GAAR Interpreted: The General Anti-Avoidance Rule

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The General Anti-Avoidance Rule (GAAR) was introduced as part of the 1988 tax reforms to the Income Tax Act by enacting section 245. This strong statutory anti-avoidance provision was designed to stop the growth of aggressive tax avoidance transactions. Since the introduction of GAAR, there have now been many GAAR cases decided in the courts and numerous pronouncements from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on the subject. The wording and the application of the GAAR are subject to interpretation by taxpayers, tax advisors, the Department of Finance, the CRA, and, most importantly, the courts.

GAAR Interpreted: The General Anti-Avoidance Rule, is an up-to-date analysis of the manner in which the GAAR has been interpreted and applied by these parties since its implementation. The book first discusses the history behind the development of GAAR and then describes the GAAR Committee and administrative procedures.

There is a lengthy chapter on CRA GAAR Rulings and Technical Interpretations detailing specific CRA pronouncements with respect to "where the GAAR could apply" and "where the GAAR was found not to apply", each organized by extensive topical areas such as CEE, crystallization of capital gains, debt forgiveness, salary deferral arrangements, and surplus stripping.

Another critical chapter in this book is the extensive discussion of judicial interpretations through the years from the 1997 Equilease decision to the most recent 2005 Supreme Court of Canada decision in Canada Trustco and post Canada Trustco decisions.

There is a chapter summarizing all the cases that have been assessed and are being litigated but have not yet been heard by the courts. The book also includes chapters on GAAR and tax treaties, provincial GAAR, and GAAR, and the GST.


Practice Area:
Tax & accounting


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