Neil Bass

Partner Admitted to the Ontario Bar: 1990

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  • Bio
  • Awards & Recognition
  • Professional Involvement
  • Representative Matters
  • Selected Speaking Engagements
  • Selected Publications
  • Insights
  • Education

Neil is a highly acclaimed and widely respected tax lawyer. Through high-quality work and effective communication, he ensures his clients are able to focus on their core business, while he attends to their tax issues and disputes by finding simple and elegant solutions to business and legal challenges. Neil helps his clients navigate the complexities of tax law.

Neil is a highly experienced practitioner in tax litigation and commodity taxation, including goods and services tax and harmonized sales tax (GST/HST), provincial sales tax (PST) and international customs duties. He has extensive experience in dealing with various taxation authorities and has represented clients before the Canadian International Trade Tribunal, the Tax Court of Canada, the Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal as well as before provincial courts.

He has significant experience in the real estate and development sector, financial services, corporate reorganizations, mergers, acquisitions and cross-border transactions. Neil is also experienced in alternative dispute resolution and litigation.

Neil served on the Canadian Bar Association/Canadian Institute of Charter Accountants Joint Legislation Review Committee that reviewed the draft legislation that amended the Canadian Excise Tax Act. 

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Awards & Recognition

  • Recognized in Chambers Canada as a top practitioner in Indirect Tax
  • Recognized in the Lexpert Special Edition: Litigation as a leading Canadian litigator
  • Listed in the Lexpert Leading Canadian Lawyers in Finance and M&A Special Edition
  • Recognized as a leading tax controversy lawyer in International Tax Review Tax Controversy Leaders (Canada)
  • Recommended by The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory in the area of Commodity Tax/Customs, Corporate Tax and Litigation - Corporate Tax.
  • Recognized by ITR World Tax (Canada) as a Highly Regarded practitioner in Indirect Tax and Tax Controversy
  • Recognized by The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada in the area of Commodity Tax/Customs
  • Recognized by The Legal 500 Canada in the area of Tax
  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in Canada in Tax Law
  • Listed in the Best Lawyers Global Business Edition 2020 in Tax Law
  • Received the Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished Peer Review Rating for high professional achievement
  • Awarded the Normand Guérin Award in 1999 for his outstanding contribution to the advancement of commodity tax studies
  • Corporate LiveWire Global Award in Commodity Tax

Professional Involvement

Professional Activities

  • Neil has authored numerous articles and conference papers on GST/HST, was a co-editor of Canadian GST and Commodity Tax Cases published by CCH Canadian Limited and is currently a contributing editor of Federated Press - Sales Tax, Customs & Trade Journal published by Thomson Reuters Canada.
  • Neil addresses audiences on a variety of commodity tax matters and is a past presenter at the CICA Commodity Tax Symposium and the Canadian Tax Foundation Conference.

Memberships

  • Canadian Bar Association (Commodity Tax Customs and Trade Section and Tax Court Bench & Bar Committee)
  • Ontario Bar Association
  • GST Leaders Forum, a group established by the CPA of the most prominent GST/HST accountants and lawyers from across Canada.

Representative Matters

Represented Dr. Kevin Davis on a successful Supreme Court of Canada Leave Application, as well as in the Federal Court of Appeal, Canada v. Dr. Kevin L. Davis Dentistry Professional Corporation, 2023 FCA 76, and in the Tax Court of Canada, 2021 TCC 25.

Represented CFI Funding Trust in the Tax Court appeal, CFI Funding Trust v. The Queen, 2022 TCC 60.

Counsel to a confidential financial services client in a GST/HST Tax Court appeal settled in March 2022, in respect of an assessment of tax on services that were subsequently agreed to be GST/HST-exempt financial services.

Represented Skyline Enterprises Management Inc. in the formation of Skyline Mortgage Investment Trust and the private placement offering of units for gross proceeds of up to $13 million.

Counsel to Costco Wholesale Canada Ltd. in Costco Wholesale Canada Ltd. v. Her Majesty the Queen, [2009] G.S.T.C 38 (Tax Court of Canada) and 2012 FCA 160 (Federal Court of Appeal).

Counsel to Jostens Canada Ltd. in Jostens Canada Ltd. v. M.N.R. and Jostens of Quebec Ltd. v. M.N.R., [1994] G.S.T.C. 34 (Canadian International Trade Tribunal).

Counsel to Corporation of City of Brantford in Brantford (City) v. The Queen, [1988] G.S.T.C. 125 (Tax Court of Canada).

Advised the City of Toronto on the GST tax appeal settlement of waste and wastewater disposal fees.

Advising Sprott Resource Lending Partnership with respect to C$72 million senior secured notes financing for North American Palladium Ltd.

Advised Premier Gold Mines Limited on the acquisition of Goldstone Resources Inc.

Selected Speaking Engagements

Speaker, "2016 Tax Year in Review," Wolters Kluwer webinar, December 14, 2016.

Guest Speaker, "2015 Commodity Tax Update," Tax Executives Institute, Commodity Tax Day 2015, January 22, 2014.

Speaker, "Here We Go Again: Revisiting Financial Services, Joint Ventures, and Nominees/Bare Trusts," CPA Commodity Tax Symposium, September 30, 2013.

Speaker, "The 2012 Case Law Update," CICA Commodity Tax Symposium, Ottawa, October 2, 2012.

Speaker, "Tax and Privilege: A Primer," Continuing Professional Development Bootcamp, Toronto, November 30, 2011.

Speaker, "Sale Tax Issues on Mergers, Acquisitions and Corporate Structuring and Takeovers," 2nd Tax Essentials for Business Transactions, Toronto, September 2011.

Selected Publications

Co-author, "Beginning of a New Rental Construction Boom? Temporary GST Exemption for Purpose-Built Residential Rental Properties Sparks Growth Potential," Aird & Berlis LLP, September 28, 2023.

Co-author, "Recent Amendments to the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST)," October 2015.

Contributing author, "Tax Policy in Canada," Canadian Tax Foundation, 2012.

Co-author, "HST in Ontario," online manual, Lorman Education Services, 2011.

Co-author, "Recent Developments of Importance in Litigation - Corporate Tax," The 2010/2011 Lexpert CCCA/ACCJE Corporate Counsel Directory and Yearbook.

Author, "Recent Developments of Importance in Litigation - Corporate Tax," The 2010 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory.

Author, "Trends in Sales Tax Litigation," Canadian Tax Foundation, 2009.

Co-author, "Managing Commodity Taxes on Imported Goods and Services," 2008 Commodity Tax Symposium.

Co-author, "GST and Commodity Tax Issues in Cross-Boarder Transactions: Expecting the Unexpected," in Report of Proceedings of the Fifty-Ninth Tax Conference, 2007 Conference Report (Toronto: Canadian Tax Foundation, 2008).

Author, "GST Voluntary Disclosures: The New Regime," 2001 Commodity Tax Symposium. 

Author, "Asset Securitization - A Sales Tax Perspective," 1998 Tax Symposium. 

Education

  • LLB, Osgoode Hall Law School, 1988