Audrey PelletierM. Fisc. Lawyer

Bureau

  • Montréal

Phone number

514 877-2903
514 871-8977 (other)

Bar Admission

  • Québec, 2018

Languages

  • English
  • French

Practice areas

Profile

Associate

Audrey Pelletier is a member of the Business Law group and her practice is focused on  tax controversy and tax litigation.

Prior to joining Lavery, Audrey Pelletier practised law with a boutique law firm specialized in tax litigation. Prior to that, she worked in an international accounting firm in tax litigation and tax planning, allowing her to diversify her practice and develop a critical approach to taxation.

Her practice covers all aspects of tax litigation, including negotiating out-of-court settlements and representing taxpayers before federal and provincial tax authorities, from the audit process to appeals before the courts.

Her expertise includes corporate and personal income tax, tax fraud, the general anti-avoidance rule and disputes involving alternative audit methods.

Publications

  • Décisions récentes en matière de règle générale anti-évitement(Recent decisions regarding the general anti-avoidance rule), Journal le Stratège, Association de planification fiscale et financière, March 2018 edition. 

Education

  • M. Fisc. (Master’s in Taxation), Université de Sherbrooke, 2017
  • LL.B., Université Laval, 2015

Boards and Professional Affiliations

  • Member of the Canadian Tax Foundation
  • Member of the Association de planification fiscale et financière (APFF)
  1. The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy: The Canada Revenue Agency takes action

    In response to the pandemic, the Canadian government launched in the spring of 2020 the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (the “CEWS”), a program that provides employers with a subsidy based on the remuneration paid to their employees and income they lost during the pandemic. Section 125.7 of the Income Tax Act (the “ITA”) sets out how the subsidy is to be calculated, and likely caused problems for those who had to interpret this ambiguous provision without supporting doctrine or jurisprudence. For instance, calculating the “qualifying revenue,” which is central to the CEWS calculation, involves many nuances. As an example, it requires that an entity’s revenue during qualifying periods be estimated and that certain items be excluded, such as “extraordinary items,” a term new to the ITA. The calculation of “eligible remuneration,” another important component of the CEWS calculation, also has a number of peculiarities, such as the inclusion of remuneration for related and managerial employees. The Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) now has taxpayer’s CEWS calculation in its sights. The CRA began auditing CEWS claims and issuing notices of assessment to taxpayers in an effort to reduce the amount of CEWS originally granted. With reductions in pre-pandemic period qualifying income or the inclusion of items that taxpayers had initially excluded in their qualifying period income, such assessments are likely to have a significant impact on the CEWS amounts to which taxpayers were entitled, especially for companies with a large number of employees. In specific cases, the CRA may also impose penalties which can be as high as 50% of the excess subsidy claimed. Although the time limit for amending CEWS claims has expired, submitting a fairness request to amend a previously filed claim may be possible in some circumstances. Moreover, when notices of assessment are issued, a notice of objection may be filed to contest the adjustments made by the CRA. It is important to keep all documentation related to the calculation of the “qualifying revenue,” your employees’ remuneration and any other accounting documents to support the CEWS amounts claimed. A proactive approach and early intervention in a CEWS audit will not only result in a more favourable outcome in a given case, but will also prevent many back-and-forths with the CRA. Lavery’s tax law team is familiar with the CEWS program and its intricacies, and can assist you should you be audited or should you receive a notice of assessment from the CRA.

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  2. The tax system to the rescue of print media

    Canadian newspapers’ loss of advertising revenues to the hands of internet giants over the past several years has jeopardized the very existence of many such newspapers. In 2018, our governments announced several advantageous tax measures in order to ensure the survival of independent print media. In 2019, two favourable tax statuses were added to the Income Tax Act1 (Canada) (the “ITA”)—that of qualified Canadian journalism organization (“QCJO”) and registered journalism organization (“RJO”). The statuses of QCJO and RJO offer the following advantages under the ITA: A 25% refundable labour tax credit for salaries or wages payable in respect of an eligible newsroom employee, effective January 1, 2019; A 15% non-refundable personal income tax credit to allow individuals to claim digital news subscription costs paid to a qualifying organization after 2019 and before 2025 The addition of RJOs as qualified donees. The qualified donee status allows an entity to issue donation receipts, and thus allows any person donating money or property to an RJO to benefit from a tax credit or deduction in the calculation of their taxable income. In addition, the status of RJO allows an entity to receive donations from other entities with a favourable tax status, such as a registered charity;2 An exemption from income tax levied under the ITA. An entity must meet several conditions to obtain the statuses of QCJO and RJO, and the application process can take several months. Obviously, having these statuses involves other federal and provincial tax consequences that must be assessed on a case-by-case basis before making such a request to the tax authorities. Our taxation team is experienced in this area of law and can help you to obtain the statuses of QCJO and RJO and assess the tax consequences involved. Subsections 149.1(1) and 248(1) of the Income Tax Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. 1 (5thsuppl.); Subsection 248(1), ITA “registered charity”.

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