Summary

Canada’s tax administrators are becoming increasingly aggressive and adept at enforcing Canada’s tax laws. Tax disputes are becoming more complex, and often more contentious. Taxpayers need a team of highly skilled tax professionals to help navigate the tax disputes process and to help achieve positive outcomes in the most cost-effective manner possible. BLG’s National Tax Litigation and Dispute Resolution Group provides that team.

Our group is comprised of highly experienced professionals who maintain a laser focus on helping clients with their disputes relating to Canada's federal and provincial taxes (including income tax and GST/HST).

We have extensive expertise in navigating all stages of the tax dispute process, from audit to appeal with tax authorities and at the judicial appeal level.

As a law firm, we are particularly sensitive to, and able to provide advice on, matters of solicitor-client privilege. Also, because communication with our team is protected by solicitor-client privilege, we can help you deal with tax disputes in a manner that provides you the maximum protection for your sensitive legal records.

Because our National Tax Litigation and Dispute Resolution Group is part of a full service national law firm which provides advice in virtually every area of law, we regularly draw on non-tax expertise where such expertise helps achieve our clients’ objectives in a tax dispute.

We understand that, often, the best or most cost-effective results in a tax dispute are achieved by negotiation and settlement. As a result, wherever possible and when in line with our clients’ objectives, we are keen to pursue any and all settlement opportunities yet have the expertise to represent you in court if need be.

Publications

Representative Work

  • George Weston Limited v. Her Majesty The Queen, 2015 TCC 42 — Favourable characterization (capital v. income) of $2 billion of swap termination proceeds.
  • Birchcliff Energy Ltd. v. Her Majesty The Queen, 2015 TCC 232, (under appeal to the FCA) — Whether the GAAR can apply to the use of tax attributes.
  • JTI-MacDonald Corp. v. Alberta, 2015 ABQB 238, 2016 ABCA 28 — Successful in overturning a $16 million assessment of provincial tobacco tax.
  • Ollenberger v. Her Majesty The Queen, 2013 FCA 74 — Whether the relevant oil and gas company carried on an “active business” for allowable businesses investment loss rules.
  • Boardwalk Equities Inc. v. Her Majesty The Queen, 2013 FCA 140 / Calgary Board of Education v. Her Majesty the Queen, 2013 FCA 141 – Application of GST in the context of government natural gas and electricity rebates.
  • Neville v. National Foundation for Christian Leadership, 2014 BCCA 38 — Appellate counsel to taxpayers in connection with the common law treatment of gifts.
  • R v. Husky Oil Operations Limited, 2014 SKQB 116 — Lead trial counsel in a successful multi-week trial to a number of well servicing contractors in a long-standing industry-wide dispute involving the applicability of provincial sales tax.
  • Burlington Resources Canada Ltd. v. British Columbia, 2013 BCSC 292; 2015 BCCA 19 — Lead counsel to a number of well servicing contractors in a long-standing industry-wide dispute involving the applicability of provincial sales tax.
  • TransAlta Corporation v. Canada, 2012 FCA 20 — Appellate counsel to a major power company in its successful appeal relating to a taxpayer’s right to allocate sale proceeds between asset classes on the sale of a business.
  • Fidelity Global Opportunities Fund v. Her Majesty The Queen, 2010 TCC 108 — Prerequisites for valid notice of objection.
  • Canada v. Remai, 2009 FCA 340 — Appellate counsel to an estate in connection with a successful appeal from a reassessment by the CRA which disallowed charitable tax credits in respect of the donation of two promissory notes to a charitable foundation and related GAAR claims.
  • AltaGas Marketing Inc. et al v. Her Majesty The Queen, 2007 FC 1234 — Trial and appellate counsel to a number of petroleum producers in Alberta and in Inuvik in the successful interpretation of a production license issued under the Canada Petroleum Resources Act and the assessment of royalty taxes payable to the Crown under it.
  • Winclare Management Services Ltd. v. Canada (Attorney General), 2009 5 CTC 278 — Example of a reported decision where the equitable remedy of rectification was achieved to give effect to the parties intended tax planning.
  • American Income Life Insurance Company v. Her Majesty The Queen, 2008 TCC 306 — Determination of whether the taxpayer had permanent establishment in Canada.
  • Various audits and administrative appeals involving Revenu Québec for private clients regarding the residence of trusts settled in Alberta.
  • Numerous audits, appeals and settlements with taxation authorities and involving public and private corporations.
  • Various engagements involving dealings with Canadian and non-Canadian Competent Authorities to obtain tax treaty-based relief from international double taxation.

Rankings & Recognitions

  • The 2017 edition of International Tax Review's World Tax.
  • The 2017 edition of The Legal 500 Canada.