2017 Commodity Tax Symposium Agenda

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This is the agenda for Day 1
Day 1 Monday, November 13, 2017
7:30 - 8:30
Registration and Continental breakfast

8:30 - 9:30
Welcome remarks and keynote address

Dr. Peter Jensen, PhD Sport Psychology and Founder of Performance Coaching Inc. “Building Resilience”

When you are performing under pressure, there is an additional layer of skills required to be effective. Over the long term, success in high pressure situations hinges not just on your skills and knowledge, but also on your ability to recover, remain focused, stay energized, and show up motivated every day; in other words, your ability to be resilient. Resilience skills can be learned, practiced and mastered. High performers in both business and sport know this, and apply this knowledge on a daily basis.

Peter Jensen

9:30 - 10:30
Tax function of the future

John Gotts and Chris White, PwC

To remain relevant to the business, tax functions must chart a course for continuous transformation that is immediate, holistic and practical. Successful change will require re-engineering ‘end-to-end’ processes, not just the final outputs. Companies are now required to focus on the quality and availability of data and to focus on the use of technology to improve efficiency. This should involve an assessment of the current capabilities of the tax function against a tax maturity model, followed by the development of a clear vision of the desired future state.

In this session we will consider the current challenges facing tax, predictions for the tax function of the future and how the current tax function will have to adapt to support and keep pace with the wider business.

John Gotts ; Chris White

10:30 - 11:00
Networking coffee break – Exhibits open

11:00 - 12:00
Concurrent sessions

 
Persistent PST issues in the oil and gas, mining, and real property industries

Scott Joly and David Robertson, EY Law LLP

This session will provide insight into current provincial sales tax (PST) issues faced by oil and gas, mining, and real property contractors operating in the remaining PST provinces. The presentation will focus on how British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba now tax real property contracts, and the significant confusion created by the different rules in each province. This will include an examination of the problems arising from Saskatchewan’s recent PST amendments introduced in its 2017-18 Budget, as well as other PST differences, such as taxation of tools, materials, chemicals, and other inputs, and an expansion of the tax base to include insurance. In addition to a technical review, this presentation will help attendees identify PST issues and provide them with practical solutions for minimizing the associated risks and costs.

Scott Joly ; David Robertson

 
The others: Current issues in land transfer tax and property tax across Canada

Elena Balkos, KPMG

This session will examine the current landscape of land transfer tax and property tax in various jurisdictions across Canada. It will be applicable to property owners and tenants and will deal with planning opportunities, tips and traps, dispute resolution issues and a recent case law/policy update.

Elena Balkos

12:00 - 1:15
Networking lunch

The Normand Guérin Award Presented by Deloitte (12:40 – 1:10)

1:15 - 2:15
Concurrent sessions

 
Going green: Update on carbon tax and cap & trade in Canada

Tom Darling and Ben Traore, KPMG

This session will provide an overview and discuss developments in the implementation of the Carbon Tax and Cap and Trade systems for pricing carbon in Canada.
Attendees will gain an overview of the global economy moving towards carbon reduction goals and pricing strategies on carbon.
The presentation will start with discussion on international carbon agreements and Canada’s commitment to the Paris Agreement in 2015. A brief synoptic on global carbon emissions and various other nation’s responses.
The presentation will focus on Canada’s carbon regimes:
• The federal government’s framework on carbon pricing and how each province will integrate its existing or proposed carbon pricing model into the federal framework;
• The two main systems present in Canada’s carbon pricing: Cap & Trade, and Carbon Tax (Levy) will be described on a province by province basis.
• Finally, the session will provide an update on how provinces who currently do not have a fully integrated system, is planning on carbon pricing that is consistent with the federal government framework.

Thomas Darling ; Ben Traore

 
Transfer Pricing and HST – Avoiding the Traps

Sania Ilahi, Tom Tsiopoulos, EY, and Rekha Kukreja, Scotiabank

This panel will discuss the GST/HST issues to consider when considering transfer pricing arrangements such as cost-plus, residual profit split and similar methodologies. Given the significant changes to the rules dealing with imported services, the session will focus on cross border transactions undertaken by financial institutions.

Sania Ilahi ; Tom Tsiopoulos ; Rekha Kukreja

2:15 – 2:30
Session change break

2:30 – 3:30
Audit issues from across the country

Jennifer Muirhead, KPMG LLP, Shelley Smith, BDO Canada LLP and Christina Zurowski, Grant Thornton

This presentation will examine some of the audit issues that arise in different parts of the country and how businesses and practitioners are dealing with these issues. In addition, the panel will share certain issues that pose challenges for many of their clients.

Jennifer Muirhead ; Shelley Smith ; Christina Zurowski, CPA, CA

3:30 – 4:00
Networking coffee break – Exhibits open

4:00 - 5:00
Annual case law update

John Bassindale and Robert G. Kreklewetz, Millar Kreklewetz, LLP

A review and discussion of important GST/HST and commodity tax cases from across Canada in the past year. Attendees will hear practitioners discuss and debate significant new developments, confirmations, and clarifications coming from these cases. Whether you are just starting out in your career, or a commodity tax veteran, this annual session will have something for everyone to help your practice keep pace with the world of commodity tax.

John Bassindale ; Robert Kreklewetz

5:00 – 7:00
Networking reception

This is the agenda for Day 2
Day 2 Tuesday, November 14, 2017
7:30 - 8:30
Continental breakfast

8:30 - 9:30
Transparency and accountability: What tax authorities can and cannot ask for

Dominic Belley, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP and Al-Nawaz Nanji, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

The speakers will present a description of the Canada Revenue Agency’s powers to compel disclosure of tax information in the context of an audit carried out pursuant to the Excise Tax Act, including requests made directly to the taxpayers/agents and requests made to third parties. The limits and safeguards contained in the Act and those recognized by case law will be discussed, including solicitor-client privilege and the inherent confidential nature of certain types of documents (e.g. working papers). Finally, the session will address the extent to which the taxpayer/agent/third party has to co-operate with the tax authorities and the best practices that should be adopted by tax professionals and tax auditors.

Dominic Belley ; Al-Nawaz Nanji

9:30 - 9:40
Session change break

9:40 - 10:40
Concurrent sessions

 
Commodity tax consideration in corporate reorganization and M&A tansactions

Andrew Bateman and Craig McDougall, Felesky Flynn LLP

This session will review the common GST/HST and sales tax rules and pitfalls arising in corporate reorganizations, M&A transactions and on other related transactions costs such as consulting, legal & financing fees. The authors will also cover the impact of failing to register, which election forms to file and how to allocate the purchase price in asset sales. The authors will also suggest corrective measures that may be taken where inadvertent failures occur and discuss the measures apportioning commodity tax risk in purchase and sale agreements.

Andrew Bateman ; Craig McDougall

 
A Guide to Insurance Premium Taxation in Canada

Thomas Brook, EY Law LLP

The taxation of insurance premiums in Canada creates a complex array of obligations imposed by each provincial government. This complexity and the increasing use of unlicensed insurance products has created significant compliance costs and exposure to unanticipated liability for insured persons across Canada. The recent expansion of insurance premium taxation in Newfoundland and Saskatchewan together with the increase of audits targeted at insured persons, most notably in Alberta, has added to this compliance burden.

This session will offer a comprehensive guide to assist agents, brokers and insured persons in navigating the obligations imposed under provincial legislation in respect of the sale and acquisition of both licensed and unlicensed insurance. This guide will include an overview of the basis for insurance premium taxation in each Canadian provincial jurisdiction and will also assist attendees in creating a compliance roadmap to address the risks inherent to the acquisition of insurance products for their particular businesses.

Thomas Brook

10:40 - 11:00
Networking coffee break – Exhibits open

1100 - 12:00
Provincial indirect tax updates

Moderator: Chantal Groulx, Canadian National Railway Company
Jordan Goss, BC Ministry of Finance; Brian Warbey, Saskatchewan Ministry of Finance; David Taillon, Manitoba Ministry of Finance; and Daniel Racine, Quebec Ministry of Finance

Jordan Goss ; Brian Warbey ; David Taillon ; Daniel Racine

12:00 - 1:15
Networking lunch

Update on GST Leaders’ Forum with Robert Demers, Deloitte (12:40 – 1:10)

1:15 - 2:15
Concurrent sessions

 
Financial services: The ins and the outs as determined by the courts

Brent Murray and Sarah Noftell, PwC

What constitutes a “financial service” continues to be one of the most highly contentious issues for financial institutions and intermediaries that facilitate the provision of a financial service. There has since been a significant body of jurisprudence that has considered the scope of the exemption, with the court’s conclusions providing additional guidance on what constitutes a financial service. The purpose of this paper is to summarize the jurisprudence that has considered and commented on what constitutes a financial service, with a particular emphasis on jurisprudence that has considered and applied the exemption as it reads after the December 2009 amendments.

Brent Murray ; Sarah Noftell, CPA, CA

 
Hot Customs and Global Trade Issues for Canadian Business: NAFTA Under Trump, the Launch of CETA, Audit Priorities and More

Lisa Zajko, Deloitte

Importers and exporters are facing dramatic changes in the global trade environment. Understanding and identifying these changes early on can help companies seize opportunities, deal with challenges effectively, and be prepared to make key decisions. This session will offer insights on how your business can plan for the future. Topics will include: the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) under the Trump administration, issues and opportunities under the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Free Trade Agreement (CETA), customs verification priorities and related issues and developments.

Lisa Zajko

2:15 - 2:30
Session change break

2:30 - 3:30
Characterization of complex transactions

Janice Roper and Andrew Azmudeh, Deloitte

Janice Roper, FCPA, FCA ; Andrew Azmudeh, B.Sc., MBA, LLB

3:30 - 4:00
Nextworking coffee break - Exhibits open

4:00 - 5:00
The latest from the Canada Revenue Agency and Department of Finance

Danielle Laflèche, Canada Revenue Agency and Pierre Mercille, Department of Finance

The speakers will provide an update concerning recent developments in the area of commodity taxes from the point of view of the Canada Revenue Agency and the Department of Finance.

Danielle Laflèche ; Pierre Mercille

5:00
Conference adjourns

This is the agenda for Post-Workshop
Post-Workshop Wednesday, November 15, 2017
8:00 - 9:00
Workshop registration & Continental breakfast

9:00 - 12:00
Customs Risk Management Considerations-Core Competencies

Jaime Seidner, PwC
In this workshop, tax practitioners, both direct and indirect, will review core customs competencies and recent customs developments with a view to assist participants in risk mitigation techniques in the Customs function. This session will cover most Customs requirements and specifically deal with intersection of finance, tax and accounting with the Customs import and export function. Topics covered will include: value for duty, country of origin considerations and preferences, admissibility, tariff classification, export reporting, audits and post-importation correction considerations, rulings and disputes

Jaime Seidner

12:00
Workshop Adjourns