In an almost classical case of one person’s misfortune being another’s gain, a recent article in Law Times looks at the boost in business some tax lawyers are currently experiencing as a result of “more aggressive compliance efforts by government departments such as the Canada Revenue Agency.”
Jack Millar, a partner at Toronto-based Millar Kreklewetz LLP, says that audit activity is not only on the rise but also becoming more sophisticated and complex, with greater emphasis on the commodity taxation aspect of business.
“There is no question that the way audits are being carried out on the income tax side is leading to a lot of work,” Millar says. “They are asking for reams of information, they’re asking for a lot of co-operation by taxpayers, and they are creating a lot of work for people like myself.”
On the customs side, Millar tells Law Times that he’s seen an increase in the number of compliance issues on the part of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) corresponding to the renewed focus on trade compliance. “After 9/11, governments took more of their trade budget and put it into security,” says Millar. “But the pendulum has swung again and the trade compliance directorate of the CBSA has got more resources now.”
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