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Understanding the CRA’s New Mandatory Disclosure Rules: Implications for Family-Owned Enterprises and High-Net-Worth Individuals

The Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) new Mandatory Disclosure Rules add complexities to tax planning and reorganizations. These rules are pivotal for family-owned enterprises and high-net-worth individuals engaged in sophisticated tax planning strategies.

Overview of the New Rules:

  1. Background:

The CRA has updated its rules to gather more information on aggressive tax planning strategies. This move aligns with global trends and recommendations from the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project.

  1. Key Elements:

The rules target two types of transactions: Reportable Transactions and Notifiable Transactions.

Reportable Transactions: These are transactions that meet specific criteria, such as contingent fee arrangements, confidential protection, or contractual protection, and aim to obtain a tax benefit.

Notifiable Transactions: These are transactions specifically designated by the Minister of National Revenue as requiring reporting, including those deemed abusive or of interest for further scrutiny.

  1. Reporting Requirements:

Transactions meeting the criteria must be reported within 90 days of commitment or execution.

The CRA requires reporting on Form RC312 for Reportable and Notifiable Transactions, and Form RC3133 for Reportable Uncertain Tax Treatments.

  1. Penalties:

Failure to report can lead to significant penalties, including $500 per week for individuals and $2,000 per week for large corporations, with maximum penalties based on the tax benefit involved.

Implications for Your Business:

  1. Increased Scrutiny:
  • Enterprises and individuals using complex tax strategies will face more stringent reporting obligations.
  • Certain transactions, despite their common use (e.g., estate freezes, shareholder loan repayments), are exempt from reporting if they don’t meet the specified hallmarks.
  1. Compliance Strategy:
  • Review all transactions for potential reporting under these new rules.
  • Engage with your tax advisors to ensure compliance and avoid penalties.
  1. Protecting Privilege:
  • Information subject to solicitor-client privilege is exempt from disclosure, but this exemption must be carefully evaluated.
  1. Planning Ahead:
  • Stay informed about Notifiable Transactions listed on the CRA website.
  • Consult with legal and tax professionals for proactive tax planning.


The CRA’s new Mandatory Disclosure Rules signify a shift towards greater transparency in tax planning. Family-owned enterprises and high-net-worth individuals need to understand these changes, reassess their tax strategies, and ensure compliance to avoid hefty penalties. As always, professional advice from Shajani CPA, tailored to your specific situation is invaluable in navigating these complex regulations.

For more information see The CRA Mandatory Disclosure Rules or schedule a meeting with the tax professionals at Shajani CPA.

This information is for discussion purposes only and should not be considered professional advice. There is no guarantee or warrant of information on this site and it should be noted that rules and laws change regularly. You should consult a professional before considering implementing or taking any action based on information on this site. Call our team for a consultation before taking any action. ©2023 Shajani CPA.

Shajani CPA is a CPA Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer firm and provides Accountant, Bookkeeping, Tax Advice and Tax Planning services.

Nizam Shajani, Partner, LLM, CPA, CA, TEP, MBA

I enjoy formulating plans that help my clients meet their objectives. It's this sense of pride in service that facilitates client success which forms the culture of Shajani CPA.

Shajani Professional Accountants has offices in Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta. We’re here to support you in all of your personal and business tax and other accounting needs.