The federal government recently announced their intention to make changes to tax law for small businesses.

Last month, Finance Minister Bill Morneau released a dense and highly technical discussion paper as part of a 75-day public consultation on these proposed measures. The deadline for submission is October 2, 2017.

What are the consultation’s areas of focus?

There are three areas of focus for the government in this consultation:

  • Income sprinkling;
  • Holding passive investments inside a private corporation; and
  • Converting income into capital gains.

What does this mean for dentists?

Such changes, if they were to proceed as proposed, could have a profound impact on all small businesses, including dental offices.

How is CDA responding to this issue?

Knowing that this was part of the government’s agenda, the Canadian Dental Association has made the case over the past two years to Members of Parliament and the Finance Minister that dental offices are small businesses, employers, and contributors to their community.
To address this issue, the CDA has reached out to other like-minded organizations to align efforts, share knowledge, and identify common concerns. CDA continues to do this, and is in consultation with the provincial dental associations on a regular basis.
Given the tight timeframes and complexity of the issue, CDA has focused on developing an analysis of the discussion paper, and a submission as an official response to this process. This work has included:

  • A legal analysis from a tax lawyer;
  • An economic impact and policy analysis from a national accounting firm; and
  • Initial advocacy outreach.

It’s important to note that the government has not created new legislation yet, though they have shared draft legislation as part of the consultation package. There is still time to influence the eventual legislation before it is introduced in the House of Commons in the fall or winter.

What can you do now?

Any dentist or other small business owner who is concerned about this process, or the possible changes that could follow, should reach out to their Member of Parliament to express their concern.

Members of Parliament will be in their ridings for the next several weeks, until the House of Commons returns on September 18. Providing a local perspective on how these potential changes could affect your business, your employees, and your community can have an important impact on how the government proceeds.

To assist with this, the CDA has developed a document to help dentists identify their MPs, show how to reach them, and provide some guidance on the areas to emphasize.

For further information or to receive a copy of this document, please contact

Kevin Desjardins
Director, Public Affairs