Recently Trump administration and Congressional Republican leaders released the Unified Framework with regards to the U.S tax reform. This Framework has highlighted the major changes including lower personal tax rates, higher deduction and exemption limits, as well as cutting corporate taxes.
SDG Accountant prepares this article with the intention of providing a brief summary with implications on the impacts for Canadian Business Owners regarding the U.S tax reform. If you would like to know more details about this tax reform or how the tax reform will affect your business, you can reach out to us at 1-416-755-3000 or email at [email protected]
U.S tax reform for Cutting Taxes for Both Individuals and Corporations
According to the Unified Framework released on September 27, 2017
- The business tax rate has reduced from 35% to 20%;
- Business Profit earned through pass-through entities such as partnerships has reduced from 39.6% to 25%.
Canadian businesses are eligible to claim the foreign tax credit for the amount of taxes they paid to US tax legislation. As the Canadian corporate tax rate usually higher than the US, the decline in US tax rate won’t affect the total amount of tax liability for Canadian Business. Following is an example for demonstration,
|Before US Tax Cut||After US Tax Cut|
|Canadian Tax (about 39% of Business Income)||(39,000)||(39,000)|
|Foreign Tax Credit (equals to foreign tax paid)||35,000||20,000|
Although the US tax portion has been declined, the foreign tax credit has reduced correspondingly. Therefore, the net after-tax income for Canadian business remains unchanged.
Potential Limitation on Interest deductibility
The framework has mentioned that interest deductibility would be limited. This will impact Canadian companies using Debt Finance at US operations. Usually, Multinational Enterprise uses debt financing to leverage the tax benefit of deducting interest expense at US subsidiaries. In addition, debt financing can also avoid dividend withholding tax when repatriating income.
Following chart demonstrate a common example of the debt financing foreign subsidiary,
Although the Canadian Parent Company needs to pay property income tax streaming from the Subsidiary loan, the US subsidiary can reduce its tax liability by deducting the interest expense which will result in a tax neutral position.
According to the indications from tax reform, US subsidiary might not be eligible to deduct the interest expense. This means the Canadian Parent Company will continue to accrue interest income but the US subsidiary is not able to reduce income tax liability by deducting the interest expense. Thus, Canadian’s overall tax liability has increased.
This site provides general information on various tax issues and other matters. The information is not intended to constitute professional advice and may not be appropriate for a specific individual or fact situation. It is written by the author solely in their personal capacity and cannot be attributed to the accounting firm with which they are affiliated. It is not intended to constitute professional advice, and neither the author nor the firm with which the author is associated shall accept any liability in respect of any reliance on the information contained herein. Readers should always consult with their professional advisors in respect of their particular situation.
October 10, 2017