Tax Litigation

CRA With Faye - Finally, a Tax Mnemonic



When I was in high school we used to make up rhymes and raps to help remember otherwise tedious concepts, like the periodic table. In trying to assist junior tax lawyers to remember concepts from the Act I have recently realized that such mnemonics are sorely lacking from our tax resources. So I have put one together. I hope it helps.


The Minister’s Ball

A party was to be held by the Minister of Revenue

Rumors were flying of the lavish events to ensue.

The provisions of the Income Tax Act, (at the time herein dated),

(All references to the Act unless otherwise stated.)

Well, they were as excited as legislation can be,

You can imagine, for them, getting out is a rarity.

And word got ‘round that the most important section to be found,

Would be the guest of honour and ceremoniously crowned.


The exchange provisions got into it first,

Everyone knows their competition is historically the worst.

51 rolled in exclaiming, “I’m the best sort!”

When people use me there’s no need to report.

I’m simple and humble, hardly ever land in court,

I’ll keep your transactions simple and your agreements short.


86 scoffed at 51’s elation

I’m the one to use in the course of reorganization.

As an added perk, clean up your articles of incorporation,

You can use both share and non-share consideration,

No election required and I override 51’s use,

Compared to my wording 51 seems obtuse.


85 sauntered in, its chest puffed out,

“Everyone knows I’m best, I eliminate all doubt.

Allow me to provide you some proper perspective,

I’m the rollover provision who is most selective.

I’m certain, established, fundamental and protective,

To use me you choose me, take note, I’m elective.”


Some anti-avoidance provisions began to join in,

All urging “the rollover provisions can’t win!”

“Watch your back 85,” warned 85(1)(e.2),

Misstep with your family, I’ll shift the benefit back to you.”

84.1 threatened dividends on soft ACB,

It seemed none of the provisions would ever agree.


Then GAAR burst in looking confident as could be,

With amendments on the horizon, its recent nod from SCC.

“I’m clearly the master of every provision,

Whatever your planning I’ll undo with precision.”

“Keep your transactions in line with Parliamentary intention,

Or be reframed in the name of tax abuse prevention.”


“Think you’re within the law, you think your planning is tight?”

“Think your OSP is solid and will carry the fight?”

“Did you rely on a test that’s established and bright?”

“Dear planner, think again, have you read Deans Knight??!!”


251 then cried, “Family’s the strongest bond of all,

Without me how would you know where any relations fall?

If you want to get a sense of my overall strength,

Just tally the provisions making reference to arm’s length.

I underlie most of you, plus so many more,

55, 69, I could keep going … 56(4)…”


248 sauntered in and looked 251 up and down,

“I am the defining provision, it should clearly be my crown,

If sheer volume of definitions gives you any indication,

Seriously 251, like people don’t know their own relation?”


95(6) looked distraught, “No one cares about me.”

“I used to think I had power,” lamented 247(2)(b).

The debate carried on, it was doubtful they’d make the ball,

How would they ever agree who was most crucial of all?

They did all agree to keep 15 out of decisions,

Making everything personal, it’s the angriest of provisions

256 was also never told by a soul

He rubbed everyone wrong, always seeking control


The insults flew, there was confusion and uproar,

When 246(1) slipped through the Minister’s door.

He soon emerged, wearing pride and his crown,

A hush took the crowd, the sections simmered down.

“246(1)?” someone whispered, “what does he even do?!

The crowd split apart and 246(1) sauntered through.

“I ascribe general benefit,” he shrugged, “I’m really not that great.”

“But you missed something crucial in the heat of debate.”

His crown stood gleaming atop of his head,

As everyone hung on the next words he said.

“In tax,” he paused, his words practically humming,

“The most important provision is the one you never saw coming.”