The MLI Enters into Force for Canada on 1 December 2019

On 1 December 2019, the MLI enters into force in Canada and will apply to Canada’s tax treaties that are covered by the MLI as early as 1 January 2020. Practitioners whose planning involves Canada should revisit their structures now that the MLI has been ratified in Canada. Any Canadian tax treaty notified as a Covered Tax Agreement will now, in effect, have a limitation of benefits clause, which means that structuring through jurisdictions with little substance will have to be revisited. There is still no guidance for funds utilizing an intermediary jurisdiction on whether the intermediary jurisdiction will be scrutinized and subject to the treaty abuse provisions of the MLI. Furthermore, through the MLI, Canada’s covered tax agreements now contain “look-back” requirements prior to the granting of a favourable dividend rate or capital gain treatment.