Summary

Contentious tax matters may arise in many circumstances. BLG’s Tax Litigation Group has extensive expertise in resolving tax disputes and we can help you to obtain the best possible results, in an efficient and cost-effective manner.​

Our Tax Litigation Group can advocate for you at all stages of a tax dispute, including the audit stage, the administrative appeal stage, and before Canada’s tax courts.  Also, we are keen to pursue favourable settlements that may avoid a court hearing. We take a multidisciplinary approach to all tax matters, and work with other professionals at our full-service firm to give you the depth of our Firm’s expertise.

We have experience defending taxpayer rights in a wide range of situations, including obtaining waivers of penalties and interest, completing voluntary disclosures, managing government demands for documentation, obtaining rectification orders and taking steps to maintain privilege. We also manage tax risks by opining on contentious tax matters and advising on the management of tax sensitive records. When needed, we provide dispute resolution and advocacy services to help find quick and efficient solutions to your tax problems.

Publications

Rankings & Recognition

  • The 2016 edition of International Tax Review's World Tax.

Representative Work

  • 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)