Canada’s tax system is complex. Our governments have extensive human and material resources to ensure that taxpayers comply with it, and artificial intelligence allows them to develop increasingly sophisticated verification methods, while significantly increasing the “coverage rate” of companies and taxpayers audited. Globalization, the increase in the exchange of information between countries and the development of taxes of all kinds, also contribute to the increased presence of tax authorities in the lives of Canadian businesses and taxpayers.

Our approach

Our tax litigation team responds to the needs of these businesses and taxpayers by helping them avoid entanglement in often fruitless debates so they can devote their resources to achieving their goals.

Our reputation is well established in negotiating settlements with tax authorities. Our frank and direct approach has enabled us to develop over the years a vast network of contacts with the tax authorities, based on mutual trust and respect, which often allows us to avoid a series of long and costly preliminary steps by swiftly approaching the completion stage of the case.

Furthermore, in a competitive environment where litigation is increasingly before the courts, the vast experience of our team and the depth of our group of tax litigation lawyers make our firm the ideal choice to represent companies and taxpayers who have a dispute with the tax authorities.

We thus assist companies and taxpayers throughout the process, including, in particular:

  • Representation before the tax authorities in audit or opposition;
  • Representation before civil and criminal tax courts;
  • The exercise of available administrative remedies;
  • Negotiating settlements with tax authorities;
  • The submission of voluntary disclosures on behalf of taxpayers who wish to regularize their situation with the tax authorities, for example by repatriating large amounts of money held abroad;
  • Negotiating payment terms or using insolvency laws and managing tax authorities’ claims against third parties (directors’ liability, transferable transfers, etc.), when the tax authorities’ claim exceeds the company’s or taxpayer’s ability to pay.

Our expertise

In recent years, our team of lawyers has defended taxpayers facing issues related to the following issues:

  • GST, QST and indirect taxes;
  • International compliance and verification of assets held abroad;
  • Application of the General Anti-Avoidance Rule (GAAR);
  • Judicial review proceedings;
  • Transactions involving the application of subsection 55 (2) of the ITA;
  • Associated corporations and non-arm’s length de facto or de jure;
  • Trusts (certification of income, defects in form and various other challenges);
  • Residence of a taxpayer, corporation or trust;
  • Claims for tax credits in various sectors including:
    • Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credit;
    • Tax credit for manufacturing and processing equipment;
    • Investment tax credit;
    • Refundable tax credit for Quebec film and television production;
    • Tax credit for the modernization of a tourist accommodation establishment;
    • Credit on duties refundable for loss;
    • Refundable tax credit for mining resources;
  • Prescription and burden of proof;
  • Penalties, fraud and tax evasion;
  • Income characterization (capital gain and business income);
  • Claims against corporate directors;
  • Contributions to related persons (s. 160 ITA);
  • Bankruptcy and insolvency resulting from tax debts;
  • Seizures and mortgages taken by the tax authorities;
  • Undeclared income, appropriation of funds and use of estimated methods (net worth, bank deposits, cash flows, indexes and sampling);
  • Refusal of expenses (management fees, insufficient documentary evidence, etc.);
  • Deductions and deductions at source;
  • Status of a worker (employee vs. self-employed);
  • Requests for interest and penalty relief;
  • Deduction and carry-over of losses;
  • Interest reduction;
  • Request for authorization to contract with the AMP (formerly the AMF).