Foodservice Equipment Reports

Uniform Tax Rates For Alcohol Enacted Across Canada

Canadian bar and restaurant owners are applauding a budget announcement last week that standardizes the country’s specific tax on alcohol. The change will be official Aug 1. Currently, the specific tax on beer, wine and spirits varies according to where the product is consumed: at home via the c-store or grocery or in restaurants and bars.

Restaurants Canada (formerly the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association) has long been calling for equal treatment when it comes to the tax. Jean Lefebvre, the association’s Quebec v.p., commented, “Grocers and convenience stores have become in recent years competitors to restaurants, with ready-to-eat meals and their own lines of wines. It was more than time that taxes related to beer, wine and spirits were the same for all in the market.”

The budget also includes provisions for committees to review government programs and fiscal issues for citizens and companies. Restaurants Canada expects an analysis of payroll taxes, which are 30% higher for restaurant operators in Quebec, compared with the rest of Canada.