News in brief: A look at news, facts and figures shaping the world of payroll professionals

Canada needs simpler taxes: CGA • Little change in employment levels in July: StatsCan • Average weekly earnings up 3.3 per cent from 2010 • Toronto should consider outsourcing payroll: KPMG report • Number of EI beneficiaries continues to decline
|Canadian Payroll Reporter|Last Updated: 09/01/2011

Canada needs simpler taxes: CGA

Canada’s tax system is overly complex and costs businesses, consumers and the economy a significant amount of money to comply, according to a new study commissioned by the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada (CGA-Canada). The study, The Need for Tax Simplification – A Challenge and an Opportunity, says there have been few attempts to simplify the tax system since its creation in 1917. Businesses in Canada pay $12.6 billion a year to meet compliance requirements in addition to taxes remitted, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. Complexity in the system arises from the the tax system  serves a number of conflicting purposes. It’s required to respond to changing financial and economic circumstances, ensure fairness for taxpayers, provide taxpayers with a reasonable degree of certainty and preserve government tax revenues, according to the study. There is a need for a personal income tax review and a need to reform the corporate income tax system on a selective basis. Areas like corporate reorganization, loss consolidation and other select areas could be modernized to facilitate an ease of compliance with certainty and fairness and greater administrative efficiencies, the study said.

Little change in employment levels in July: StatsCan

OTTAWA — After three months of increases, Canada’s employment levels saw little change in July. The unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage points to 7.2 per cent, as fewer people participated in the labour market, according to Statistics Canada. Employment increased by 252,000 (1.5 per cent) compared with July 2010, with the growth in full-time and private sector employees. The number of employees in the private sector increased for the fifth consecutive month, up 95,000 in July. This brings total gains from 12 months earlier to 241,000 (up 2.2 per cent). In contrast, employment in the public sector fell by 72,000 in July, leaving the number of employees in the sector 0.9 per cent above the level of 12 months ago, said Statistics Canada. Increases in full-time employment were mostly offset by declines in part-time work.

Average weekly earnings up 3.3 per cent from 2010

OTTAWA — Average weekly earnings for non-farm payroll employees increased 0.5 per cent from April to May, rising to $875.64. That’s an increase of 3.3 per cent from May 2010, according to Statistics Canada. The average number of hours worked per week remained unchanged from May 2010, at 32.9 hours. Average weekly earnings rose in every province in the 12 months to May, led by growth in Newfoundland and Labrador and Alberta. The slowest growth was in Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. Average weekly earnings in Newfoundland and Labrador have been growing at a faster pace than that of Canada as a whole since late 2008. In May, Newfoundland and Labrador posted earning levels above the national average for the fourth consecutive month, the first time such a trend has occurred in this province since comparable data became available in 2001. Growth in average weekly earnings was above the national average of 3.3 per cent in four of the 10 largest industrial sectors.