By Staff | November 17, 2008 | Last updated on November 17, 2008
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(November 17, 2008) The world of tax might not sound like the most exciting place for an executive to live, but it’s becoming increasingly important in a company’s daily operations.

A new Ernst and Young survey says 53% of respondents expect their tax department’s budget to increase by an average of 21% in 2009, while 49% of CFOs and 44% of audit committees say they’ll spend more time on tax-related issues over the next three years.

“Changes to tax laws, regulations and accounting standards are placing new demands on tax executives and corporate tax departments. Stakeholders are demanding transparency, and senior management wants to understand how tax risk is managed,” explains Greg Sherloski, a partner with Ernst & Young. “But our survey shows despite the pressure to provide more detailed information faster, Canada’s tax executives are responding well in this changing environment.”

The survey also found that 63% of respondents think IFRS conversion will have a significant impact on their tax departments, though 44% said their tax departments aren’t involved in the IFRS planning.

According to the report, tax departments spend most of their time on compliance matters and the least time on “tax controversy.”

Survey respondents include 128 tax and financial executives at public and private companies in Canada.

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Top income tax rates down 2.5% globally: KPMG

(November 17, 2008) Don’t tell Barack Obama, who promised to raise taxes for America’s richest families, but top personal income tax rates around the world have fallen an average of 2.5% in the past six years.

A new study from KPMG looked at the highest tax rates in 87 countries and found that 33 of them have cut rates, while only seven increased them.

Canada’s top income tax rate kicks in at $123,185 — the middle of the road compared to countries like India, where the top rates start at $6,000, and Switzerland, which sees people making over $700,000 paying the highest rate of personal income tax.

The U.S.’s top personal income tax rate starts at $357,700.

“Of course, tax rates and brackets aren’t the only things that count when you’re comparing taxes in different countries,” says Jim Yager, a partner in KPMG Canada’s International Executive Services group. “Another important factor to consider is the tax base in each country — what’s taxable and what’s not.”

The report makes note of the amount of tax an individual will usually pay on income equal to $100,000 when provincial and state income tax and social security taxes are taken into account. Canada ranks 30th out of 72 countries; $100,000 earners in Canada will pay $28,780 in tax; in the U.S., $26,980; and in the U.K., $29,070.

(11/17/08) staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.