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Wednesday, May 10, 2017 @ 10:55 AM

Brayley named partner with Clark Wilson tax group

Clark Wilson LLP welcomes Cathie Brayley as a partner with its tax group in Vancouver. ... [read more]

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 @ 09:13 AM

FEDERAL INCOME TAX - Administration and enforcement - Audit - Requirement to provide documents or information - Compliance order - Appeals

Appeal by BP Canada Energy Company (BP) from an order compelling the production of internal accounting documents. The Minister was conducting ongoing audits of BP. It sought production of certain tax accrual or tax reserve working papers and Issues Lists for the purpose of the audit. The records were prepared by BP's in-house staff and listed uncertain tax positions that could potentially give rise to contingent liabilities. The Minister issued a demand pursuant to s. 231.1(1) of the Income Tax Act requiring BP to provide the records. BP objected to the request, producing the documents with the list of uncertain tax positions redacted. The Minister applied for a compliance order pursuant to s. 231.7(1) of the Income Tax Act requiring BP to produce the documents as requested. BP opposed the request and argued that it constituted a bad faith fishing expedition, and that the production of its working records would fundamentally offend the principles of a self-reporting tax system. The judge allowed the application, finding that the working records and issues listed were compellable. He concluded that it was within the Minister's purview to determine that the records sought were required to expedite the audit process and for use in its continuing and future auditing of BP. He found that the request for production of working records that had already been prepared did not offend Canada's self-reporting tax system by instituting self-audit and that the working records were relevant to the payment of tax under the Act and taxation accountability. He concluded that they were an important record in BP's possession that fell within the scope of s. 231.1(1), as they were relevant to BP's intention in creating reserves. He further found that there was no basis for exercising discretion to refuse production and that the audit was not an expedition, as the Minister's request focused on a specific issue. ... [read more]

Tuesday, May 09, 2017 @ 11:34 AM

Pro Bono Ontario to offer free advice to businesses at seminar

Enterprise Toronto is hosting a seminar to provide free legal advice for businesses on May 12 in Toronto. ... [read more]

Monday, May 08, 2017 @ 02:59 PM

Former Supreme Court justice joins Osler

Marshall Rothstein, former justice with the Supreme Court of Canada, is joining Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP's Vancouver office. ... [read more]

Monday, May 08, 2017 @ 10:36 AM

Norton Rose Fulbright opens Luxembourg office

Norton Rose Fulbright announced it is opening an office in Luxembourg. The new office will be fully operational from June 2017. ... [read more]

Thursday, May 04, 2017 @ 12:32 PM

Richardson joins Cassels Brock as tax partner

Cassels Brock announces the arrival of Doug Richardson as partner in the taxation group, based in the firm’s Calgary office. ... [read more]

Monday, May 01, 2017 @ 08:58 AM

Softwood lumber duties seen as Trump’s opening salvo on NAFTA Softwood lumber

On April 24, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced preliminary countervailing duties (CVDs) on Canadian lumber imports. Among the investigation respondents, West Fraser received the highest rate of 24.12 per cent, followed by Canfor at 20.26 per cent, Tolko at 19.5 per cent, Resolute at 12.82 per cent and J.D. Irving at only 3.02 per cent. All other producers in Canada will be subject to the “all others rate” of 19.88 per cent, which is a weighted average of the CVDs levied on the respondents. The commerce department noted in its release that imports of softwood lumber from Canada were valued at an estimated $5.66 billion in 2016. ... [read more]

Monday, May 01, 2017 @ 07:18 AM

FEDERAL INCOME TAX - Appeals - Tax Court of Canada - Motions - Evidence on motions

Appeal by CBS Canada from a Tax Court decision striking an affidavit. CBS appealed the Minister's reassessment in respect of the application of certain non-capital losses to income in particular taxation years. Counsel for CBS proposed a settlement offer which included a schedule of CBS's losses. The parties finalized minutes of settlement that incorporated the schedule. Thereafter, the Minister concluded that no non-capital losses were available to CBS. CBS filed a motion to enforce the settlement. The deponent of the supporting affidavit was a lawyer within the firm representing CBS. The affidavit set out the events surrounding the purported settlement. During cross-examination by counsel for the Minister, the CBS deponent refused to answer certain questions on the ground of privilege. The Minister consequently moved to strike the CBS affidavit. The Tax Court determined that the central issue in the CBS motion to enforce the settlement was the accuracy, truth and origin of the non-capital losses outlined in the settlement schedule. The Tax Court found that the paucity of information surrounding the schedule due to the objections taken during cross-examination rendered the schedule's contents hearsay and unreliable. Due to the contentious and crucial nature of the schedule information, a representative of CBS was a more appropriate deponent than counsel. The limits on the Minister's ability to cross-examine counsel as the deponent gave rise to prejudice. The affidavit was accordingly struck. CBS appealed. ... [read more]

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 @ 02:13 PM

Tax changes will affect real estate lawyers' paperwork Dan Pinnington

Lawyers in Ontario who handle real estate transactions will now need to collect extra information when it comes to the provincial land transfer tax and the new 15 per cent non-resident speculation tax. ... [read more]

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 @ 10:09 AM

Harper Grey adds associate to business law group

Scott Howie has joined Harper Grey LLP as an associate with the business law group in the firm's Vancouver office. ... [read more]