The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has been scrutinizing international cross-border arrangements, revising its tax audit policies, and conducting more transfer pricing and “aggressive tax planning” investigations. It is also using its powers under the Income Tax Act (ITA) to compel delivery of both domestic and foreign-based tax information. Businesses operating both in Canada and internationally are facing heightened regulation and disclosure requirements that are impacting their transactions, trade and business dealings.
Our Tax Controversy & Litigation group advises clients on all stages of the dispute process, from the start of the audit to the assessment and on to potential litigation. An important element in achieving results outside a courtroom is advance planning and the early involvement of our tax professionals. Blakes provides effective and aggressive representation that, in many cases, leads to a satisfactory resolution without the need for litigation.
We have a long history of representing foreign and Canadian-based clients at all levels within the CRA and in controversies involving international tax and transfer pricing disputes. Our tax controversy team has presented cases before various Canadian courts, including the Tax Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court of Canada and various provincial courts.
Companies facing tax controversies retain Blakes because of our record of success in resolving contentious tax-related controversies. With unique expertise in emerging areas of controversy, including General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR) cases, CRA demands for information from third parties and transfer pricing disputes, our lawyers are consistently recognized and ranked as leaders in global tax and business publications. For the fifth consecutive time, Blakes was named Tax Firm of the Year for Canada. The Firm was also awarded North America Tax Disputes Firm of the Year for the second consecutive time and Canada Tax Disputes Firm of the Year for the first time.
Blakes advises clients at all stages of the dispute process, from the start of the audit through assessment and on to potential litigation. Taking a proactive, client-focused approach, we provide effective and aggressive representation often without the need for litigation. When resolution is not possible at the administrative audit or appeals level, our litigation team applies its trial skills, capably representing clients before Canadian courts from the Tax Court to the Federal Court of Appeal and all the way up to the Supreme Court of Canada, when necessary.
Our specialized national team of taxation professionals has extensive experience in matters such as claims for privilege and demands for information by tax authorities. We regularly represent clients in federal and provincial tax disputes involving income taxes, commodity taxes, goods and services tax, harmonized sales tax, customs, excise taxes, tariffs, capital taxes and payroll taxes. Our team has dealt with such issues as the federal or provincial GAAR, abusive tax avoidance, transfer pricing, competent authority matters and advanced pricing arrangements.
Our lawyers are actively involved in the tax controversy field and are members of such organizations as the International Fiscal Association and the Canadian Tax Foundation. They have also served on other committees involving officials from federal and provincial tax authorities.