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Update on recent Department of Finance activity

Wow, time flies when you’re having fun…!

May and June are conference months with our firm recently speaking at the STEP Pacific Rim Conference and the Canadian Association of Gift Planners Conference in Edmonton. Our firm will also soon be speaking at the Canadian Tax Foundation Prairie Provinces Conference and the STEP National Conference.  Certainly no shortage of activity.

Similarly, the Department of Finance has been busy in the last couple months.  Here are some updates:

Non-Resident Trust (‘NRT’) and Foreign Investment Entity (‘FIE’) proposals

As mentioned in our budget blog of March 5, 2010, it was noted that the Federal Government was reviewing the NRT and FIE proposals.  The Government has now established a consultative group to assist it in introducing new draft legislation in this area.  Certain organizations have been asked to participate in the consultations with the Department of Finance and therefore we expect activity in this area soon.

Organizations like the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (‘STEP’) have provided their response to the proposals, so it will be interesting to follow this space.

Information reporting of tax avoidance transactions

As mentioned in our budget blog of March 5, 2010, the Federal Government is proposing new reporting rules which will require certain tax avoidance transactions to be positively disclosed on an ongoing basis.  On May 7, 2010 the Department of Finance released a description of the proposals and asked for public comments on the proposals by July 7, 2010.

These proposals have the possibility to significantly impact certain tax advisors and their clients.  Stay tuned!

Draft regulations in respect of the place of supply rules for Harmonized Sales Tax (‘HST’)

As mentioned in our December 16, 2009 blog, the “place of supply” rules with respect to the new HST regime for British Columbia and Ontario – to be effective July 1, 2010 – has created a lot of controversy.  The Government released its draft regulations to these place of supply rules on April 30, 2010.

Responses to the Department of Finance proposals for Employee Life and Health Trusts (‘ELHT’)

As mentioned in our March 1, 2010 blog, the Department of Finance released draft proposals on ELHTs on February 26, 2010.  If implemented, such proposals will have a dramatic impact on the way certain private and public corporations have planned for their employee benefit programs.  Certainly it is understandable, to some extent, why the Department of Finance would want to legislate these proposals.  Notwithstanding, some of the proposals appear to be far reaching and likely could be improved upon.  To that end, STEP provided its comments to the Department of Finance on April 30, 2010.

Stay tuned on all the above… it is sure to be interesting!