Single Tax Return Could Work in Quebec and Save 5,500 Jobs

February 7, 2019

The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and the Union of Taxation Employees (UTE) are speaking out on the vote held in Ottawa yesterday concerning the proposal to implement a single tax return in Quebec that would be administered by the Government of Quebec. The debate in the House of Commons on Tuesday February 5 followed the introduction of a motion by the Conservatives on the issue.

“Make no mistake, we have no problem with a single tax return in Quebec. But if we really want to help people and make their lives easier while saving them almost 400 million dollars, there’s no question the single tax return should be administered by the federal government, not by Quebec,” said UTE President Marc Brière.

The Robillard Commission Report, released in 2015, noted that Quebec would realize considerable savings if the federal government had sole responsibility for tax administration in Quebec.

In the House, the Conservatives promised a single tax return administered by Quebec should they form the next government. They claim that this major shift in the administration of Canadian taxation would be accomplished with no job loss for the 5,500 employees of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) who work in Quebec.

“We reject the Conservatives’ analysis. If CRA stops collecting taxes in Quebec, it will jeopardize the jobs of all CRA staff in Quebec, including the employees at the Jonquière Tax Centre, which would without a doubt close its doors. Furthermore, it would take more than a snap of their fingers for the employees concerned to go after tax havens,” said Magali Picard, PSAC’s National Executive Vice-President.

Quebec is the only province in Canada to collect income tax on individuals. PSAC and UTE have nothing against this political choice on Quebec’s part. They just want the federal and Quebec governments to work together on a solution to make life simpler for taxpayers and businesses that operate in Quebec, instead of axing thousands of jobs at CRA and Revenu Québec.

PSAC and UTE are delighted with the result of yesterday’s vote on the Conservative motion, which was defeated by a majority vote of House MPs.