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Moodys Gartner musings

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Supreme Court of Canada rules that FINTRAC requirements do not apply to law firms: Solicitor-client privilege remains strong in Canada

The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (“FINTRAC”) is a government agency tasked with facilitating the detection, prevention, and deterrence of money laundering and the financing of terrorist activities. FINTRAC operates under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act, S.C. 2000, c. 17 (the “Act”) and collects information on financial transactions relying upon certain provisions of the Act.

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Can Canadian taxpayers defer a gain on a disposition of property by reinvesting the sale proceeds like US taxpayers can?

The recent case of Livingston v The Queen from the Tax Court of Canada has once again thrust the replacement property rules in section 44 of the Income Tax Act (the “Act”) in the spotlight. Since numerous commentators have already discussed the case and debated whether the Tax Court was correct in its narrow interpretation of the legislation, we will take another approach and use this as an opportunity to highlight a common misconception about the Canadian replacement property rules that we frequently encounter in our practice.

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The OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (“BEPS”) Project

For tax geeks like me, the OECD’s BEPS project has been fascinating to watch and participate in the debate. On February 12, 2015, I attended 2015 BEPS Symposium – A Canadian Perspective, jointly presented by the Canadian Tax Foundation and International Fiscal Association Canada. The session was very interesting, exceptionally well presented, and a reminder that it is a great time to be a tax advisor despite (or because of) the crush of new developments.

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US proposes relief for some who renounce US citizenship: Is FATCA a motivating factor?

On February 2, 2015 the Obama Administration acknowledged the plight of certain US citizens residing abroad and proposed limited relief. In the “General Explanations of the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2016 Revenue Proposals”1, known as the “Green Book,” the Administration proposed a change to US law (the “Proposal”) that would allow certain dual citizens to renounce their US citizenship without the fear of delinquent tax filings, penalties, the US exit tax, and the other consequences to being a covered expatriate. The details of the Proposal, and the chances of being given the effect of law, while interesting, are less so than the Administration’s motive for advancing it. Politicians don’t get re-elected by winnowing away their constituency base or enacting legislation that has the effect of raising tax (even in small measures). Normal people, even politicians, behave rationally so there must be a reason for the Proposal. Could the Proposal play a small part in a more subtle strategy that might involve foreign opposition to FATCA and IGA-partner domestic legislation?

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Moodys Gartner Tax Law responds to Accounting Standards Board on proposed accounting treatment of redeemable preferred shares issued in tax planning arrangements

Our firm has long believed that accountants and lawyers should work together in the delivery of tax services. Both professions bring different skill sets and perspectives to the table when crafting client solutions. To that end, we purposely employ both professions in our tax law firm. It is common when dealing with tax matters that an issue will arise that requires input from both accountants and lawyers, and the subject of this article is a great example. In October 2014, the Accounting Standards Board (“AcSB”) released an Exposure Draft that, if implemented, will have great consequences for many private enterprises when reporting certain common tax planning arrangements.

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CRA / IRS are coming to town!

You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout I’m telling you why
CRA / IRS are coming to town!

They’re making a list
And checking it twice
Gonna find out who needs MGTL’s tax advice
CRA / IRS is coming to town!

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