Transfer Pricing

Overview

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.

 

Taxation

 

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Chambers

  • Chambers Canada: Canada's Leading Business Lawyers, 2016-2019: Band 1, Tax.
    • "The depth of the team is unbelievable."
    • "Top operator in the market."
    • "I enjoy working with them - they bring a level of technical expertise that is extremely deep. We get tremendous insight."
    • "Osler is technically strong. They are also commercial and will take a view supported by reasoned and principled judgement in areas with no clear answer. I am very happy with their advice."
  • Chambers Global: The World's Leading Business Lawyers, 2003-2018: Band 1, Tax.
    • "They are a premier tax group."
    • "They bring credibility and objectivity in their advocacy."
  • Chambers Canada Awards, 2015, Osler wins Tax Team of the Year.

Lexpert

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, 2018: (Toronto, Ontario) Osler’s Litigation - Corporate Tax Group, Most Frequently Recommended.
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, 2018: (Calgary, Alberta) Osler’s Litigation - Corporate Tax Group, Consistently Recommended.
  • The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada, 2018: Osler lawyers recognized as leaders in Tax Litigation.
  • Lexpert’s Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-border Litigation Lawyers in Canada, 2017: Osler’s Litigation - Corporate Tax Group.

International Tax Review

  • International Tax Review: Americas Tax Awards, 2018: Osler wins Canadian Tax Firm of the Year and Tax Court Firm of the Year at the ITR Amercias Tax Awards 2018
  • International Tax Review: Americas Tax Awards, 2018: Al Meghji wins Americas Tax Litigation & Disputes Practice Leader of the Year.
  • International Tax Review, World Transfer Pricing Guide, 2019: Osler’s Tax group is ranked Tier 1 and lawyers recognized as leaders in Transfer Pricing.
  • International Tax Review, Tax Controversy Leaders Guide, 2018: Osler lawyers recognized as leaders in Tax Controversy.
  • International Tax Review: Americas Tax Awards, 2016 and 2017: Osler named Canada Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year.
  • International Tax Review: Americas Tax Awards, 2016: Osler named Canada Tax Court Firm of the Year.
  • International Tax Review: Americas Tax Awards, 2016: Osler named Americas Tax Litigation & Disputes Practice Leader of the Year.

Legal 500

  • The Legal 500, 2015-2019: Tier 1, Tax Law.

Expert Guides

  • Expert Guides: The Legal Media Group Guides to the World’s Leading Lawyers, 2018: Osler lawyers recognized as leaders in Tax and Transfer Pricing.

U.S. TAX REFORM
Canadian enterprises that are invested in the U.S. economy should be keeping a watchful eye on tax reform developments.

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BEPS ACTION PLAN
In an effort to curb multinational tax avoidance and offshore tax evasion in developing countries, the OECD and G20 have created the BEPS project and related action plan.

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