Tax Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Key Contacts

Sorensen Martin High Resolution Image Martin A.U. Sorensen
T: 416.777.4809
McCue Robert Image Robert D. McCue
T: 403.298.7985

Bennett Jones has significant expertise and experience in tax litigation and the resolution of tax disputes. Acting for corporations on significant and complex tax disputes, we have negotiated with the Canada Revenue Agency and provincial tax authorities and appeared before the courts on tax appeals, particularly before the Tax Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada.

Our experience involves a wide range of tax issues and controversies, including income, capital, commodity and mining taxation or trade. For all clients, we use our extensive knowledge and experience with tax authorities to handle audits, information requests, reassessment proposals, or in case of non-compliance, voluntary disclosures to avoid penal liability. Often, our tax litigators are involved early to assist our tax solicitors in advising clients on the tax aspects of a transaction, including the risks related to the General Anti-Avoidance Rule. When a reassessment is inevitable, we pursue the administrative appeal to resolve the dispute, or at least to simplify the issue before we initiate and pursue the litigation process before the courts. At every level, our objective is to resolve tax disputes at the earliest stage of litigation whenever possible, minimizing risk, costs and the disruption of our clients' business.

In recent years, we have handled appeals in the courts regarding transfer pricing, tax avoidance and interpretative questions involving foreign exchange, scientific research and experimental development expenses, taxable benefits and payroll and commodity taxes.

Our clients include prominent domestic and foreign companies, public institutions and partnerships, tax-exempt organizations operating in a wide variety of fields, particularly in the natural resources, financial, telecommunications, utilities and pharmaceuticals sectors. We work closely at national and international levels with tax executives, general counsels and chief financial officers and associated professionals including accountants and tax advisors.

We also benefit from the invaluable insight of the Honourable John C. (Jack) Major who rejoined the firm in 2006 after 14 years at the Supreme Court of Canada. During his tenure, Justice Major participated in over 50 tax-related decisions, often taking a leading role when fundamental tax principles were involved by writing the reasons for judgment for the Court as a whole or for the majority of its justices.

Select Experience

  • Feedlot Health Management Services Ltd. in its successful appeal to the Tax Court of Canada in a case involving the interpretation of fundamental aspects of Canada's scientific research and experimental development taxation regime. Read more
  • TransAlta Corporation in connection with its successful appeal to the Tax Court in a case that overturned a Canada Revenue Agency administrative position that had prohibited the deduction of discretionary bonuses paid to employees by issuing treasury shares, and as a result caused double taxation. Read more
  • TransAlta Corporation in its successful appeal to the Federal Court of Appeal in a case that established an important point of tax law related to taxpayers' right when selling a business to allocate sale proceeds between asset classes. Read more

Recent Recognitions

  • 2017, Chambers Canada

    Bennett Jones, ranked, Tax

    "They are very responsive and very knowledgeable. They lead us without taking over - they take leadership of the files and have respect and understanding of how to balance tax with the business."
  • 2016, Chambers Canada

    Bennett Jones, ranked, Tax

    "They understand our business well and can provide relevant advice on tax issues."
  • 2015, The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory

    Bennett Jones, repeatedly recommended, Corporate Tax, Toronto

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