well, however.  In reviewing the Canadian landscape of online tax resources there appears to be two other issues: first, most of the resources are devoted to tax practitioners i.e. accountants, bookkeepers and lawyers; second, there appears to be a lot of resources dedicated to a narrow selection of topics.  I’d like to change that.

In renewing my commitment to blogging to you (and my marketing manager), I wish to address some of the above issues.  Indeed, I see the world through a “tax” lens and that’s precisely what I want to share with DSF’s current and prospective clients.

I try and read as many news websites as possible every day.   Ordinarily, I think about the tax consequences of seemingly unrelated business stories.  While that won’t change, now I will share the underlying tax consequences here on the blog once per week.

The objective of this new and improved tax law blog project is to deliver stories that impact everyone rather than just litigants before the Supreme Court of Canada.  To this end, I may also write about hot topics that have tax practitioners abuzz in a way that most Canadians can relate.

I welcome any of you to submit questions or comments related to any blog post or not and I will do my best to address your submissions, as the case may be.  The blogs will not be lengthy but I hope over time we can build something of a community here, sharing those stories which impact all of us.

Ripe for the picking, I’d like to kick things off by discussing the tax perspective of Ontario’s minimum wage hike from $10.25 an hour to $11.00 beginning on June 1, 2014.  There is currently a robust dialogue taking place among stakeholders of every stripe in the public and private sectors, but I’m not here to weigh in on this divisive proposed change.  Suffice it to say, however, that the jury is still out on whether this measure will increase, decrease or leave unchanged the current tax base.

In July 2013 the Province of Ontario appointed a Minimum Wage Advisory Panel to “help ensure a process that is fair for workers, predictable for business and creates more opportunities for all Ontarians.”  I encourage you to visit the Ministry’s website and read the Panel’s final report for yourself
(http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/advisorypanel.php).

Regardless of how you may feel about the proposed change, the point of this exercise is to get you thinking about the impact on how and from whom the government raises revenues and whether the proposed change is the best way to do so in light of the government’s policy objectives.  Further, it is important to recognize that the success or failure of this policy objective will impact future ones, how does the old saying go… “a butterfly flaps its wings…”

That’s the tax perspective, see you next week.
Toronto tax law lawyer, Eldad Gerb


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