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Tax conferences

Well… ’tis the season for professional development and education.  Every year, around this time, the professional tax conference season begins in earnest.  I had the pleasure of recently co-chairing the Canadian Tax Foundation Prairie Provinces Tax Conference which was held in Calgary on May 25 and 26, 2009.  What an outstanding group of tax professionals that gathered to listen to prominent speakers on relevant current tax topics.

For example, since the Supreme Court of Canada’s recent decision of Lipson (as discussed in our Blog entry of January 9, 2009), there have been three additional GAAR decisions released by the courts.  I have chosen not to discuss them on our Blog entries in a great amount of detail given that most of them are very fact specific and, while interesting, the GAAR landscape continues to evolve.  Notwithstanding, the Prairie Provinces Tax Conference had interesting discussions with respect to the current decisions and the Lipson decision.

One of our associates – Faizal Valli – also presented his first paper to the Canadian Tax Foundation on eligible dividends in a post-mortem context.  Faizal did a great job on discussing this very important topic. His paper can be found on our website.

An interesting paper was also presented that discussed valuation issues regarding shares of private corporations in a family context.  Such issues are extremely important and continue to evolve. The CRA appears to be paying close attention to this matter.  Some of the more relevant matters that need to be looked at in the context of family held shares of a Canadian controlled private corporation are whether or not such shares are voting or non-voting, are subject to a discretionary dividend clause, what the rights attached to the shares are, etc.  All such factors are relevant when determining the value ascribed to the shares and therefore careful attention must be paid to these matters when implementing estate planning for the family.

The next tax conference that our firm is heavily involved in is the STEP National Conference which is to be held on June 18 and 19, 2009.  More information can be found at www.step.ca/2009.conference.asp.  I would highly recommend this conference for tax, trust, financial and estate planning professionals.

As should be evident, ongoing tax education is a necessity in order to keep current in today’s fast changing and quick paced environment.  The professionals at Moodys LLP Tax Advisors continue to attend and present at the leading conferences in Canada in order to pass along such knowledge and experience for the benefit of our clients.