Government compliance costs small business nearly $1.2 billion in 2008

Government compliance costs small business nearly $1.2 billion in 2008

Small and medium sized businesses in five major industrial areas in Canada spent nearly $1.2 billion filling out government forms and paperwork in second phase of 2008, a recent study has found.

Statistics Canada found compliance requirements in the B.C., the Prairies, Ontario, Quebec, and the Atlantic region, cost businesses $1.17 billion in 2008. Those requirement include filling out forms to comply with 11 key government information obligations, which includes a variety of tasks from filing income tax forms to paying federal and provincial sales taxes.

The report, based on a survey of 70,000 Canadian businesses, nearly a quarter of all businesses in the country, was conducted to determine whether or not government efforts to reduce the compliance burden for businesses have been successful.

It’s hard to establish if the federal government’s plan to reduce regulatory paperwork by 20 per cent has been successful or not, Daniel Seens, of Industry Canada, told Canadian Real Estate Online.

“Based on some of the statistics that attribution process is really difficult to assess,” he explained. “So I wouldn’t go so far to say, ‘Yes, it has.’ ”

The surveyors asked businesses if they were aware of government initiatives to reduce the regulation burden and if they thought that those initiatives thought that those government actions helped them save time and money.

He said 39 per cent of the businesses that were aware of the government’s action did believe that it saved them time and money, while the remainder either did not know or felt the government actions were not helping.

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