February 27-28, 2019

Metro Toronto Convention Centre (North Building)
255 Front Street West | Directions

Online registrations are now closed. Please contact us at for any inquiries.
The conference will take place in room 206, located in the north building of the Convention Centre (Front Street entrance). Please check-in at the registration desk upon arrival. See you there!

This event will be streamed live via webcast.

Program | Wednesday, February 27, 2019
11:30 am 
Registration Desk Opens (A light lunch will be provided)

12:20 pm
Welcome Remarks

Jason Vincze,
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Toronto

Moderator:  Jason Vincze, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Toronto
12:30 pm -
1:15 pm
Keynote Session

Companies are scaling and failing faster and more than ever. With the changing economic and demographic landscape at home and abroad, combined with the rapid onslaught of exponential technologies, the future for organizations has never been more uncertain. Today, leaders require a different toolkit; they must learn to develop new strategies and evaluate potential opportunities in order to survive and thrive in an age of disruption. The word “innovation” can sometimes be used in a cavalier way, but in Terry Stuart’s mind, it matters. Canada’s productivity is on the line, and innovation is what will propel the country forward to help future generations be successful.

Terry Stuart, Chief Innovation Officer, Deloitte Canada

1:15 pm - 
1:20 pm 
Question/Answer Period 
1:20 pm -
2:05 pm

Big Data, Big Brother and the Tax Function

Changes in technology have fundamentally altered the tax compliance landscape and the ability of tax authorities to gather and analyze taxpayer information. This session will review the trend to transparency, including global exchange of information agreements as well as non-traditional sources of data such as leaks through media organizations. The panelists will also consider the responses of taxpayers and their advisors.

Click here for an in-depth description of the presentation

Arthur Cockfield, Queen's University, Kingston
Ted Gallivan, Canada Revenue Agency
Pooja Mihailovich, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, Toronto
Peter van Dijk,  PwC Canada LLP, Toronto
2:05 pm -
2:10 pm 
Question/Answer Period 
2:10 pm -
2:55 pm
Indirect Tax and E-Commerce

Globalization and the digital revolution has meant an acceleration of global tax frameworks and cooperation as governments grapple with tax leakage on supplies consumed in their jurisdictions. While the OECD principals of destination based place of supply rules, many tax authorities including Canada Revenue Agency lack the legislative and enforcement framework to capture non-resident suppliers of digital goods. With the rise in 3D printing and other mediums for the delivery of goods and services, there are challenges with the characterization thereof and place of supply for indirect tax purposes. This session will cover the issues and challenges presented by the digital economy and trends to counter some of the challenges we are seeing globally.

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Danny Cisterna, CPA, CA, Deloitte, Toronto
Jan Pedder, CPA, CA, EY LLP, Toronto

2:55 pm -
3:00 pm
Question/Answer Period
3:00 pm -
3:15 pm

Moderator:  Laura Gheorghiu, Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP, Montreal
3:15 pm -
4:45 pm

Blockchain, Cryptocurrency and More: A New Tax Frontier 

This comprehensive session will feature experts discussing the emerging tax issues in the rapidly evolving world of blockchain.  Specific focus will be given to two particular use cases, namely the taxation of cryptocurrency transactions and the tax issues associated with initial coin offerings (“ICOs”).  The panel will provide a high level overview on the basics of blockchain and distributed ledgers and then illustrate their operation and analyze the issues that arise in these increasingly prevalent commercial transactions. 

Topics to be covered include the following:

  • Characterization of cryptocurrency - commodity, security or currency – and associated income tax and sales tax results. 
  • Tax treatment of various transactions – cryptocurrency exchanges and forks, barter transactions, donations
  • Tax treatment of different participants – investors, issuers, miners.
  • When should transactions be taxed.
  • The treatment of losses.
  • Traceability by tax authorities and concerns in relation to illicit activities.
  • Discussion of ICOs including what they are, how they work, how they make use of distributed ledger technology, different forms of coins/tokens.
  • Case studies of relevant tax issues raised by common domestic and international mining and ICO holding structures.

Blake Allan, MNP LLP, Vancouver
Matt Peters,
Bennett Jones LLP, Toronto
Laura Gheorghiu, Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP, Montreal

4:45 pm - 
5:00 pm 
Question/Answer Period
5:00 pm - 
7:00 pm
Program | Thursday, February 28, 2019
7:30 am 
Registration and Breakfast

Moderator: Jay Goodis, Tax Templates Inc., Vaughan
8:30 am -
9:30 am

Technology is both an enabler and a disrupter. This panel will address the challenges and opportunities presented by automation of the tax practice and will include representatives from industry and tax advisory practices. Areas to be explored include balancing opportunities for efficiencies and the challenges raised by automation of the tax practice and function,  including integrating software systems across finance, tax and other functions, data migration challenges, and the benefits and vulnerabilities associated with retention of books and records in electronic form.  The panel will explore how technology can be leveraged to harness efficiencies in the “commoditized” aspects of a tax practice while maintaining appropriate oversight and management of that work.  


Marie Blanchard, SNC Lavalin Group Inc., Montreal
Gino Piazza, CPA, CMA, KPMG LLP, Toronto
Dorothy "Dot" Whitaker, CPA, CA, KPMG LLP, Toronto

9:30 am -
10:15 am
Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is now making its presence felt in various fields. Tax is no exception. Using concrete examples based on business scenarios, this panel brings together perspectives from academia, the software industry, tax litigation, and the judiciary to contend with the key “big picture” questions that AI raises for tax professionals. How fast is AI developing in tax? What principles and safeguards should be guiding development of AI tools? Are the existing rules of ethics and professionalism sufficient to deal with AI? What questions should judges be asking themselves with respect to AI tools? How acute is the need to address gaps in the current legal framework governing privilege and confidentiality? What consequences will AI have for the future path of the law?

Click here for an in-depth description of the presentation

Professor Benjamin Alarie, University of Toronto, Faculty of Law
The Hon. Marshall Rothstein, C.C., Q.C., Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, Vancouver
Richard Tardif, Department of Justice, Ottawa

10:15 am -
10:30 am
Question/Answer Period
10:30 am -
10:45 am

Moderator: Heather Evans, Canadian Tax Foundation, Toronto
10:45 am -
11:25 am
Sharing Economy

The presentation will address the latest developments with regards to the taxation of cross-border e-commerce and of the sharing economy in Canada, including potential legislative amendments, constitutional issues and the role of financial institutions. The presentation will also summarize the situation in other countries.

Using concrete examples, the presentation will explain the practical and technological issues associated with the avenues proposed by the governments, as well as the benefits and challenges of implementing tax compliance agreements.

Nicolas Cloutier, McCarthy Tétrault LLP, Montreal

11:25 am -
12:10 pm
Cybersecurity and Privacy

  • Issues, protocols and best practices for data exchanges between taxpayers and tax authorities
  • Privacy, maintaining privilege
  • Impact of automation and vulnerability of data
  • Country-by-country reporting: new threats?

Click here for an in-depth description of the presentation

Elisa Henry, 
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Montreal
Merlin Lapp, 
Canada Revenue Agency, Ottawa
Peter van Dijk,  
PwC Canada LLP, Toronto

12:10 pm - 
12:25 pm 
Question/Answer Period
12:25 pm - 
1:30 pm

Moderator: Wayne Adams, Canadian Tax Foundation, Ottawa
1:30 pm -
2:30 pm
Evolution in Audit Approaches by Tax Authorities

  • Data analytics
  • Impact on tax base
  • Deployment of additional resources
  • Sharing of best practices globally

Click here for an in-depth description of the presentation

Brian Erard,
B. Erard & Associates, Washington, DC
Sue Murray, Canada Revenue Agency, Ottawa

2:30 pm -
3:15 pm
Taxation of Intangibles

  • Value shift in the global economy
  • Implications to tax system
  • OECD response

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Angelo Nikolakakis, EY Law LLP, Montreal
3:15 pm - 
3:30 pm 
Question/Answer Period
3:30 pm - 
3:45 pm  
Moderator: Marlene Cepparo, FCPA, FCA, KPMG LLP, Toronto
3:45 pm - 
4:30 pm  

Tax Incentives for Innovation and Transfer Pricing

This session will explore various tax incentives offered by the tax system to promote innovation in Canada, including SR&ED, multimedia and e-commerce tax credits, as well as IP regimes (including patent box systems and credits for innovative companies).  Finally, current trends and risks in the transfer pricing aspects of intangible assets and R&D services will be examined.

Click here for an in-depth description of the presentation

McShane Jones, Barsalou Lawson Rheault, Montreal

4:30 pm -
4:45 pm

4:45 pm
  Program is subject to change. Please check back frequently for the most up-to-date version.

The Hon. Karen Sharlow, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, Vancouver
The Hon. Karen Sharlow, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, Vancouver

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