Tax Insights: SCC strikes down Minister’s authority to demand records subject to privilege

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Issue 2016-31

Two recent Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) cases are the latest of recent developments reminding taxpayers that communications involving tax risks and strategy can be subject to privilege, and therefore do not have to be disclosed to the Canada Revenue Agency.

In both cases the SCC upheld privilege and prevented the Minister of National Revenue (Minister) from requiring legal advisers to produce client records. These cases, the international trend for tax authorities to more strategically and aggressively collect tax revenue and the Minister’s pursuit of audit working papers for the taxpayer’s own analysis of its tax risks send a message: Taxpayers should consider whether their communications that involve tax risks and strategy are subject to privilege.

Read this Tax Insights for more information.