Univar – Tax Court of Canada faults the Crown for arguing for adherence to the Tariff of costs

Univar lost it appeal of a s. 212.1-related GAAR assessment in the Tax Court but succeeded in having that decision reversed by the Federal Court of Appeal. Boyle J awarded costs against the Crown of $300,000, or approximately ½ of Univar’s tax counsel’s fees. In addition to more mundane factors such as the significant amount at stake ($40M), and the volume and complexity of the case, he rejected the Crown’s argument that a subsequent Budget amendment (announced after the case was heard) detracted from the significance of the GAAR issue at stake, and also indicated that a further factor tending to increase his cost award was “the Crown’s stubborn clinghold to the Tariff amount [of $6,500], and its incorrect view that this Court needs to identify a principled reason to depart from the Tariff.”

Neal Armstrong. Summary of Univar Holdco Canada ULC v. The Queen, 2020 TCC 15 under Rule 147(3).