Resolving Ambiguity

Cases

Canada v. Villa Ste-Rose Inc., 2021 CAF 35

Before indicating (at para. 42, TaxInterpretations translation) that the Crown “has not satisfied me that this is a case where it is clear and...

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Locations of other summaries Wordcount
Tax Topics - Excise Tax Act - Section 280 - Subsection 280(1) “amount” on which interest and penalty calculated reflected reduction for rebate claim even though s. 296(2.1) not directly applicable 418
Tax Topics - Excise Tax Act - Section 228 - Subsection 228(6) s. 228(6) would have resulted in set-off of rebate claim against net tax 254
Tax Topics - Excise Tax Act - Section 256.2 - Subsection 256.2(3) CRA is required to make rebate if conditions satisfied 216
Tax Topics - Excise Tax Act - Section 296 - Subsection 296(2.1) set-off under s. 296(2.1) informed an implied set-off in determining “amount” in s. 280(1) 273

Brown v. Canada, 2014 FCA 301

In rejecting a taxpayer submission that "the Act is null and void ‘due to vague and convoluted interpretations in the [Act]'" and, in...

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Goar, Allison & Associates Inc. v. The Queen, 2009 DTC 653, 2009 TCC 174 (Informal Procedure)

After finding that the taxpayer was not liable to a penalty under s. 162(2.1) of the Act, C. Miller, J. stated (at para 12):

where the Government...

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Gendis Inc. v. Attorney General of Canada, 2007 DTC 5634, 2006 MBCA 58

After describing at para. 76, a statement in the taxpayer's factum, that "where the words of the statute are clear and plain, other techniques of...

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Gunn v. Canada, 2006 DTC 6544, 2006 FCA 281

Before going on to reject the interpretation in the Supreme Court of Canada decision in the Moldowan case that had the effect of reading the word...

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Locations of other summaries Wordcount
Tax Topics - Income Tax Act - Section 31 - Subsection 31(1) 164

Placer Dome Canada Ltd. v. Ontario (Minister of Finance), 2006 DTC 6532, 2006 SCC 20, [2006] 1 S.C.R. 715

Before going on to find that an ambiguity in the statutory provisions of the Mining Tax Act (Ontario) should be resolved in favour of an...

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Locations of other summaries Wordcount
Tax Topics - Statutory Interpretation - Interpretation Bulletins, etc. shifting CRA position could not be relied upon except to evidence ambiguity 79
Tax Topics - Statutory Interpretation - Redundancy/reading in words presumption against tautology 120
Tax Topics - Income Tax Regulations - Regulation 1204 - Subsection 1204(1) - Paragraph 1204(1)(b) cash-settled derivatives had the effect of fixing mine production] 453
Tax Topics - Income Tax Act - Section 9 - Capital Gain vs. Profit - Futures/Forwards/Hedges “hedging “ includes cash settled derivatives including options 461
Tax Topics - Statutory Interpretation - Regulations/Statutory Delegation addition of regulation did not significantly expand scope of tax 264

Canada v. Stapley, 2006 DTC 6075, 2006 FCA 36

Sexton J.A. found that although a purposive interpretation of s. 67.1(1) would have resulted in a conclusion that the taxpayer was not subject to...

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Rezek v. Canada, 2005 DTC 5373, 2005 FCA 227

In finding that s. 39(4) elections that were made with late-filed returns were valid, Rothstein J.A. stated (at p. 5388):

"Where the Act prescribe...

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Locations of other summaries Wordcount
Tax Topics - Income Tax Act - Section 150 - Subsection 150(1) - Paragraph 150(1)(d) s. 39(4) elections that were made with late-filed returns were valid as being made "in the taxpayer's return" 146
Tax Topics - Income Tax Act - Section 171 - Subsection 171(1) impermissible new theory 45
Tax Topics - Income Tax Act - Section 248 - Subsection 248(1) - Property 129
Tax Topics - Income Tax Act - Section 39 - Subsection 39(4) requirement to file election with return is satisfied even if return is late 144
Tax Topics - Income Tax Act - Section 96 spouse carrying on linked legs of integrated trading transactions 204

Dangerfield v. Canada, 2004 DTC 6025, 2003 FCA 480

In rejecting a submission that in order for a child support order to establish a commencement day, all orders in the judgement were required to...

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Markevich v. Canada, 2003 DTC 5185, 2003 SCC 9, [2003] 1 S.C.R. 94

After referring to dictionary definitions of the word "poursuite", the Court stated (at p. 5191):

It would therefore be difficult to conclude...

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Sherway Centre Ltd. v. Canada, 2003 DTC 5082, 2003 FCA 26

Evans J.A. stated (at p. 5089) that "even though ambiguities in tax legislation are presumptively resolved in a manner that prevents the Crown...

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Water's Edge Village Estates (Phase II) Ltd. v. Canada, 2002 DTC 7172, 2002 FCA 291

In December 1991 the taxpayers (who were Canadian residents) acquired most of the partnership interests in a partnership ("Klink") that had been...

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Locations of other summaries Wordcount
Tax Topics - Income Tax Act - Section 13 - Subsection 13(21) - Undepreciated Capital Cost - A cost means original cost 182
Tax Topics - Income Tax Act - Section 254 - Subsection 254(4) 177
Tax Topics - Income Tax Act - Section 96 exploiting modest business asset was sufficient partnership activity 229
Tax Topics - Statutory Interpretation - Interpretation Act - Subsection 45(3) prompt amendment evidenced intent to end anomaly 88

Canada v. Schafer, 2000 DTC 6542 (FCA)

After noting that s. 301(1.1) of the ETA clearly provided that the 90-day limitation period therein began to run from the date a notice of...

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65302 British Columbia Ltd. v. Canada, 99 DTC 5799, [1999] 3 S.C.R. 804

After quoting commentary that "'it would introduce intolerable uncertainty into the Income Tax Act if clear language and a detailed provision of...

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Alberta (Treasury Branches) v. M.N.R.; Toronto-Dominion Bank v. M.N.R., 96 DTC 6245, [1996] 1 S.C.R. 963, [1996] 1 CTC 395

Before going on to consider the purpose of s. 224(1.2) of the Act and of s. 337 of the Excise Tax Act, Cory J. stated (at p. 6248):

Thus, when...

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Jones v. The Queen, 96 DTC 6016 (FCA)

Before finding that s. 56(2) did not apply to the taxpayer, Décary J.A. stated (at p. 6019):

The fact that the application of subsection 56(2)...

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Locations of other summaries Wordcount
Tax Topics - Income Tax Act - Section 56 - Subsection 56(2) 71

The Queen v. Fording Coal. Ltd., 95 DTC 5672 (FCA)

Strayer J.A. stated (at p. 5673), before finding that former s. 245(1) applied to deny the tax benefit that otherwise should have been obtained...

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Locations of other summaries Wordcount
Tax Topics - General Concepts - Tax Avoidance 85

Friesen v. Canada, 95 DTC 5551, [1995] 3 S.C.R. 103

Major J. accepted the following comments in P.W. Hogg's Notes on Income Tax:

It would introduce intolerable uncertainty into the Income Tax Act if...

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Locations of other summaries Wordcount
Tax Topics - Income Tax Act - Section 10 - Subsection 10(1) loss recognized on decline in value of land held as an adventure 142
Tax Topics - Income Tax Act - Section 248 - Subsection 248(1) - Inventory property held in an adventure was inventory 83
Tax Topics - Income Tax Act - Section 9 - Capital Gain vs. Profit - Real Estate undeveloped land held in speculative venture 142
Tax Topics - Statutory Interpretation - Certainty 97
Tax Topics - Statutory Interpretation - Drafting Style 95
Tax Topics - Statutory Interpretation - Inserting Words 104
Tax Topics - Statutory Interpretation - Ordinary Meaning 80
Tax Topics - Income Tax Act - Section 248 - Subsection 248(1) - Business s. 10(1) applied to an adventure in the nature of trade even if that deemed business was not “carried on” 75
Tax Topics - Income Tax Act - Section 45 - Subsection 45(1) - Paragraph 45(1)(a) property not generating income does not convert to capital property unless s. 13(7) or 45(1) applies 209

The Queen v. United Equities Ltd., 95 DTC 5042, [1995] 1 CTC 164 (FCA)

Robertson J.A., in implying the interpretative approach ennunciated in Communauté Urbaine v. Corp. Notre Dame de Bon-Secours, 95 DTC 5017, [1994]...

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Locations of other summaries Wordcount
Tax Topics - Income Tax Act - Section 194 - Subsection 194(7) 138

Québec (Communauté urbaine) v. Corp. Notre-Dame de Bon-Secours, 95 DTC 5017, [1994] 3 S.C.R. 3, [1995] 1 CTC 241

Before finding that a non-profit corporation providing low rental housing to indigent elderly persons qualified for exemption under the Act...

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Locations of other summaries Wordcount
Tax Topics - General Concepts - Onus 111

The Queen v. Swantje, 94 DTC 6633, [1994] 2 CTC 382 (FCA)

In finding that the inclusion of pension income in the formula under s. 180.2(1) should not be regarded as subjecting such pension income to tax,...

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Locations of other summaries Wordcount
Tax Topics - Income Tax Act - Section 180.2 - Subsection 180.2(1) 106

Canada v. Antosko, 94 DTC 6314, [1994] 2 S.C.R. 312, [1994] 2 CTC 25

In finding that the taxpayers are entitled to a deduction under s. 20(14)(b) because they complied with the expressed conditions of the provision,...

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Macklin v. The Queen, 92 DTC 6595, [1993] 1 CTC 21 (FCTD)

Rothstein J. articulated various principles of the "modern, interpretative approach to the Income Tax Act" including the following principle:

The...

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Locations of other summaries Wordcount
Tax Topics - Income Tax Act - Section 44 - Subsection 44(1) "immediately before" 175

The Queen v. United Equities Ltd., 92 DTC 6572, [1992] 2 CTC 214 (FCTD), rev'd 95 DTC 5042 (FCA)

Unlike the Tax Court judge, MacKay J. was able to find an ambiguity in the wording of s. 194(7) when read in light of the general purposes of the...

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Locations of other summaries Wordcount
Tax Topics - Statutory Interpretation - Indentation 57

Harvey C. Smith Drugs Ltd. v. The Queen, 92 DTC 6349, [1992] 1 CTC 325 (FCTD), aff'd 95 DTC 5026 (FCA)

After referring to the principle in the Johns-Manville Canada case, Reed J. stated (p. 6353):

In my view, those cases merely indicate that if...

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Pembina on the Red Development Corp. Ltd. v. Triman Industries Ltd., 92 DTC 6174, [1992] 1 CTC 133 (Man. C.A.)

Before finding that there was an ambiguity in s. 224(1.2) which should be resolved in favour of the taxpayer, Scott J.A. stated (p. 6179):

"While...

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The Queen v. Canadian Marconi Co., 91 DTC 5626, [1991] 2 CTC 352 (FCA)

In finding that s. 152(4) unambiguously indicated that the Minister was precluded from issuing a favourable reassessment of the taxpayer to give...

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Westcoast Energy Inc. v. The Queen, 91 DTC 5334 (FCTD), briefly aff'd 92 DTC 6253 (FCA)

In finding that s. 12(1)(x) did not apply to tax damages received by the taxpayer, Denault J. stated (p. 5342):

It is not the function of this...

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Locations of other summaries Wordcount
Tax Topics - Income Tax Act - Section 12 - Subsection 12(1) - Paragraph 12(1)(x) damages not reimbursement 65

Mcclurg v. Canada, 91 DTC 5001, [1990] 3 S.C.R. 1020

Before considering whether s. 56(2) applied to the payment of dividends on a class of shares which permitted discretionary dividends, Dickson,...

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Locations of other summaries Wordcount
Tax Topics - Income Tax Act - Section 56 - Subsection 56(2) 257

Canada v. Fries, 90 DTC 6662, [1990] 2 S.C.R. 1322, [1990] 2 CTC 439

The Court was not satisfied that payments by way of strike pay constituted "income ... from a source" within the meaning of s. 3 and "in these...

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Locations of other summaries Wordcount
Tax Topics - Income Tax Act - Section 3 - Paragraph 3(a) payment from union to support another strike was non-taxable 59

The Queen v. McLaren, 90 DTC 6566, [1990] 2 CTC 429 (FCTD)

... [I]f a provision is not aptly worded to carry out the intent of its drafter, the court should not be precluded from allowing the taxpayer to...

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Locations of other summaries Wordcount
Tax Topics - Income Tax Act - Section 3 98
Tax Topics - Income Tax Act - Section 63 - Subsection 63(2) "income" imports positive income 26

Regina Shoppers Mall Ltd. v. The Queen, 90 DTC 6427, [1990] 2 CTC 183 (FCTD)

In finding that the Minister had not followed the proper procedural requirements in order to be able to reassess the taxpayer for its 1980...

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The Queen v. Nowsco Well Service Ltd., 90 DTC 6312, [1990] 1 CTC 416 (FCA)

Urie, J.A. interpreted s. 125.1(3)(a) in light of the principle that reasonable uncertainty resulting from lack of explicitness in the statute...

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Lloyds Bank Canada v. International Warranty Co. Ltd., 89 DTC 5279, [1989] 1 CTC 401 (Alta. Q.B.), rev'd (1989), 60 DLR (4th) 272 (Alta CA)

There has been no suggestion that s. 224(1.2) has as its object the achievement of some social or economic policy as compared with fiscal policy....

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The Queen v. J.W. Baker Agency (1976) Ltd., 89 DTC 5078, [1989] 1 CTC 246 (FCA)

"[I]f and to whatever extent subsection 32(1) might be thought to be ambiguous in this respect, such ambiguity should be resolved in favour of...

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Mattabi Mines Ltd. v. Ontario (Minister of Revenue), [1988] 2 CTC 294, [1988] 2 S.C.R. 175

Wilson J. stated respecting the statements of Estey J. in Johns-Manville that "although Estey J. was referring to ambiguity within a single...

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Lucas v. The Queen, 87 DTC 5277, [1987] 2CTC 23 (FCTD)

In interpreting the deduction for union dues, Cullen, J. applied the principle that reasonable uncertainty should be resolved in favour of the...

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Canterra Energy Ltd. v. The Queen, 87 DTC 5019, [1987] 1 CTC 89 (FCA)

In resolving in the taxpayer's favour an ambiguity concerning the meaning of the word "minus" in a regulation providing a "super depletion...

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Locations of other summaries Wordcount
Tax Topics - Income Tax Act - Section 257 word "minus" used in its mathematical sense, and produced a negative amount 154
Tax Topics - Statutory Interpretation - Ordinary Meaning 59

Canadian Marconi v. R., 86 DTC 6526, [1986] 2 CTC 465, [1986] 2 S.C.R. 522

Wilson, J. stated that if Parliament is to restrict the meaning of the phrase "active business" to a manufacturing or processing business, "it...

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The Queen v. Moore, 86 DTC 6325, [1986] 2 CTC 22 (FCTD), aff'd 87 DTC 5215 (FCA)

The rule that ambiguity should be resolved in the taxpayer's favour does not apply where "the ambiguity does not originate within the Act itself...

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Electrocan Systems Ltd. v. The Queen, 86 DTC 6089, [1986] 1 CTC 269 (FCTD), aff'd 89 DTC 5079 (FCA)

In construing a penal section [here, s. 227(9)] words that are capable of an interpretation that would or would not inflict the penalty must be...

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Locations of other summaries Wordcount
Tax Topics - Income Tax Act - Section 227 - Subsection 227(9) 37

Johns-Manville Canada v. The Queen, 85 DTC 5373, [1985] 2 CTC 111, [1985] 2 S.C.R. 46

Estey J stated (at para. 33):

[I]f the interpretation of a taxation statute is unclear, and one reasonable interpretation leads to a deduction to...

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AMOCO Canada Petroleum Co. Ltd. v. MNR, 85 DTC 5169, [1985] 1CTC 240 (FCA)

Reliance was placed on the statement in Morguard Properties Ltd. v. City of Winnipeg (1983), 3 DLR (4th) 1, 13 that "'The resources at hand in the...

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The Queen v. Manley, 85 DTC 5150, [1985] 1 CTC 186 (FCA)

Mahoney J. characterized the finding in Atkins, 81 DTC 5293, that an amount paid in settlement of a claim for damages for wrongful dismissal is...

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Harris Steel Group Inc. v. MNR, 85 DTC 5140, [1985] 1CTC 181 (FCA)

MacGuigan, J.A. stated that "it is now settled law that there is only one principle of statutory interpretation, which might be designated as the...

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R. v. Filteau, 85 DTC 5249, [1985] 1 CTC 19 (Que. C.A.)

Since s. 238(2) was ambiguous, it was given an interpretation that favoured the accused.

Locations of other summaries Wordcount
Tax Topics - Income Tax Act - Section 238 - Subsection 238(2) 72

Saskatchewan Wheat Pool v. The Queen, 85 DTC 5034, [1985] 1 CTC 30, [1985] 1 CTC 31 (FCA)

Since "paragraph 20(1)(gg) provides for an exception from the general rule for computing income for the purposes of taxation [,] a taxpayer...

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Bristol-Myers Canada Inc. v. D.MNR for Customs and Excise, 85 DTC 5024, [1985] 1CTC 20, [1985] 1 CTC 23 (FCA)

It is now settled law that, in the words of E.A. Driedger, Construction of Statutes, 2nd ed., (1983), at 207, 'there are no special rules or...

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Thyssen Canada Ltd. v. The Queen, 84 DTC 6539, [1984] CTC 600 (FCTD), rev'd 87 DTC 5038, [1987] 1CTC 112 (FCA)

In allowing the taxpayer's appeal, the Court interpreted s. 18(4) in light of its underlying objective. An argument, that since the taxpayer was...

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Cominco Ltd. v. The Queen, 84 DTC 6535, [1984] CTC 548 (FCTD)

In applying an exempting provision (s.65) in accordance with the Crown's interpretation of the provision, it was stated: "It is recognized, of...

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Stubart Investments Ltd. v. The Queen, 84 DTC 6305, [1984] CTC 294, [1984] 1 S.C.R. 536

The strict interpretation rule for the construction of taxing statutes has been modified somewhat in recent years by the plain meaning rule.

Hillis v. The Queen, 83 DTC 5365, [1983] CTC 348 (FCA)

Since the purpose of a rollover provision (s.70(6)) was "to give a measure of tax relief to the surviving spouse of a family unit ... the...

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Locations of other summaries Wordcount
Tax Topics - Income Tax Act - Section 70 - Subsection 70(6) 198

Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Co. Ltd. v. The Queen, 79 DTC 5401, [1979] CTC 509, [1980] 1 S.C.R. 670

It was stated that the strict construction rule (as formulated by Estey, J.), "is rooted in the simple line of reasoning that Parliament, in...

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Simpsons-Sears Ltd. v. Provincial Secretary (N.B.) et al., 78 DTC 6242, [1978] CTC 396, [1978] 2 S.C.R. 869, [1978] CTC 296, [1978] CTC 812

Ritchie, J. stated respecting the Excise Tax Act (Canada): "If the charging sections of the present statute are susceptible of alternative...

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Minister of National Revenue v. Sheldon's Engineering Ltd., 55 DTC 1110, [1955] CTC 174, [1955] S.C.R. 637

The Partington strict construction rule was applied.

Locations of other summaries Wordcount
Tax Topics - Income Tax Act - Section 251 - Subsection 251(1) - Paragraph 251(1)(c) no common control 102

See Also

Fortnum v. The Queen, 2018 TCC 126 (Informal Procedure)

A tuition credit was not available under s. 118.5(1)(b) if the tuition fees paid by the taxpayer were “paid in respect of a course of less than...

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Locations of other summaries Wordcount
Tax Topics - Income Tax Act - Section 118.5 - Subsection 118.5(1) - Paragraph 118.5(1)(b) succession of 1 or 2 week courses satisfied the duration test 289

Toronto-Dominion Bank v. Minister of Revenue of Ontario, [1994] OJ No. 897

In rejecting the interpretation of the Minister of the definition of "value of consideration" in the Land Transfer Tax Act (Ontario), Feldman J....

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Locations of other summaries Wordcount
Tax Topics - Other Legislation/Constitution - Ontario - Land Transfer Tax Act - Subsection 1(1) - Value of the Consideration para. (f) not engaged where fee owner transferred beneficial ownership then registered title 205

Spectron Computer Corp. v. MNR, 93 DTC 1473, [1993] 2 CTC 3148 (TCC)

In rejecting a submission that there was an ambiguity in Regulation 2902 that should be resolved in the taxpayer's favour, Kempo, TCJ. stated (p....

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Willingale v. International Commercial Bank Ltd. (1978), 52 TC 242 (HL)

Lord Reid's dictum in Duple Motors "that profit shall not be taxed until realised" was adopted in finding that discounts on bills should not be...

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B.P. Australia Ltd. v. Commissioner of Taxation of the Commonwealth of Australia, [1966] A.C. 224 (PC)

Before finding that payments which the taxpayer made to service stations in order to secure their agreement to deal exclusively with the taxpayer...

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Locations of other summaries Wordcount
Tax Topics - Income Tax Act - Section 18 - Subsection 18(1) - Paragraph 18(1)(b) - Capital Expenditure v. Expense - Restrictive Covenants purpose of inducement for 5-year agency agreement was increasing sales 169

Ostime v. Duple Motor Bodies Ltd., [1961] 2 All E.R. 167 (HL)

[T]he prevailing consideration must be that the taxpayer should not be put to any risk of being charged with a higher amount of profit than can...

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Locations of other summaries Wordcount
Tax Topics - Income Tax Act - Section 10 - Subsection 10(1) 157

Administrative Policy

85 C.R.. - Q.44

RC will be guided by the new object and spirit test in Stubart and guidelines 1, 2(a), 2(b), 3(a), 3(b) and 3(c).

Articles

David A. Ward, "A Comparative Study of the Interpretation of Tax Statutes in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland - Part I", British Tax Review, 1994, No. 1, p. 42.