Pilot project: Pre-ruling consultations



As a pilot project, the Income Tax Rulings Directorate (ITRD) is offering taxpayers and/or their authorized representatives (the Applicant) a new service called a pre-ruling consultation. Originally announced as a one-year pilot project in October 2013, the project has been extended until the end of 2015.

The pre-ruling consultation will allow the Applicant to discuss with ITRD professionals (the ITRD Representatives) any unique, new technical issue that is critical to the structuring of seriously proposed transactions in advance of submitting a ruling request. This service will generally be provided via teleconference, although a meeting may be arranged, by exception. The purpose of the pre-ruling consultation is to reduce the likelihood of the taxpayer incurring significant costs as a result of submitting a request for a ruling that ITRD will be unable to provide. This service will be provided at the discretion of ITRD and will be subject to operational requirements.

Terms of Reference


  • An Applicant must submit a request in writing using the application form for a pre-ruling consultation (the Application) in Appendix 1.
  • Appended to the Application will be a submission from the Applicant setting out:
    1. the name(s) of the taxpayer(s);
    2. all relevant facts and proposed transactions related to the unique, new technical issue(s);
    3. an explanation of the issue(s); and
    4. the Applicant’s views in relation to the issue(s), including the research relevant thereto.
  • A deposit of $2,500 (plus GST/HST) must be submitted with the Application along with an undertaking by the Applicant to pay such further fees as may be payable. The deposit is refundable to the extent that it is not used to pay for the Pre-ruling consultation or any subsequent ruling.
  • The fee for the pre-ruling consultation will be $100 (plus GST/HST) an hour for the first 10 hours and $155 (plus GST/HST) an hour for each subsequent hour. All hours spent by all ITRD Representatives involved in the pre-ruling consultation will be charged. These fees will be charged regardless of the outcome of the pre-ruling consultation. (If an advance income tax ruling request is subsequently received, the fee per hour charged for the ruling will take into consideration the hours spent on the pre-ruling consultation, such that, if 10 hours were charged for the pre-ruling consultation at $100 (plus GST/HST) per hour, all hours spent on the ruling will be charged at $155 (plus GST/HST) per hour.)


  • Within 3 to 4 days of receipt of an Application, ITRD will contact the Applicant to indicate whether the pre-ruling consultation request is accepted.
  • Subject to operational requirements, ITRD will schedule a teleconference within 3 weeks from the date on which a complete Application is received.
  • ITRD may request additional information prior to the teleconference.
  • Agreement to participate in a pre-ruling consultation does not constitute the commencement of the ruling process and it will not give priority if an advance income tax ruling request is ultimately submitted.

Pre-ruling consultation

  • A reasonable number of representatives on behalf of the Applicant may participate in the teleconference.
  • The Applicant agrees in the Application not to record the teleconference.


  • The ITRD Representatives will inform the Applicant of whether ITRD would consider the issue further in the context of an advance income tax ruling.
  • ITRD’s indication of a willingness to consider the issue further in the context of an advance income tax ruling request does not indicate that a positive ruling will be issued and the Applicant should not take any comfort regarding ITRD’s position on technical issues or the tax consequences of the proposed transactions. (It is important to note that in the context of a pre-ruling consultation, ITRD will not have had the opportunity to review in detail all the relevant information that would be submitted with an advance income tax ruling request.)
  • Any comments provided by ITRD Representatives will not be binding on the Canada Revenue Agency.
  • Any information provided to ITRD may be shared with other Branches of the Canada Revenue Agency or the Department of Finance, within the limits of section 241 of the Income Tax Act.

February 2015

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