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.
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.
Granite Real Estate Inc.
Acted as Canadian and U.S. tax counsel to Granite Real Estate Inc. in its conversion under a plan of arrangement to an international stapled-unit REIT with an initial (NYSE/TSX) market capitalization of $1.8 billion. Granite REIT was the first REIT to qualify as a REIT for Canadian income tax purposes while holding both a Canadian and international portfolio; and also the first to achieve flow-through treatment for its U.S. portfolio by electing to be a partnership for U.S. purposes and utilizing a U.S. private REIT.
Morgan Stanley and RBC Capital Markets
Acted as Canadian counsel to the syndicate of underwriters led by Morgan Stanley and RBC Capital Markets in a cross-border US$280-million initial public offering of Sprott Physical Platinum and Palladium Trust.
The Royal Canadian Mint
Acted for The Royal Canadian Mint in its $600-million initial public offering of exchange-traded receipts under the Mint's new Canadian Gold Reserves program. This innovative offering was made in accordance with exemptive relief from the prospectus requirement and provides investors with direct ownership in physical gold held at the Mint's facilities.
Friedberg Mercantile Group
Acted as special tax counsel to Friedberg Mercantile Group in connection with a proposal at the special meeting of the unitholders of the Friedberg Global-Macro Hedge Fund and Friedberg Asset Allocation Fund to convert such funds to a fund-on-partnership structure.
MI Developments Inc.
Acted for MI Developments Inc. in the elimination of its dual-class share structure pursuant to a plan of arrangement under the Business Corporations Act (Ontario).
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.
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...
2013 Federal Budget Highlights
Mar. 21, 2013 - The Minister of Finance delivered the 2013 Canadian Federal Budget on March 21, 2013. Budget 2013 includes a number of significant proposals, including rules aimed at certain monetization transactions and character conversion forward transactions, expanding the rules limiting the trading of...