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Rethinking Tax Issues

Even if the federal government hasn't already made it abundantly clear to the business community, tax issues are complex to the point of being baffling — and they can effortlessly ruin the fortunes of any company if not managed by experts.

From left: Ron J. Mulhern, CPA, CA; Sheryne Mecklai, CPA, CA, TEP; Lyndon Braun, CPA, CA 

Manning Elliott advisors will make sense of complex regulations

Even if the federal government hasn’t already made it abundantly clear to the business community, tax issues are complex to the point of being baffling — and they can effortlessly ruin the fortunes of any company if not managed by experts.

As a result, Manning Elliott Accountants & Business Advisors has developed a team of 20 professional tax specialists in its Vancouver, Surrey, and Abbotsford offices who are proficient in handling all aspects of taxation, from business and asset ownership structuring, to compliance with Canadian and cross-border regulations.

Surrey-based partner Ron J. Mulhern, who provides income tax and business advisory services to Canadian owner-managed businesses, points out that, “Each of our three offices offers the same breadth of tax services and a common philosophy, which is to fully understand clients’ corporate structure as well as their short- and long-term goals, and design a plan to assist the client in achieving those goals.”

Mulhern points out that, “A team of tax specialists is more effective than just one, because the tax landscape is constantly changing and it’s much easier for those focused on specific disciplines to stay on top of developments.”

The Manning Elliott team typically encourages clients to take a proactive approach to tax issues. “For example, I develop corporate structures that minimize current and future income tax, and it’s not uncommon for our clients to incur the up-front costs to restructure ownership of the business in order to achieve substantial gains down the road,” says Mulhern.

Vancouver-based partner Sheryne Mecklai, who specializes in estate planning and business succession services, says, “We have great clients who are forward-thinking about estate planning. Too often, successful business owners put this off and don’t have wills drafted by a professional — which mitigates the ability to maximize the value of an estate and minimize tax obligations.”

When asked at what stage successful business owners should consider estate or succession planning, Mecklai unhesitatingly replies, “We suggest starting in your early 40s, and we advocate that the best planning arises from input from lawyers, accountants and investment advisors — all of whom we work together with to create an estate plan.”

Abbotsford-based partner Lyndon Braun, whose focus is identifying tax risks and solutions (with a keen understanding of business tax regulations such as those recently imposed by the federal Liberals), says it’s crucial to tap the resources of Manning Elliott’s tax team as a matter of due process rather than during an event such as an acquisition or retirement: “Taxes aren’t sexy and nobody enjoys thinking about them, but that hurdle has to be overcome. Don’t think of them as tax issues: they are business issues.”

With 27 cents out of every dollar going to corporate taxes, and only 50 cents of that dollar ultimately making its way into the hands of business owners, taxes are by far the biggest cost of business. The only way to improve this outcome is to skilfully and legally navigate the tax laws — which is why contacting Manning Elliott’s tax team may be the most important decision any entrepreneur can make. 

Manning Elliott LLP is one of the province’s largest independent regional accounting and business advisory firms with offices in downtown Vancouver (604-714-3600), Burnaby (604-421-2591), Surrey (604-538-1611), and Abbotsford (1-604-557-5750). The firm has been around for more than 60 years and employs over 200 professionals and staff.


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