Taxation has always been a leading practice group at our firm. Our taxation and estate planning team has 20 members and provides our clients with a comprehensive range of tax services with unrivalled depth.
Several members of our team are among Quebec’s most well-known specialists in their area of expertise. When you entrust your tax issues to a member of our team, you are doing business with a partner who has an average of 15 years of experience and who will offer you a creative and innovative approach based on your needs. The size of our team allows us to cover all the tax issues you or your business may face and ensures that the professional with the appropriate expertise assists in your file. In looking for the best possible solution to your situation, we work closely when appropriate with your financial advisers, bankers and accountants.
CORPORATE AND PERSONAL TAX PLANNING
We are leaders in the development of innovative tax strategies, particularly in the context of the sale and acquisition of private Canadian companies. We frequently develop and set up tax structures, including:
- purchase and sale of businesses;
- detailed tax analysis (assets vs. shares);
- hybrid share/asset sales;
- optimization of tax incentives surrounding R&D activities;
- monetization strategies;
- tax reorganization and restructuring in an insolvency and bankruptcy context;
- incentive plans for employees and executives, including reverse stock option plans and phantom shareholder plans;
- reorganization prior to an initial public offering;
- qualification of shares of a public company for the stock savings plan II;
- issuance of flow-through shares in the mining, oil and gas sectors.
Personal and estate taxation and business transfers
- estate freezes;
- family trusts for an estate freeze, income splitting, maximization of the capital gains deduction and/or asset protection;
- use of life insurance proceeds;
- purchase of a business by employees;
- holding and operation of real estate;
- structure for holding private airplanes;
- tax structure related to the practice of an independent profession;
- tax aspects related to aboriginal businesses.
INTERNATIONAL TAXATION AND CUSTOMS/DUTIES
Our tax expertise also extends to international transactions which we optimize from a tax perspective using in cross-border experience, such as for Canada-U.S. transactions. As part of our international files, our close relationships with the tax groupe of the Meritas worldwide network of law firms as well as our other foreign correspondents. These contacts are unique and indispensable tools which allow international tax structures to be set up efficiently.
We are frequently involved in the following situations:
- acquisition and sale of Canadian businesses by non-residents of Canada;
- acquisition and sale of foreign businesses by residents of Canada;
- international financing structures, including hybrid financial instruments and foreign holding companies;
- technology transfers and the holding of intellectual property outside Canada;
- transfer pricing;
- the holding of real estate in Canada or abroad, including the purchase of real property in the U.S. and France;
- the setting up of non-resident trusts, including for the benefit of immigrants to Canada;
- life insurance products abroad;
- complex international tax planning for wealthy individuals to minimize the income and estate tax payable on their death, and in particular in Canada-U.S. and Canada-France situations.
We also offer our clients involved in international activities strategic advice and unique expertise with respect to duties and international trade to help minimize duties charges and we represent them in connection with inspections by the customs authorities and in any ensuing disputes.
When tax issues become litigious, our team intervenes for our corporate and individual clients in the following contexts:
- supervision and management of tax audits, including during audits relating to R&D, transfer pricing and special investigations;
- preparation of notices of opposition and negotiations with tax authorities;
- representation before the courts of first instance (the Court of Québec and the Tax Court of Canada) as well as before the appeal courts (the Quebec Court of Appeal and the Federal Court of Appeal) using our in-depth knowledge of tax, legal and accounting concepts;
- preparation and negotiation of voluntary disclosures to tax authorities, including the repatriation of funds held abroad.