Quebec Government Seeks Power To Collect Federal Taxes Within The Province

In an effort to cut costs and reduce paperwork, the Quebec government has asked officials in Ottawa for the power to collect federal taxes within the province so that companies and individuals would only need to file a single tax return instead of two.

Members of Quebec’s provincial legislature adopted a unanimous motion this week calling on Ottawa to allow Quebec to administer a single-tax system. It’s unclear how much money this change would save.

Also uncertain is whether bureaucratic redundancies would be more easily reduced if Ottawa took over the province’s tax administration, as it does for the other nine provinces and territories. Federal authorities have said publicly they are willing to discuss giving Quebec full tax-collecting powers.

Currently, Quebec is the only province to have a tax department that is completely independent and distinct from the federal government. The predominantly French speaking province has also collected the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in Quebec for the federal government since the early 1990s.

The Government of Quebec has said that it would save $600 million annually if it received full, federal tax collecting powers. Federal officials in Ottawa say they have not yet done a calculation on the potential savings that could be generated from such a change.