Chia-yi Chua

Chua Chia-yi is a partner in McCarthy Tétrault’s Tax Group and leads McCarthy’s Tax Disputes group – recently recognised as International Tax Review’s 2011-2013 Canadian Tax Disputes Firm of the Year. His practice focuses on tax litigation and tax dispute resolution.

He has acted for companies in all of Canada’s significant industries, including the financial services, telecommunications, resource, retail, hospitality and transportation sectors. He has represented these clients before the Tax Court of Canada, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, and other appellate courts.

He has been recommended by Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2010 - 2014 as one of Canada’s leading tax litigation lawyers, “praised for his skills in strategy and his ability to explain complex issues to clients” and as acting “for large domestic corporations in tax dispute resolution and litigation.” Legalese’s Tax Directors Handbook 2014 describes him as a “dedicated and highly analytical lawyer”. He has been BV® Distinguished™ Peer Review Rated by Lexis/Nexis Martindale-Hubbell for his legal skills and professional ethics. Mr. Chua is recognized, in the Legal 500 Canada 2014 Guide as well as the 2010 - 2014 editions of Best Lawyers in Canada, as one of Canada’s leading tax lawyers. He has also been endorsed by PLC Which Lawyer? and the 2010 and 2011 PLC Cross-Border Tax Handbook. Finally, Mr. Chua is listed in the 2014 edition of the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, a guide to the leading law firms and practitioners in Canada, as a leading lawyer who is consistently recommended in the area of Litigation – Corporate Tax.

He regularly addresses the Tax Executives Institute, Inc. and has been invited this year to present on current tax litigation topics. He is a frequent speaker at conferences of auditors and appeals officers, and to the tax and finance departments of top North American corporations. He writes for various tax publications including Tax Litigation, for which he also serves on the Board of Editors.

He earned his JD from Osgoode Hall Law School. He was called to the Ontario and British Columbia bars in 1995 and 1997, respectively. In 2009, he was named as one of Canada’s Top 25 immigrants, in the inaugural National Canadian Immigrant Magazine award. Mr. Chua is a key member of McCarthy’s Asia Practice Group.

Some of his notable cases include:

  • Credit Suisse First Boston Legacy Limited v. Minister of National Revenue, (19 April 2012), Toronto T-1900-10 (Fed. Ct.), Minister abandoned appeal (30 May 2013), Toronto T-1900-10 (Fed. Ct.) – Minister obligated to produce materials relevant to the Minister’s own documentary production Demand
  • Tele-Mobile Co. Partnership et al. v. Canada (Revenue Agency), 2010 FC 839, rev’d at 2011 F.C.A. 89 – prohibiting Ministerial action at pre-assessment stage
  • Prévost Car Inc. v. Her Majesty the Queen [2010] 2 F.C.R. 65, aff’g 2008 D.T.C. 3080 (T.C.C.) – Tax treaty meaning of “beneficial owner”
  • Vision TV: Canada’s Faith Network el al, (Court File #: CV-09-379352), July 21, 2009 (Ont. S.C.J.) – Declaration of Trustees and Trust
  • Knights of Columbus v. Her Majesty the Queen, 2008 D.T.C. 3648 (T.C.C.) – Meaning of “permanent establishment” under the Canada – U.S. Tax Treaty
  • Knights of Columbus v. Her Majesty the Queen, (Court File #: 2007-2033(IT)G), May 9, 2007 (T.C.C.) – Motion to consolidate 2 tax appeals
  • Procter & Gamble Inc. v. Ontario, [2007] O.J. No. 4441 (O.C.A.), aff’g [2006] O.J. No. 3467 (Ont. S.C.J.) – Rental of pallets by a manufacturer not subject to sales tax
  • Procter & Gamble Inc. v. Ontario, 2009 CanLII 9475 (Ont. S.C.J.), aff’d at 2010 ONCA 149
  • IBM Canada Ltd. v. Ontario, [2007] O.J. No. 273 (Ont. S.C.J.) – Trial relating to the exclusion of expatriates’ remuneration from a taxpayer’s payroll tax base
  • IBM Canada Ltd. v. Ontario, [2006] O.J. No. 1624 (Ont. S.C.J.) – Conversion of Application to a Trial
  • Bell Canada v. Ontario, [2006] O.J. No. 1522 (Ont. S.C.J.) – Conversion of Application to a Trial
  • Bell Canada v. Ontario, [2006] O.J. No. 2399 (Ont. S.C.J.) – Onus of proof in a tax appeal
  • Bell Canada v. Ontario, IBM Canada Ltd. v. Ontario and Procter & Gamble Inc. v. Ontario [2006] O.J. No. 1011 (Ont. Div. Ct.), aff’g (2005) 79 O.R. (3d) 143 (S.C.J.) – Effective use of court procedures on disputes involving questions of law
  • Bell Canada v. Ontario, [2005] O.J. No. 4111 (Ont. S.C.J.); Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. v. Ontario, [2005] O.J. No. 4111 (Ont. S.C.J.); Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club v. Ontario, [2005] O.J. No. 4111 (Ont. S.C.J.); CIBC World Markets v. Ontario, [2005] O.J. No. 4111 (Ont. S.C.J.) – Minister cannot assess taxpayers relying on purported contracts not sanctioned by the law (sales tax)
  • SRI Realty Inc. v. Scotts Restaurants Inc., Court File No. 02-CV-236071CMI, October 4, 2002 (S.C.J.) – Rectification under the Ontario Land Titles Act
  • Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club et al v. Ontario, [2005] O.J. No. 485 (C.A.) rev’g (2004) 238 D.L.R. (4th) 536 (S.C.J.), leave to appeal to the S.C.C. dismissed [2005] S.C.C.A. No. 181 – Away venues are not “permanent establishment[s]” of Ontario professional sports team (payroll tax)
  • Ontario Hydro v. Ontario, (1999) 44 O.R. (3d) 1 (C.A.), leave to appeal to the S.C.C. dismissed [1999] S.C.C.A. No. 375 – Determining the scope of the Minister’s power to determine “fair value” (sales tax)
  • Extendicare International v. Ontario, (2000) 47 O.R. (3d) 1 (C.A.) – Lease termination payments not subject to retails sales tax
  • Progressive Packaging Ltd. v. Ontario, [1999] O.J. No. 3613 (C.A.) aff’g [1998] O.J. No. 4798 (Ont. Ct. Gen. Div.) – Remuneration paid from or through an Ontario permanent establishment to non-Ontario employees subject to payroll tax
  • Teck Corporation v. Ontario, (1999) 124 O.A.C. 58 – Inactive mine does not qualify as “existing mine for expansion exemption” (mining tax)
  • Toronto and Region Conservation Authority v. Ontario, (1999) 9 M.P.L.R. (3d) 312 (Ont. S.C.J.) – Meaning of “local board” and scope of Ministerial discretion in paying rebates (sales tax)
  • Wildenburg Holdings v. Ontario, 132 O.A.C. 216, aff’g (1998) 98 D.T.C. 6462 (Ont. Ct. Gen. Div.) – Debts held to be assumed by corporate partners (not partnership) hence ITA s.18(4) thin capitalization rules apply (corporations tax)
  • Upper Lakes Shipping v. Ontario, (1998) 107 O.A.C. 155, leave to appeal to the S.C.C. dismissed [1998] S.C.C.A. No. 89 – Use of GAAP to interpret meaning of “earned capital or any other surplus” (capital tax)
  • W.E. Roth Construction Limited v. Ontario, (1999) 99 D.T.C. 5791 (Ont. S.C.J.), aff’d (2001) O.A.C. 366 – Fees paid to Alberta management company with Ontario permanent establishment held not to be in respect of services “normally” performed by employees of the Alberta permanent establishment (capital tax)
  • Glen Styres v. Ontario, [1999] PTR 4131 (C.A.) rev’g [1998] O.J. No. 6382 (Ont. Ct. Gen. Div.) – Determining the true owner of seized tobacco products (tobacco tax)


He has either authored or co-authored the following:

  • Modern Tax Warfare: How to Fight the CRA, International Tax Review, March 1, 2012
  • Risky Business – The CRA Audit Story, Tax Executive Institute Toronto Chapter’s Inaugural Newsletter, Volume 1, Issue 1, September 2011
  • The Risky Business of Canadian Tax Audits, International Tax Review, June 1, 2011
  • Velcro: The Undaunted Crown, Canadian Tax Highlights, Vol. 19, No. 4, April 2011
  • Enlightening Power: (Huppe v. The Queen), CCH Tax Topics, No. 2033, February 2011
  • Trends In Sales Tax Litigation, Canadian Tax Foundation Conference Report, 2008
  • W.I. Innes, C. Chua, R.B. Bissell, Federal Tax Practice (Toronto: CCH, 2007)
  • Taxation of Private Corporations and Their Shareholders, Fourth Edition (2010), Bleiwas and Hutson (eds.)
  • “Lipson v. R.: The Shuffle of Cheques, Decks and Equity”, Tax Litigation Journal, Vol. XVI, No. 2, May 2009, p. 983
  • “Wait, Don’t Strike Those Assumptions!”, (CCH Tax Topics, No. 1908, October 2, 2008)
  • Limit the Uncertainty, CA Magazine, April 2006
  • “Back to Reality: The Future of Binding Agreements in Canada” (2006) Vol. 41 (7) Tax Notes International 623
  • Costing Nothing to Put a Twinkle in Someone’s Eye – The Johnson & Johnson Decision, OBA Taxation Law Newsletter Volume 13, No. 4, May 2003
  • Ontario Tax Cases – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Ontario Bar Association Tax Law Update, Vol. 12, No. 3, March 2002
  • Collateral Damage – Attacking Ontario Tax Assessments, Tax Litigation Journal, Vol. X, No. 3, 2002, p. 634
  • Little Label, Lumber Loosely Linked – Comment on the Canadian Forest Products case, B.C. Tax Reporter No. 418, April 2001
  • Reborn Free: Tax Status After Amalgamation, Ontario Tax Reporter, No. 465, February 2001
  • Find Your Remedy Elsewhere! – Comment on the Waters case, B.C. Tax Reporter, No. 414, December 2000
  • When Time Began – Comment on the Carlson case, Canadian Tax Highlights, Vol. 8, No. 11, November 2000
  • The Exorbitant Price of Losing a Test Case: the QEW 427 Costs Award, Ontario Tax Reporter, No. 461, October 2000

Speaking Engagements

He has spoken alone or with others on the following:

  • Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association Inc. – Effectively Managing CRA Audits, Ottawa, Ontario, May 16, 2012
  • Notices of Objection: From Drafting to Resolution, Canadian Tax Foundation, Toronto, Ontario, April 3, 2012
  • Rectification – Practical Issues: 63rd Annual Conference of the Canadian Tax Foundation, Montreal, Quebec, November 29, 2011
  • McCarthy Tétrault’s Managing and Winning Tax Disputes Seminars (June 2011, October 2011 and March-April 2012)
  • Tax Executives Institute Tax Litigation Day, Toronto, Ontario, September 15, 2011
  • Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association Inc. – CRA Requirements: Can the Pendulum Swing Back In Favour of the Taxpayer, Collingwood, Ontario, May 18, 2011
  • Osgoode Hall International Tax Seminar – Treaty Shopping, Toronto, Ontario, March 31, 2011
  • Trends in Sales Tax Litigation: 60th Annual Conference of the Canadian Tax Foundation, Calgary, Alberta, November 2008
  • CCH Corporate Tax Update Webinar, Toronto, Ontario, December 11, 2007
  • Canadian Tax Foundation, Young Practitioners Seminar, Toronto, Ontario, October 31, 2006
  • Tax Executives Institute, 2006 Canadian Tax Course, Toronto, Ontario, September 21, 2006
  • CICA National Conference on Income Taxes, Toronto, Ontario, September 20, 2006
  • Tax Executives Institute – Annual Ontario Day, Toronto, Ontario, 9 consecutive years (2000 – 2008)
  • Provincial Payroll Taxes – Ignore Them At Your Own Peril, Tax Executives Institute – 35th Annual Canadian Conference, Hull, Québec, May 8, 2001
  • When and How to Fix Mistakes, Tax Executives Institute – 39th Annual Canadian Conference, Gatineau, Québec, May 3, 200
  • Mock Trial, Tax Executives Institute – 40th Annual Canadian Conference, Gatineau, Québec, May 9, 2006
  • Recent Jurisprudence, Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants – Annual Commodity Tax Symposium, Ottawa, Ontario (2004, 2011)
  • Brain Drains and Gains: Cross-Border Relocation Law, Canadian Bar Association Ontario Chapter, Toronto, Ontario, June 15, 2001

Professional Affiliations

  • Member, Advocates’ Society
  • Member, Canadian Tax Foundation
  • Member, Canadian Bar Association
  • Member, Ontario Bar Association (Taxation Section)
  • Speakers Bureau, Passages to Canada

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