Third Party Civil Penalties: Where are we at and what can we learn from our neighbours?

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11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Calgary, AB

Business taxation plays a fundamental role in the lives of Canadians and has a significant impact on the Canadian economy. On March 6, 1996, the Technical Committee on Business Taxation (Committee) chaired by Dr. Jack Mintz, was appointed by the Minister of Finance to review the tax system in Canada. The committee provided an assessment known as the Report of the Technical Committee on Business Taxation in the interests of creating better opportunities for economic growth and job creation for Canadians.

In the report, the Committee recommended adding a new civil penalty which could be assessed against third parties “who knowingly, or under circumstances amounting to gross negligence, participate in or otherwise promote or assist, conduct that results in the making of a false statement or omission in a return”. This was intended to fill a gap in the Income Tax Act, which at that time only had a civil penalty that could be assessed against taxpayers, but not their advisors.

Two years later and in spite of several concerns raised by tax accountants and lawyers, the Federal Government announced the creation of third party penalty provisions for both income tax and GST purposes.  Unfortunately, we still know very little about the full meaning and proper application of these penalties.

Drawing on the experiences in the U.S., UK and Australia, who have similar provisions and objectives, as well as existing jurisprudence on gross negligence in a tax context, this seminar will discuss some of the outstanding issues and uncertainties with the Canadian third party penalty and how they might best be resolved.

About the speaker:

Chris Sprysak is an Associate Professor of Law and Associate Dean of Research & Faculty Development at the Faculty of Law at the University of Alberta.  He is both a Chartered Professional Accountant and Lawyer.  Prior to coming to the University of Alberta, he practiced as a Chartered Accountant at (then) Price Waterhouse and as a tax lawyer at Felesky Flynn LLP


The School of Public Policy
Nexen Technology & Conference Centre
5th Floor, 906 8th Ave S.W.
Calgary, AB  T2P 1H9

A light lunch will be served.

**There is no charge to attend, but registration is required.

For more information, please contact Michelle Sadden at