On Thursday, June 6th 2019, HazloLaw-Business Lawyers hosted their annual Spring Cocktail Party, an event held in appreciation for the continued support of HazloLaw’s friends, colleagues and clients. Overlooking the Rideau Falls and the Ottawa River, the venue welcomed everyone with breathtaking views. The cocktail party was a success due to the wonderful group of people that surround the firm, and HazloLaw would like to thank each and every person for attending and making this possible.
HazloLaw – Business Lawyers has recently joined Doing Business International (“DBi”) community. DBI is a comprehensive and integrated service provider platform from the Netherlands, covering all aspects and functions required by a business to establish and operate international, with local expertise. DBi is aimed at providing integrated, world class expertise in every specialized field that enables companies to benefit from a single service provider, whilst ensuring that the very best of specialists in individual domains are compacted and presented to them for faster and seamless coordination during their entire business setup process.
You can see Martin Aquilina’s profile by clicking here.
You can see Hugues Boisvert’s profile by clicking here.
Martin Aquilina, partner and head of HazloLaw – Business Lawyers’ International law department, has just had his article “Caveat Venditor: Exporting Cultural Property from Canada Is Not as Simple as It Seems” accepted for publication in the Spring 2019 edition of the American Bar Association Art & Cultural Heritage Law Newsletter. The article addresses the recent Federal Court of Appeal’s decision to prevent the sale of Iris Bleus, a painting by the French artist Gustave Caillebotte, to an acquirer outside Canada. As explained in the article, sellers of cultural objects must obtain an export permit to send cultural objects abroad if these objects are deemed to be important to Canadian heritage.
To read the article on Hazlo’s website, click here.
HazloLaw – Business Lawyers’ is proud to announce the launch of its very own newsletter. Starting June 13, 2019, subscribers will receive quarterly editions of “The Internationalist”, a publication containing 2 or 3 short articles regarding recent updates and general insights on Canadian law of interest to foreign practitioners and other professionals. The newsletter is addressed to both Canadians and foreign nationals who want to keep abreast of the newest developments in Canadian law that are of relevance to international business or who are interested in becoming more familiar with our legal system. Martin Aquilina, partner and head of Hazlo’s International law department, is the newsletter’s creator and editor.
To subscribe and see the June issue of the The Internationalist, click here.
HazloLaw’s tax dispute resolution and litigation lawyer, Dean Blachford, wants Canadians to know that on June 11, 2019, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue issued a statement with updates regarding CRA’s response to the Panama and Paradise Papers leaks.
As of March 31, CRA had commenced 1,100 audits with offshore links and had an additional 300 in the pipe. They also have 55 ongoing investigations, presumably for potential criminal prosecution. The Minister also provided an update on the Offshore Tax Informant Program, stating the Program has identified over $50 million in additional federal taxes and penalties and approximately $19 million has been collected.
CRA credits its increased funding from the Federal Government and international data sharing initiatives for these results. But CRA’s response has received significant criticism for its failure to keep up with other countries in collecting the unpaid tax identified through the leaks and for the fact that – more than 3 years after the Panama Papers leak – no criminal charges have been laid. Liberal Senator Percy Downe recently asked, “Why does the Canada Revenue Agency move so swiftly and diligently to punish domestic tax evaders, but take so long to pursue Canadians who hide their money overseas?”
To read the Minister’s statement, click here.
If you or one of your clients has undeclared tax or undisclosed foreign assets, click here to read Dean’s analysis of the 2018 changes to the Voluntary Disclosure program, click here.
The real estate sector continues to be a cash cow for CRA audits. The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, recently announced that since 2015, CRA audits have identified over $1 billion in additional gross taxes related to the real estate sector. And the numbers are on the rise. In 2018, CRA real estate audits assessed 65% more tax and 100% more penalties. Dean Blachford, head of the tax litigation department at HazloLaw – Business Lawyers, expects even more assessments to come. Budget 2019 provided CRA a total of $60 million over 5 years to operate a Real Estate Task Force.
To read the Minister’s press release, click here
To better understand property flipping reassessments, check out an article Dean co-authored here.
On Monday, Dean Blachford, our tax dispute resolution and litigation lawyer, attended the (by-invite-only) swearing-in of Justice Gabrielle St-Hilaire to the Tax Court of Canada. Chief Justice Rossiter of the Tax Court presided over the special hearing of the Court. He was joined on the bench by Associate Chief Justice Lamarre, numerous other Tax Court judges and the Chief Justice and Associate Chief Justices of the Federal Court. Many dignitaries shared their admiration for the character and credentials of Justice St-Hilaire and Associate Chief Justice Lamarre spoke about the progress the Court is making in terms of moving towards gender equality on the bench.
Dean was a guest speaker for Justice St-Hilaire when she was a professor at the University of Ottawa and had the opportunity to collaborate with her on various other projects. Dean admires her greatly and is certain that she will be a wise and considerate judge. HazloLaw would like to congratulate Justice St-Hilaire and her family for this incredible accomplishment.