Our Services

Our seasoned tax professionals can provide you with advice and assistance in domestic and international transactions. We offer specialized services in corporate tax and estate planning, advising clients in domestic and international transactions. Our Tax Group is composed of over 60 professionals across Canada, including lawyers and Chartered Accountants. The tax team works on standalone tax mandates in addition to being trusted advisors to our Corporate Commercial lawyers. Our tax lawyers have a wide breadth of experience, both domestic and international, on all areas of tax law including inbound and outbound structuring, commodity taxation, litigation, investment funds, reorganisations and restructurings, insurance taxation, employee benefits and pensions, trust and estate litigation. Members of our Tax Group have served in government and private industry tax departments, are active in numerous professional organizations including the Canadian Tax Foundation, the International Fiscal Association, Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, regularly make submissions to government on tax laws, and write and lecture on taxation matters.

Publications

Publications


Tax Law Bulletins

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Representative Work

Corporate Tax

  • Eldorado Gold Corporation, an international gold producer, in connection with its $2.5 billion acquisition of European Goldfields Limited, by way of plan of arrangement.
  • Pan American Silver Corporation, a Canadian silver mining company, in connection with its $1.5 billion acquisition of Minefinders Corporation Limited, by way of plan of arrangement.
  • Bonterra Energy Corp., in connection with the approximate $1.4 billion combined arrangement with Spartan Oil Corp.

Commodity taxes and Customs Tariffs

  • Assisted the Royal Canadian Mint in a tariff classification challenge against a CBSA ruling regarding the one cent coin.
  • Assisted numerous companies with complex audits initiated by CBSA into issues such as tariff classifications, NAFTA rules of origin, transfer pricing and value for duty.

Estate & Trusts

  • Acted for CIBC Trust Corporation as proposed co-guardian, in obtaining Court approval of a Management Plan in a guardianship of property application (Abrams v. Abrams et al [August 5, 2011] Court File No. 03-003/08 (O.S.C.J.), per Penny, J.)
  • Successful constitutional challenge on behalf of Quebec common law spouse for right to support in case known as Lola v. Eric. (Droit de la famille – 102866, 2010 QCCA 1978; on appeal to Supreme Court of Canada)
  • Represented trustees in a case on the law applicable to entitlement to accounting of Quebec trusts administered in Alberta of property application (Abrams v. Abrams et al [August 5, 2011] Court File No. 03-003/08 (O.S.C.J.), per Penny, J.)

Tax Litigation

  • In George Weston Limited v. Her Majesty the Queen, 2015 TCC 42, BLG argued successfully that certain proceeds from the termination of cross currency basis swaps should be taxed on capital account notwithstanding a well-known CRA policy to the contrary
  • In American Income Life Insurance v. The Queen, 2008 TCC 306, BLG argued successfully that a U.S. insurance company was not subject to tax on its Canadian business profits because it did not have a permanent establishment in Canada, within the meaning of the Canada-U.S. tax treaty
  • In Birchcliff Energy Ltd. v. The Queen, 2012-1087(IT)G, the BLG team successfully compelled the Crown to provide greater disclosure in the pleadings involving the general anti-avoidance rule in the Income Tax Act, changing the law and significantly increasing the disclosure obligation of the government when it accuses taxpayers of “abusive” tax planning
  • In Ollenberger v. The Queen, 2013 FCA 74, we successfully established that a start-up oil and gas company was carrying on an "active business" such that the taxpayer was entitled to a favourable tax treatment for an investment loss.  This was an important precedent regarding the fundamental concept of when a business commences for tax purposes
  • In Karn v. The Queen, 2013 TCC 78, BLG successfully represented parents, on a pro bono basis, who were reassessed by the CRA in connection with the tuition paid for their children, who were diagnosed with learning disabilities, to attend a specialized school. The reassessments were successfully overturned and the parents were allowed their deduction as originally claimed.  This decision now stands as a precedent to many parents across Canada who incur significant costs related to children with learning disabilities
  • In Boardwalk Equities Inc., 2013 FCA 140; Calgary Board of Education, 2013 FCA 141, BLG argued a novel GST case that dealt with the taxation of various government subsidies provided in connection with electricity and natural gas purchases
  • Successfully overturned a long standing CRA position under the resource allowance rules (Canada v. 3850625 Canada Inc. (Fording Coal), 2011 FCA 117)
  • Successfully overturned a "personal services business" reassessment (Aniger Consulting Inc. v. Canada, 2011 FCA 349)

Rankings & Recognitions

The Tax Group or its members are recognized in:

  • In the 2018 edition of Chambers Canada — Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business
  • In the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada®.
  • In the 2018 (and since 2017) edition of The Legal 500: Canada.
  • In the 2017 edition of International Tax Review's World Tax.
  • In the 2017 edition of Chambers Global — The World's Leading Lawyers for Business.
  • In the 2017 edition of Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory.
  • In the 2017 edition of Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Corporate Lawyers in Canada.
  • In the 2016 edition of The Lexpert®/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada.
  • In the 2016 edition of Who's Who Legal — The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers.
  • In the 2016 edition of Who's Who Legal — Canada.