While the ITA itself is massive – the Practitioner’s Income Tax Act 2016, 50th Edition – contains about 2,650 pages, the complexity goes well beyond the ITA itself. The Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) interprets the act and administers the law based upon its own interpretations. As if that isn’t enough, the courts are often called in to settle disputes as to how the provisions should be interpreted.
From about 1985 to 1989 I worked as an auditor with the CRA in Victoria, BC. We maintained a library of old versions of the tax act. There was also case law and our own internal Taxation Operations Manual (“the TOMs”). In 1971 the government attempted to ‘simplify ‘ the ITA. Interestingly, after 1971 the thickness of the tax act more than tripled – and the font got smaller.
With my own background as a tax auditor, a senior manager with an international CPA firm and about 20 years in my own small practice, I have an excellent breadth of experience with most common tax issues. However I still recognize the value of specialization and seek out specialty advice as required. What’s more I also provide specialized advice in the area of Scientific Research & Experimental Development tax credits (“SR&ED”) to other CPAs.