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Updates and Moodys LLP’s third anniversary

Well, today is Moodys LLP’s third anniversary!  I can’t believe how fast time has gone by.  Our firm has continued to grow, expand and add value-added services.  The most recent service expansion has been US cross-border services. This has been a challenging addition given how complex the US taxation area is, but it’s also been a lot of fun and exciting given how much these services are needed.  We’re committed to continuing to grow this area and our existing service offerings… expect future teammate additions soon. Of course, having a great firm is all about having great team members, partners and, of course, clients. Thanks to our clients for your continued support.  Thanks to the Moodys teammates… you’re all amazing.  Thanks to our law firm partner – Shea Nerland Calnan LLP – the support you provide is much appreciated. Finally, thanks to all of our suppliers… we appreciate your support.

Updates

Well, a lot has been happening in the last couple of weeks.  Here is a brief update.

Aggressive tax reporting proposals
As we’ve written about in our blog of September 8, 2010, the Department of Finance has released draft legislation for the aggressive tax proposals. The Department requested comments from interested parties no later than September 27, 2010. Many parties have made submissions. The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (“STEP”) is one such body that made a submission (their second submission).  This space is changing quickly. For example, the United States recently released the final form and requirements for when a corporation will have to disclose its uncertain tax positions (“UTPs”) to the Internal Revenue Service. These rules, in my opinion, are much more invasive than the Canadian proposals but given how countries around the world are introducing similar types of provisions, it will be interesting to see if Canada tinkers with the proposals in the future. Stay tuned.

Employee life and health trusts (“ELHTs”)
As discussed in our blog of March 1, 2010, the Department of Finance introduced proposals for ELHTs on February 26, 2010 and such proposals were slightly amended by the release of a second round of draft legislation on August 27, 2010.  The Department of Finance asked for interested parties to provide comments by September 27, 2010. Well, the Government did not waste any time in trying to get this piece of draft legislation passed. On September 30, 2010, yesterday, the Government introduced the Sustaining Canada’s Economic Recovery Act to the House of Commons. It appears that the Government is committed to getting the ELHT legislation passed quickly. When passed, the ELHT legislation will significantly change the way old “health and welfare trusts” are used.  Again, stay tuned.

Garron appeal heard
As discussed in our blog of September 16, 2009, the Tax Court decision of Garron was a landmark decision involving the residency for tax purposes of a trust. On September 30, 2010 (yes… yesterday again), the Federal Court of Appeal heard the taxpayer’s appeal with the decision reserved.  The tax community anxiously awaits the Court’s decision.

Collins & Aikman appeal decision
As discussed in our blog of June 29, 2009, Collins & Aikman was a GAAR decision that was in favor of the taxpayer. The Crown appealed the decision. On September 29, 2010, the Federal Court of Appeal heard the appeal. In a bit of a surprising move, the Federal Court of Appeal released its decision from the bench and dismissed the Crown’s appeal (meaning that the taxpayer was successful again).  The overall decision was five paragraphs long. While it is a little early to digest what this decision may mean for the ever changing GAAR landscape, it was interesting to see how decisive the appeal was handled by the Federal Court of Appeal.

That’s it for now… thanks again for the last three years and here’s to another three decades (or centuries) of multi-disciplinary tax advisory services for the private client. Cheers!