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Recent developments in “treaty shopping”: GAAR & the forthcoming MLI

Blue J Legal


Tax authorities invoke the General Anti Avoidance Rule (GAAR) to ensure that there is no tax abuse when taxpayers engage in ‘treaty shopping’, the practice of foreign residents structuring their internal transactions and operations to take advantage of particular tax treaties. The Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (MLI), coming into full effect by 2020, will provide tax authorities with an additional tool – the ‘principal purpose’ test – to stop abusive treaty shopping in its tracks.

This webinar will examine a recent GAAR decision and explore the limitations of the GAAR, as well as possible applications and ramifications of the forthcoming MLI as it applies to treaty shopping.


Benjamin Alarie

Benjamin Alarie is CEO of Blue J Legal and a professor at the University of Toronto, where he holds the Osler Chair in Business Law. He researches and teaches in taxation law and judicial decision making, and was awarded the Alan Mewett QC Prize for excellence in teaching by the law school’s 2009 graduating class. Before becoming a full-time professor in 2004, he completed graduate work at the Yale Law School and was a law clerk for Madam Justice Louise Arbour at the Supreme Court of Canada. He has dozens of academic publications to his name and his research has been funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation. He has co-authored several editions of a leading legal text on tax law, Canadian Income Tax Law, including the most recent sixth edition (LexisNexis, 2018).


Benjamin Alarie


19 March 2019
17:00 - 17:55 UTC
55 min