PRESS ADVISORY March 16, 2016
“This is a massive class action about tax fairness, with damages at issue totaling $5.7 billion,” Tony Merchant Q.C. said regarding a new national class action against many of the world’s leading legal and accounting firms being launched in Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan. “Baker & McKenzie, Gowlings WLG, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, Fasken Martineau Dumoulin LLP, BDO Canada, MNP LLP are all being sued for negligence.” Referring to their errors as pled, Mr. Merchant said an estimated 118,000 Canadian families are affected. All the Defendants, the accounting and legal firms, as well as CRA would be equally liable for the losses.” The $1.1 billion pled in the lawsuits, with penalties and interest, has become a loss to the class of C$5.7 billion.
Court References to the Global Learning gifting program:
The Tax Court of Canada, October 19, 2015: “ It is also clear to me that the Transaction Documents, particularly the Directions to the Escrow Agent, were also a sham since the Escrow Agent conducted no activity. Since the evidence shows that Alan Beach, the solicitor who prepared the precedents for the Transaction Documents, was also the principal of the Escrow Agent, whom he acknowledged played no active role in correspondence with the CRA, then it is clear that even solicitors for the Promoter were aware of the deceit intended to be perpetrated upon any applicants and the public at large. When one considers the Promoter obtained and published on its website a legal opinion on the Program, which focused on the necessity of the validity of the Trust and the exercise by the Trustee of its discretionary powers, which the Promoter knew was nothing more than window dressing, not reality, then it is self-evident that the Promoter went to great lengths to perpetrate this sham, aided by its advisors and subcontractors.”i
The Federal Court of Appeal, January 13, 2016: “ In my view, this policy consideration applies to a duty of care to warn against investment in an improvident or suspect tax shelter. The written warning tax shelter promoters are mandated by paragraph 237.1(3)(c) of the Income Tax Act to display in connection with use of a tax shelter identification number is consistent with Parliament’s intent that taxpayers should participate in a tax shelter at their own peril, not at the peril of Canadian taxpayers generally. Moreover, at paragraph 8 of the amended statement of claim, the plaintiffs acknowledge that they received independent legal opinions, opinions from accountants and valuation appraisals in respect of the tax shelter. The issuers of such opinions, who benefited financially from the provision of their professional advice, are better placed to indemnify the plaintiffs in the event of negligence in the exercise of their professional responsibilities.”ii
“This daunting battle,” said Mr. Merchant, “is about care and fairness. Some families face multi-million dollar claims by CRA. I have been told of eight suicides, hundreds of financial failures and bankruptcies, and many failed marriages caused by the turmoil of these wrongs.”
“Well-intended charitable gifting has led many class members to face profound financial pressures through penalties and interest. Similar wrongs by other tax professionals and CRA appear to exist concerning other charities that CRA has now challenged,” Tony Merchant said, “and people for this and similarly disallowed gifting programs should go to www.merchantlaw.com, to the class actions section, and click GLGI CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) Litigation.
For further details about these assertions, which have not yet been proven in court, call Tony Merchant at 306 539-7777 or for information in French, Cabinet Juridique Merchant at 514 248-7777.
Merchant Law Group LLP has twelve offices across Canada, from Quebec to British Columbia. Merchant Law lawyers including E.F. Anthony Merchant, Q.C. are well known for their involvement in mass tort and class action cases in Canada, which include lawsuits involving Residential Schools, Volkswaken, System Access Fees, Maple Leaf Foods, Toyota, dangerous drugs, and many other cases on the MLG website www.merchantlaw.com/class-actions. FOR COPIES OF THE ISSUED CLAIMS, EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org.
i Mariano v. The Queen 2015 TCC 244 – Judgment October 19, 2015, amended November 23, 2015
ii The Queen v. Scheuer, 2016 FCA 7 – Judgment January 13, 2016