The Supreme Court of Canada and the General Anti-Avoidance Rule:
Tax Avoidance after Canada Trustco and Mathew

Faculty of Law
University of Toronto
Flavelle House
78 Queen's Park

Friday, November 18, 2005
1:30 - 5:30 pm

5:30 - 7:00 pm


On 19 October 2005, the Supreme Court of Canada released the first decisions in which it has considered the general anti-avoidance rule (GAAR) in section 245 of the federal Income Tax Act. Adopted in 1988, this rule was intended "to distinguish between legitimate tax planning and abusive tax avoidance" by denying tax benefits that would otherwise result from tax-motivated transactions contrary to the scheme of the Act. In its unanimous judgments in Canada Trustco and Mathew, the Court explains how the GAAR should be interpreted and applied.

The purpose of this symposium is to review the judgments in these landmark tax cases and to consider their implications for tax administration and tax practice. The first session will examine the decisions themselves in light of previous Supreme Court of Canada tax cases and lower court pronouncements on the application of the GAAR. The second session will consider the implications of the decisions for tax avoidance in Canada, with a panel discussion involving representatives from the Canada Revenue Agency and leading tax practitioners. Tax Court of Canada Chief Justice Donald Bowman will provide final comments.

The symposiume was sold out. An archived version is viewable over the web.


Papers and Presentations


Papers are in PDF format. Click on the title to view the paper.


Presenations are in Powerpoint format. Click on the title to view the presentation.

Examples for Panel Discussion on Implications for Tax Avoidance

Examples are in Word format.