Alberta budget cuts corporate taxes, but also investor and R&D tax credits


The province will reduce the business rate from 12 per cent to eight per cent by 2022. It is eliminating the Alberta Investor Tax Credit—a 30 per cent credit for backers of businesses creating new technology or in the software, cleantech, healthtech, video-game and animation sectors—as well as the scientific research and experimental development tax credit and three others. (The Logic)

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Talking point: The corporate cut will see the province give up $2.4 billion in potential tax revenue over the next four years, and the elimination of the five tax-credit programs—worth a collective $400 million—is meant to offset that. The government claimed that since non-resource sectors “pay a higher share of corporate taxes compared to their direct contribution to the economy,” a broad-based cut actually benefits those industries more and gives them a reason to stay in Alberta. It also said the SR&ED program incentivizes early-stage research but not commercialization, and justified the cut in part because “the federal government already provides generous support for research and development.” Ottawa has already stepped in with money for provincial innovation projects, offering $65 million in September after a provincial funding freeze in anticipation of the budget.