Cameco says tax dispute could end up in Supreme Court of Canada

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Saskatoon-based Cameco, who is currently involved in a tax dispute with the Canada Revenue Agency, said the case could end up in the Supreme Court of Canada and take years to resolve.The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) appeals a decision of the Federal Court of Appeal, which sided with Cameco in its dispute over reassessments issued by the CRA for the 2003 tax years , 2005 and 2006.

This 2018 ruling upheld a decision by the Tax Court of Canada that dealt with the company’s use of a subsidiary in Switzerland to sell and trade uranium.

The CRA argued that Cameco’s use of a subsidiary was a mechanism to avoid Canadian taxes.

Cameco President and CEO Tim Gitzel called the CRA’s decision unfair to employees, communities and other affected parties at the company.

“After two clear and decisive decisions in our favor from the Tax Court of Canada and the Federal Court of Appeal which confirmed that we have complied with the letter and the intention of the law, it is unbelievably disheartening, ”Gitzel said in a press release.

If the appeal continues, Cameco estimates it could take until the second half of 2022 before a decision is issued.

If leave to appeal is not granted, the dispute relating to the 2003, 2005 and 2006 taxation years is resolved in Cameco’s favor.

Call to change the laws

Gitzel called on the CRA to change the laws if the agency feels the current rules don’t accomplish what it wants rather than “pursuing the same arguments over and over.”

When asked if the laws in question were under review, a spokesperson for the CRA said the agency would look into an issue, but was not sure the agency would be able. to respond by today.

He said that if leave to appeal is granted, the company remains confident in its legal status.

The Court of Appeal’s ruling is not legally binding for subsequent tax years, 2007-13, which are also in dispute, although Cameco’s press release said the company believed the ruling should apply to the 2007 to 2019 taxation years.

Cameco’s press release states that the Government of Canada holds $ 303 million in cash and $ 482 million in letters of credit that Cameco was required to pay in installments due to its disputes with the CRA.

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