For 30 years, Neal has provided clients with clear, comprehensive advice and creative tax solutions.
Neal advises clients on a wide range of domestic and international tax matters, with his specialized expertise in REITs, GST/HST, financings, and inbound and outbound cross-border transactions. His diverse practice includes reorganizations, derivatives and other financial products, as well as real estate joint ventures, land transfer tax advice, investment funds and dispute resolution.
Neal is the editor of Tax Interpretations, an online commentary on the transaction implications of a broad range of Canadian tax matters. The website offers the only comprehensive summary of public transactions over the past five years, providing details that are critical to organizations considering Canadian tax-structuring perspectives.
The Blackstone Group Inc.
Acting for real estate funds managed by The Blackstone Group Inc. and their affiliates in Blackstone's $6.2-billion all-cash acquisition of Dream Global Real Estate Investment Trust and the separation of its external asset manager, Dream Asset Management.
Granite Real Estate Investment Trust
Acted as tax counsel to Granite REIT in its $231-million bought deal equity offering of 3.7 million stapled units.
Desjardins Capital Markets, RBC Capital Markets and BMO Capital Markets
Acted for a syndicate of underwriters co-led by Desjardins Capital Markets, RBC Capital Markets and BMO Capital Markets in a US$135-million bought deal public offering of trust units by WPT Industrial REIT.
Acted as tax counsel to Granite REIT in its sale of a real estate portfolio in the United States and Canada for $400 million.
Royal Bank of Canada
Acted for Royal Bank of Canada in the establishment of its $7-billion senior note program in 2018, and ongoing representation of Royal Bank of Canada in takedowns of structured products under its senior note program.
RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust
Acted for RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust on Canadian and US tax matters in connection with the US$1.9-billion sale of its portfolio of 49 shopping centres, located in the Northeastern U.S. and Texas, to Blackstone Real Estate Partners.
Royal Bank of Canada
Acted for Royal Bank of Canada in connection with the establishment of its $7-billion senior note program in 2016, and ongoing representation of Royal Bank of Canada in connection with takedowns of structured products under its senior note program, including pre-clearances of "novel" specified derivatives with the Autorité des marchés financiers in Québec.
Kraft Canada Inc.
Acted as counsel for The Kraft Heinz Company in connection with a Canadian private placement of C$1.0 billion of senior notes issued by its subsidiary, Kraft Canada Inc., and guaranteed by The Kraft Heinz Company and Kraft Heinz Foods Company. This private placement was part of a series of financing transactions in other jurisdictions consummated in connection with the US$54-billion merger of H.J. Heinz Company and Kraft Foods Group, Inc.
Plazacorp Retail Properties Ltd.
Acted for Plazacorp Retail Properties Ltd. in connection with its tax-deferred conversion from a mutual fund corporation into a real estate investment trust, and its internal reorganization to simplify its structure.
CIBC, Scotiabank, TD Securities Inc. and BMO Capital Markets
Acted for a syndicate of underwriters co-led by CIBC, Scotiabank, TD Securities Inc. and BMO Capital Markets in connection with Crombie Real Estate Investment Trust's public offering of $60 million of trust units and private placement of $40 million of class B LP units.
Taxpayer Wins Treaty Shopping Challenge in Alta Energy Luxembourg, co-author
Sept. 14, 2018 - Tax Management International Journal (The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc.)
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Tax Court Finds That Broker Fees on a Private Company Sale Were GST/HST-Taxable
May 10, 2018 - The Tax Court of Canada recently released its decision in Barr v. The Queen, 2018 TCC 86, which considered whether share-sale commissions were exempt from HST. The taxpayer was the sole shareholder of a Canadian company. He had retained two brokers for the sale of his company or its...
Ontario Proposes Changes to Land Transfer Tax for Certain Trusts and Partnerships
July 19, 2017 - The Ontario Ministry of Finance considers partnerships and most trusts to be transparent for Ontario land transfer tax (LTT) purposes. This means that if a unit trust or limited partnership with a large number of unitholders purchases a beneficial interest in Ontario real estate, technically each...
Ontario Unveils a New 15% Land Transfer Tax and Expanded Rent Controls
Apr. 20, 2017 - On April 20, 2017 the Ontario government announced a set of measures, dubbed the Fair Housing Plan, intended to “help more people find an affordable place to call home, while bringing stability to the real estate market and protecting the investment of homeowners.” The plan includes a proposed 15%...
IRS Should Allow QCIV Self-Designation Under FIRPTA
Dec. 16, 2016 - As part of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2016 (PATH Act), Congress enacted a new exemption from the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980 (FIRPTA) for foreign entities that are “qualified shareholders” of certain publicly traded real estate investment...
The Federal Court of Appeal Permits Use of Mark-To-Market Tax Accounting
June 24, 2016 - The Federal Court of Appeal has held in the Kruger Inc. v. Canada decision published yesterday, that Kruger Inc. was entitled to use the mark-to-market method in computing its income for federal income tax purposes. As a result, for income tax purposes it was entitled to recognize an...
Recent Developments in Ontario Real Estate
Feb. 26, 2016 - Ontario Court of Appeal Rules on Assignment of Lease by Tenant The Ontario Court of Appeal recently released its decision in Hudson’s Bay Company v. OMERS Realty Corporation, a case that involved the assignment and sublease of the tenant’s interest in anchor tenant leases at Yorkdale,...
Reminder: CRA Deadline for Eliminating HST/GST Joint Venture Reporting by Nominees
Dec. 08, 2014 - As a follow-up to our communication dated February 7, 2014, this is a reminder of the December 2014 deadline imposed by Canada Revenue Agency for disallowing joint venture arrangements in which nominee corporations may file HST/GST returns and remit HST/GST for the joint venture. ...
CRA Imposes Deadline for Eliminating HST/GST Joint Venture Reporting by Nominees
Feb. 07, 2014 - The Canada Revenue Agency has announced that, after 2014, it will no longer tolerate joint venture arrangements in which nominee corporations file HST/GST returns and remit HST/GST for the joint venture. Background A joint venture election made for HST or GST...