In July 2017, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced potential options for changing the taxation of investment income earned by private corporations. The proposed changes were strongly opposed by many stakeholders and, in October 2017, Minister Morneau announced that changes would be made to the proposed new rules and that draft legislation would be released as part of Budget 2018. The resulting highly anticipated Budget was tabled by Minister Morneau on February 27, 2018. While Budget 2018 has scaled back many of the proposed measures from the July 2017 Consultation Paper, it has moved forward with various amendments to the Income Tax Act1 that will affect small business corporations in Canada. The amendments with respect to passive income earned by a private corporation will still have an adverse effect on small business owners and may affect the way small business owners choose to invest their retained earnings. In particular, the effect of the changes on the small business deduction (“SBD”) will likely leave small business owners seeking tax-efficient options for the investment of corporate retained earnings that will reduce the impact of these changes.
Bill C-74, which contains the legislative provisions to implement the new passive income rules, received Royal Assent
on June 21, 2018