Recent amendments to the OECD transfer pricing guidelines, the influence of BEPS and heightened global interest in tax arbitrage has resulted in increased scrutiny of transfer pricing policies and strategies. Combined with a high level of audit activity by tax authorities in Canada and abroad, it is expected that greater levels of tax controversy will persist. Osler is ideally positioned to assist clients facing the seismic shift in the application of transfer pricing rules in Canada and around the world. Our transfer pricing expertise is comprehensive and our team has significant experience in:
- Strategy development and planning: we advise on structuring intercompany transactions and relationships, the development of transfer pricing methodologies and the preparation of contemporaneous documentation in alignment with clients’ objectives and strategic interests.
- Disclosure and compliance requirements: we work with clients on the complex and onerous multi-jurisdictional documentation and compliance requirements, advising on coherent and defensible documentation while helping to protect sensitive and confidential business information.
- Exposure and risk assessment: in the context of the legal framework and global tax risk environment, we advise on domestic and cross-border transactions, profit allocations, intercompany financing structures, and other tax planning strategies and transfer pricing issues.
- Tax controversy: the management of international tax and transfer pricing audits, mutual agreement procedure requests, administrative appeals at the notice of objection level and also advising on advance pricing agreements as a potential means of mitigating risk.
- Tax litigation: we advise on the conduct of appeals before the Canadian courts. We were counsel in the first transfer pricing case to consider the scope and application of the current Canadian transfer pricing legislation and we represented the taxpayer in the first and only transfer pricing case to be heard by the Supreme Court of Canada. We continue to act on the majority of significant transfer pricing disputes before the Tax Court of Canada.
Deals & Cases
Counsel to Cameco Corporation before the Tax Court of Canada. This is the first Canadian case to consider the interpretation and application of the transfer pricing “re-characterization” rules and the largest transfer pricing case currently in Canada. The trial was completed in September 2017. Read more.
Counsel to Silver Wheaton Corp. in its pending transfer pricing appeal in the Tax Court of Canada. This is also a “re-characterization” case and one of the most significant transfer pricing appeals currently in Canada. Read more.
Successful representation of GlaxoSmithKline before the Supreme Court of Canada where, in a unanimous decision, the Court articulated the proper approach to determining appropriate arm’s length prices in Canadian law. Read more.
Successful representation of General Electric Capital Canada before the Federal Court of Appeal on the issue of whether the guarantee fee to the taxpayer’s U.S. parent exceeded an arm’s length price. Read more.
Successful representation of SiftoCanada Corp in its appeal in the Tax Court of Canada, in which the Court rejected the Minister’s arguments that a competent authority agreement was not binding on the tax authorities. Read more.
Successful representation of Suncor Energy Inc. before the Tax Court of Canada in a transfer pricing dispute involving the treatment of losses realized on the settlement of derivative contracts. The Court ruled that the settlement resulted in no additional taxes, interest or penalties for the taxpayer and the taxpayer’s original filing position was sustained. Read more.
Counsel to McKesson Canada Corporation in its transfer pricing appeal to the Federal Court of Appeal. McKesson’s appeal of the Tax Court of Canada decision was settled out of court.