Jamie M. Wilks 

Co-Chair, Commodity Tax and Customs
Toronto  t: 416.865.7804  |  e: jamie.wilks@mcmillan.ca

Jamie M. Wilks

Toronto
Brookfield Place, Suite 4400
181 Bay Street
Toronto, Ontario M5J 2T3

t: 416.865.7804
e: jamie.wilks@mcmillan.ca

overview

Jamie is a commodity tax, customs and international trade lawyer at McMillan LLP. His taxation practice focuses on commodity taxes, such as excise duties and taxes, provincial retail sales taxes (PST) and multi-stage value-added taxes (VAT), including the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) and the Québec Sales Tax (QST), including the e-commerce initiatives requiring non-resident suppliers to collect QST from Québec consumers (to impose the so-called "netflix tax") that took effect in 2019.

He advises on how to minimize or eliminate tax and duty costs, assists in obtaining duty and tax refunds, and has successfully disputed proposed and actual assessments resulting in substantial savings for clients.  He advises on customs tariff classification, valuation and tariff treatment (origin) of imported goods to ensure compliance, and to minimize or eliminate duties, to the extent possible.

Jamie helps clients practically navigate the complex world of sales and commodity taxation by:

  • Assisting with GST/HST compliance measures and ruling requests, voluntary disclosures, audits, objections and appeals
  • Advising on commodity-specific excise taxes and duties imposed by the federal and provincial governments, such as on cannabis, alcohol, tobacco, and fuel
  • Advising on the application of commodity-specific taxes
  • Helping non-Canadian entities understand the impact of the federal GST/HST on their business operations in Canada
  • Offering legal tax planning and structuring advice in purchase and sale transactions to minimize commodity tax liabilities and costs
  • Providing advice and guidance on commodity tax compliance
  • Advising clients on how to minimize commodity tax assessment risk
  • Preparing and filing voluntary disclosures to avoid penalties, fines and prosecutions
  • Advising non-residents of Canada/provinces about commodity tax registration and compliance obligations
  • Preparing tax ruling and interpretation requests
  • Providing legal advice concerning commodity tax and customs priorities in the context of Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) and Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA) proceedings
  • Advising corporate directors and officers concerning their duties and obligations to ensure their companies comply with tax and other laws, including to avoid personal liabilities and offences

Jamie has advised clients on how to comply with a wide range of international economic and trade sanctions, including against Russia, Ukraine, and the boycotts against Syria and Iran, sought and obtained comfort letters from Global Affairs Canada to confirm that proposed transactions do not contravene sanctions, prepared and submitted applications to obtain export permits/licences, and represented clients in defending against enforcement actions for alleged contraventions of sanctions.

Jamie assists clients in becoming compliant with the myriad of complex regulatory rules that govern international trade in goods (such as import and export controls, food safety regulatory reform, plant pesticide controls, motor vehicle safety standards, and origin labelling requirements).

Jamie has advised clients from a broad range of industries and sectors including major national and international financial institutions, private and public investment funds, real estate conglomerates, public corporations, telecommunications and technology companies, advertising agencies, retailers, manufacturers, health care, entrepreneurs and non-profit organizations.

Jamie has written extensively for various publications and spoken on numerous occasions at conferences and symposiums on many different aspects of commodity taxation, customs and trade law, and has prepared submissions on behalf of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) Commodity Tax, Customs and Trade Section to the Canada Revenue Agency and Department of Finance relating to proposed GST/HST amendments and GST/HST administrative interpretations and policies.

Publications

Budget 2019: New Excise Duty Regime For Three New Classes of Legalized Cannabis Products, and GST/HST Amendments for Health Care and Zero-Emission Passenger Vehicles
Review of Judicial Review in the GST/HST and Ontario RST Context
- Case Comment on Westminster Savings Credit Union v Attorney-General of Canada, Federal Court, 2019 FC 304, and BFL Canada Risk v. Minister of Finance, Ontario Superior Court, 2018 ONSC 7349
Consideration of the Scope of an "Unfunded Benefit Plan" for the Purposes of Taxation under the Ontario Retail Sales Tax Act
- Case Comment on Capcorp Planning (2003) Inc. v Minister of Revenue, Ontario Court of Appeal, 2018 ONCA 406 (reversing Ontario Superior Court at 2016 ONSC 5041)
Finance Proposes Amendments to Limit Holding Company - Input Tax Credit Claims ("ITC") and Seeks Consultations on Further Possible Changes
Significant Changes for Businesses Making Taxable Supplies into Québec
Surtax! What To Do Now
Tit for Tat
Budget 2018: Government Proceeds with "Investment Limited Partnership" GST/HST Measures and Holding Corporation Consultations
Credit Where Credit is Due
- GST/HST case comment on North Shore Power Group Inc. v The Queen, Federal Court of Appeal, 2018 FCA 9 (reversing Tax Court of Canada at 2017 TCC 01)
Your Halloween Edition: The Ghost of the Terminated GST/HST Deemed Trust
A New Tax on Investment Funds: Distributions to General Partners (GPs) of "Investment Limited Partnerships" Possibly Subject to GST/HST
Supreme Court Justices Drop the Gloves Over Tariff Classification
Quebec Retail Sales Tax Act Repealed 25 Years Ago Is Still Relevant For Determining ITC Recapture
- Case comment on Triple M Metal LP v The Queen, Tax Court of Canada, 2016 TCC 293
The Canada Revenue Agency Proposes Draft Memorandum for Voluntary Disclosures Involving GST/HST and Other Excise Tax Matters
Budget 2017: Proposed GST/HST Amendments
Club Intrawest: Is it a supply? If so, what is the supply and where is it made?
Proposed GST/HST changes for investment limited partnerships and other investment funds
Senate Committee Report Promotes Dismantling Internal Trade Barriers within Canada
Let the Good Times Roll: Court Allows the Free Flow of Liquor Across Provincial Borders
Budget 2016: Reporting of "Grandfathered" New Home Sales
Budget 2016: GST / HST Changes Affecting Charities
Budget 2016: Proposed GST/HST Amendments
Canada Border Services Agency ("CBSA") Revises its Policy on Canadian Customs Voluntary Disclosures
Shining a Light on Solar Panels: Government Promotion of Renewable Energy Leads to Trade Disputes and Trade Remedies
Government can Impose Penalties on Large Businesses for Deficiently Reporting Recapture of Input Tax Credits ("ITCs")
Reduction of Input Tax Credit ("ITC") Recapture Rate for Ontario Portion of HST ("OHST") starting July 1, 2015
Finally! CBSA to Allow Duty Refund Claims on Downward Transfer or Sale Price Adjustments
GST/HST Closely Related Election Amendments – Tips & Traps
Accessing Input Tax Credits ("ITCs") of Holding Companies and Partners and Structuring of Partnerships to Reduce GST/HST Costs
To Tax or Not to Tax, the Supply is the Question: Case Comment – Casa Blanca Homes Ltd. v. R
Budget 2014: GST/HST Measures
Surprise! The Impact of Transfer Price Adjustments on Canadian Customs Valuation and Compliance
Eligibility for Input Tax Credit ("ITC") Claims on Initial Public Offering ("IPO") and Placement Expenses – and Beyond
Value for Duty – What Should be Included in the "Price Paid or Payable" under the Transaction Value Method?
GST refund claim made by A OK Payday Loans Inc. ("AOK") not A OK
Canada Border Services Agency ("CBSA") gets specific about 'specific information'
Budget 2013: GST/HST and customs tariff measures
Educating and Training Vocational Schools and Other Educational Institutions How to Comply with Complex GST/HST Rules
SCC resolves interaction between garnishment and bankruptcy provisions
Canada Revenue Agency provides list of exempt and taxable health care service providers
Crown denied GST priority under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act: Case Comment on Century Services Inc v Canada (Attorney General) – 2010 SCC 60
Place of Supply Rules
Finance announces changes to HST rules for funds
Significant Proposed HST Changes for Funds and their Managers
Place of Supply Rules
International Contract Manual - Chapter 49 Canada
Customs Valuation Update
Are Fund Investment Management Services Supplies of Financial Services?
Reconsidering 'Sale for Export to Canada to a Purchaser in Canada' in Multi-tiered Sales Arrangements
The AUJLA Decision: Are Directors Liable when a Corporation is Revived?
How to Withstand CBSA's Scrutiny of Import Origin Claims and Import/Export Controls
The Federal Court of Appeal Reinstates a GST Assessment
How to Reduce Your GST Burden
Anti-Dumping, Countervail and Safeguards
Taxation of Mining Hedging Transactions
Canadian Customs and Trade Law Developments
Export and Import Controls
Case Comment: Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club et al v. Ontario (Minister of Finance) - Meaning of "Permanent Establishment" for Ontario Employer Health Tax and Beyond
Availability to Claim Input Tax Credits in an Insolvency
The Inconsistent Treatment of GST Priorities Between the BIA and CCAA
What is the Essence of a Shower Curtain Set? (Article on Customs Tariff Classification Case)
The FCA's FosterGrant Decision (Article on Customs Valuation Case)
Reasonable Expectation of Profit (REOP) in the GST Context
Buying Commissions Non-Dutiable in CITT Case
The Inconsistent Treatment of GST/HST Priorities
New GST Rules for Imported Goods
Case Comment: State Farm et al. v. The Queen - Can the Brain Render a Service to the Hand?
Case Comment: State Farm et al. v. The Queen - Can the Brain Render a Service to the Hand?
Royalties and Value for Duty
Case Comment: Ko et al. v. The Queen - You Can't Lose with Real Estate, Can You?
Living With 'AMPS' - The New Customs Penalty System
Collateral Damage: GST and Income Taxation of Settlements and Release Payments
Collateral Damage: GST and Income Taxation of Settlements and Release Payments
Opportunities for Canadian Customs Duty Relief and Recovery on Royalties and Licence Fees
Customs Valuation in Canada and Transfer Pricing in Canada
Case Comment: Mattel Canada v. MNR - Customs Law Settled In Mattel: Or Is It?
Permanent Establishments: Tax Tips & Traps

News

71 McMillan Lawyers Named in the 2020 Edition of Best Lawyers in Canada
60 McMillan Lawyers Recognized in the 2019 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory
65 McMillan Lawyers Named in the 2019 Edition of Best Lawyers in Canada
Margaret McNee recognized as Mutual Funds Lawyer of the Year, along with 58 McMillan Lawyers in the 2018 Best Lawyers in Canada Report
61 McMillan lawyers recognized in The Best Lawyers in Canada 2017
McMillan lawyers well-represented in the 2016 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory
60 McMillan lawyers recognized in the 10th Edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada
McMillan helps complete the cross-border sale of assets of Montreal, Maine & Atlantic railway
McMillan lawyers are well represented in the 2014 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory

Education

  • University of Toronto, LLB - 1987

Year Of Call

  • Called to the Ontario bar - 1989

Practices

tax
international trade
business law
customs regulation
anti-dumping and anti-subsidy remedies
import and export controls and permits
international trade regulation
international economic and trade sanctions
cryptocurrency and blockchain
white collar defence and government investigations

Industries

automotive
banking, finance and insurance
food, beverage and agribusiness
transportation
infrastructure
commercial real estate

Directorships and Professional Associations

  • Customs and Legislative Committee of the Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters (CAIE)
  • CBA International Law Section, Customs and Trade Sub-Committee
  • CBA Commodity Tax, Customs and Trade Section
  • CBA International Trade and Investment Sub-Committee
  • American Bar Association (ABA), International Law Section (ILS), Customs Committee
  • ABA, ILS, Canada Committee

Awards & Rankings

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in Canada (2020) as a leading lawyer in the area of Tax Law
  • Recognized in the 2019 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as a Repeatedly Recommended lawyer in the area Commodity Tax/Customs
  • Recognized in the Best Lawyers in Canada (2019) as a leading practitioner in the area of Tax Law
  • Recognized in the Best Lawyers in Canada (2018) as a leading practitioner in the area of Tax Law
  • Recognized in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2016 as a leading lawyer in the area of Commodity Tax/Customs
vcard

Jamie is a commodity tax, customs and international trade lawyer at McMillan LLP. His taxation practice focuses on commodity taxes, such as excise duties and taxes, provincial retail sales taxes (PST) and multi-stage value-added taxes (VAT), including the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) and the Québec Sales Tax (QST), including the e-commerce initiatives requiring non-resident suppliers to collect QST from Québec consumers (to impose the so-called "netflix tax") that took effect in 2019.

He advises on how to minimize or eliminate tax and duty costs, assists in obtaining duty and tax refunds, and has successfully disputed proposed and actual assessments resulting in substantial savings for clients.  He advises on customs tariff classification, valuation and tariff treatment (origin) of imported goods to ensure compliance, and to minimize or eliminate duties, to the extent possible.

Jamie helps clients practically navigate the complex world of sales and commodity taxation by:

  • Assisting with GST/HST compliance measures and ruling requests, voluntary disclosures, audits, objections and appeals
  • Advising on commodity-specific excise taxes and duties imposed by the federal and provincial governments, such as on cannabis, alcohol, tobacco, and fuel
  • Advising on the application of commodity-specific taxes
  • Helping non-Canadian entities understand the impact of the federal GST/HST on their business operations in Canada
  • Offering legal tax planning and structuring advice in purchase and sale transactions to minimize commodity tax liabilities and costs
  • Providing advice and guidance on commodity tax compliance
  • Advising clients on how to minimize commodity tax assessment risk
  • Preparing and filing voluntary disclosures to avoid penalties, fines and prosecutions
  • Advising non-residents of Canada/provinces about commodity tax registration and compliance obligations
  • Preparing tax ruling and interpretation requests
  • Providing legal advice concerning commodity tax and customs priorities in the context of Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) and Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA) proceedings
  • Advising corporate directors and officers concerning their duties and obligations to ensure their companies comply with tax and other laws, including to avoid personal liabilities and offences

Jamie has advised clients on how to comply with a wide range of international economic and trade sanctions, including against Russia, Ukraine, and the boycotts against Syria and Iran, sought and obtained comfort letters from Global Affairs Canada to confirm that proposed transactions do not contravene sanctions, prepared and submitted applications to obtain export permits/licences, and represented clients in defending against enforcement actions for alleged contraventions of sanctions.

Jamie assists clients in becoming compliant with the myriad of complex regulatory rules that govern international trade in goods (such as import and export controls, food safety regulatory reform, plant pesticide controls, motor vehicle safety standards, and origin labelling requirements).

Jamie has advised clients from a broad range of industries and sectors including major national and international financial institutions, private and public investment funds, real estate conglomerates, public corporations, telecommunications and technology companies, advertising agencies, retailers, manufacturers, health care, entrepreneurs and non-profit organizations.

Jamie has written extensively for various publications and spoken on numerous occasions at conferences and symposiums on many different aspects of commodity taxation, customs and trade law, and has prepared submissions on behalf of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) Commodity Tax, Customs and Trade Section to the Canada Revenue Agency and Department of Finance relating to proposed GST/HST amendments and GST/HST administrative interpretations and policies.

2019
Review of Judicial Review in the GST/HST and Ontario RST Context
- Case Comment on Westminster Savings Credit Union v Attorney-General of Canada, Federal Court, 2019 FC 304, and BFL Canada Risk v. Minister of Finance, Ontario Superior Court, 2018 ONSC 7349

Sales, Tax, Customs & Trade Journal, Volume II, 2019

2018
Consideration of the Scope of an "Unfunded Benefit Plan" for the Purposes of Taxation under the Ontario Retail Sales Tax Act
- Case Comment on Capcorp Planning (2003) Inc. v Minister of Revenue, Ontario Court of Appeal, 2018 ONCA 406 (reversing Ontario Superior Court at 2016 ONSC 5041)

Sales, Tax, Customs & Trade Journal, Volume XV, No.4, 2018

July 2018
Surtax! What To Do Now

International Trade Bulletin

June 2018
Tit for Tat

International Trade Bulletin

2018
Credit Where Credit is Due
- GST/HST case comment on North Shore Power Group Inc. v The Queen, Federal Court of Appeal, 2018 FCA 9 (reversing Tax Court of Canada at 2017 TCC 01)

Sales, Tax, Customs & Trade Journal, Volume II, No. 2, 2018

September 2017
Quebec Retail Sales Tax Act Repealed 25 Years Ago Is Still Relevant For Determining ITC Recapture
- Case comment on Triple M Metal LP v The Queen, Tax Court of Canada, 2016 TCC 293

Sales, Tax, Customs & Trade Journal,

Volume XIII, No.4, 2017 

March 2017
Budget 2017: Proposed GST/HST Amendments

Budget 2017: Proposed GST/HST Amendments

February 2014
Budget 2014: GST/HST Measures
Tax Bulletin
2014
Value for Duty – What Should be Included in the "Price Paid or Payable" under the Transaction Value Method?
Federated Press, Sales and Use Tax, Vol. XII, No. 4
2013
Educating and Training Vocational Schools and Other Educational Institutions How to Comply with Complex GST/HST Rules
Federated Press, Sales and Use Tax, Vol. XII, No. 3
January 2012
Commodity Tax/Customs
2012 LEXPERT/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada
May 2011
Crown denied GST priority under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act: Case Comment on Century Services Inc v Canada (Attorney General) – 2010 SCC 60
First published by the Canadian Tax Foundation in (2011) vol. 59, no. 1 Canadian Tax Journal.
March 2011
Place of Supply Rules
Presented at: HST in Ontario, sponsored by Lorman Education Services
July 2010
Finance announces changes to HST rules for funds
McMillan Client Advisory
March 2010
Place of Supply Rules
Presented at: Harmonizing GST and PST, sponsored by Lorman Education Services
March 2010
International Contract Manual - Chapter 49 Canada
West, a Thomson Reuters Business
January 2009
Customs Valuation Update
Presentation at Infonex Customs Compliance & Border Security Program
July 2008
Reconsidering 'Sale for Export to Canada to a Purchaser in Canada' in Multi-tiered Sales Arrangements
Federated Press, Vol. IX, No. 2
March 2008
The AUJLA Decision: Are Directors Liable when a Corporation is Revived?
Vol. XXII No. 2 GST & Commodity Tax
January 2008
How to Withstand CBSA's Scrutiny of Import Origin Claims and Import/Export Controls
Presented at: Customs Compliance and Border Security
Best Practices in Regulatory Issues and Cross-Border Security, January 22 and 23, 2008
June 2007
The Federal Court of Appeal Reinstates a GST Assessment
Ontario Dentist Magazine
February 2007
How to Reduce Your GST Burden
Ontario Dentist Magazine
December 2005
Anti-Dumping, Countervail and Safeguards
The Hispanic Ontario Lawyer Association (HOLA) International Trade Regulation Seminar
November 2005
Taxation of Mining Hedging Transactions
International Law Office Newsletter
November 2005
Canadian Customs and Trade Law Developments
McMillan Conference - Update 2005, Emerging Trends for Decision Makers
September 2005
Export and Import Controls
Presentation
July 2005
Case Comment: Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club et al v. Ontario (Minister of Finance) - Meaning of "Permanent Establishment" for Ontario Employer Health Tax and Beyond
Canadian Tax Journal (2005), Vol. 53, No. 2, p. 475
May 2005
Availability to Claim Input Tax Credits in an Insolvency
GST & Commodity Tax, May 2005
March 2005
The Inconsistent Treatment of GST Priorities Between the BIA and CCAA
GST & Commodity Tax, Vol. XIX, No.2
May 2004
Reasonable Expectation of Profit (REOP) in the GST Context
Taxation Law, Volume 14, No. 3, p. 42
March 2004
Buying Commissions Non-Dutiable in CITT Case
Tradeweek - Vol. 115, No.9
March 2004
The Inconsistent Treatment of GST/HST Priorities
GST & Commodity Tax
February 2004
New GST Rules for Imported Goods
World Corporate Finance Review - Volume 4, No. 2
January 2004
Case Comment: State Farm et al. v. The Queen - Can the Brain Render a Service to the Hand?
Canadian Tax Journal (2003) Vol. 51, No. 5, p. 1987
December 2003
Case Comment: State Farm et al. v. The Queen - Can the Brain Render a Service to the Hand?
Canadian Tax Journal (2003), Vol. 51, No.5, p. 1987
December 2003
Royalties and Value for Duty
GST and Commodity Tax
August 2003
Case Comment: Ko et al. v. The Queen - You Can't Lose with Real Estate, Can You?
Canadian Tax Journal (2003), Vol. 51, No.2, p. 944
August 2003
Living With 'AMPS' - The New Customs Penalty System
Canadian Customs Advisory Bulletin
November 2002
Collateral Damage: GST and Income Taxation of Settlements and Release Payments
Taxation Law, Volume 13, Number 2
Co-authored by Michael Friedman and Jamie Wilks
June 19, 2002
Customs Valuation in Canada and Transfer Pricing in Canada
"Commodity Tax for the General Tax Practitioner" conference, sponsored by the Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters
June 2001
Case Comment: Mattel Canada v. MNR - Customs Law Settled In Mattel: Or Is It?
Canadian Tax Journal (2001), Vol. 49, No. 6
October 2000
Permanent Establishments: Tax Tips & Traps
CICA Commodity Tax Symposium