Canada: Tax And AC/DC

Last Updated: September 22 2015
Article by Kim G.C. Moody

Those of you who know me well will know that my first career choice was to be a music teacher. I studied and played music classically well into my teens. When I realized that my talents would likely not provide me a stable living, I switched gears and became a Chartered Accountant. I still love music – all types of music with a few exceptions – but I have a soft spot for classic rock which is often playing in my office. One of my all time favorite bands is AC/DC. Their straight-ahead blues rock with very simple (almost comical) lyrics is exactly what I like to listen to when I need to turn my brain off (which doesn't happen very often). Accordingly, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to attend AC/DC's concert in Edmonton on September 20, 2015, with my fellow directors of Moodys Gartner Tax Law – Greg Gartner, Dale Franko, and Roy Berg. It was a cold and wet night, but that didn't dampen the spirit of the crowd.

Classic rock concerts and tax go together like wine and cheese. The last time that AC/DC was on tour in Canada was 2009 and I attended their concert in Vancouver. I wrote a blog about tax and AC/DC back then and I'm continuing that tradition here. So what was I thinking about while listening? Well, here was their set list and each song inspired a different thought about tax:

  1. Rock or Bust – This is AC/DC's lead single from their latest album. It's classic AC/DC and a very short song. The main anthem is "...in rock we trust, it's rock or bust..."  That line reminds me of the Income Tax Act and the Internal Revenue Code. We trust that the answer to most tax questions is in the Income Tax Act or Code, related case law and guidance from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) or Internal Revenue Service (IRS) administrative positions. If you're getting your tax guidance from anywhere else, it's a bust.
  2. Shoot to Thrill – This single is from AC/DC's 1980 Back in Black album. It reminds me of professionals who are not qualified to dispense tax advice but get a thrill in dispensing such advice. Unfortunately, much of their "advice" will often get "killed" when reviewed by the CRA/IRS and the taxpayer will not be thrilled.
  3. Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be – This is one of the tracks from the Let There Be Rock album released in 1977. Some tax fraudsters – like those that we recently wrote about –  likely fool themselves into believing that hell ain't a bad place to be.
  4. Back in Black – This is the namesake single of the smash 1980 album of the same name released shortly after their former lead singer, Bon Scott, died. It has been reported the album's all-black cover was designed as a "sign of mourning" for Scott. Given such, this song and album reminds me of the tax consequences of death. Death can cause deemed dispositions at fair market value for Canadian purposes. It can also cause US estate tax to be payable for US citizens or persons domicile in the US. Canadians can also pay US estate tax on any US situs property that is owned.  The old saying is true... "In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."
  5. Play Ball – This was the first single released from AC/DC's new album. While the song is not necessarily about professional athletes, it reminds me of the significant tax challenges that athletes have when dealing with contracts – especially when they have cross-border earnings.
  6. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap – This was the title track from AC/DC's third studio album which was released in 1976. While the song is clearly about murder for hire, the song always reminds me of tax advisors who lead clients down the wrong path and take pleasure in doing so by offering cheap rates. Unfortunately, similar to victims of hitmen, the ones wronged by cheap tax advisors can pay the price for years to come.
  7. Thunderstruck – One of the most successful tracks from AC/DC's 1990 album The Razors Edge, it always reminds me of the way I feel when I read the Income Tax Act or the Internal Revenue Code. I'm thunderstruck with both tax statute's horrific complexity and intricacy.
  8. High Voltage – The title track from AC/DC's first internationally released album in 1976, this song always reminds me of the high energy that our firm's team has to solve complex tax problems.
  9. Rock 'n' Roll Train – This is the first single from AC/DC's 2008 Black Ice album and was very popular. Given the train analogy, this single always reminds me of how much of a runaway mess a person's tax affairs can become if they are not always on top of it.
  10. Hells Bells – One of the most popular singles from the band's 1980 Back in Black album, it is known for the slow haunting tolling of a bell in its introduction. The tolling of the bell reminds me of a CRA or IRS auditor coming to audit a taxpayer. Will the tolling signify the beginning of a tax audit hell or, with proper leadership, will the bell lead the taxpayer to escape from the clutches of tax satan?
  11. Baptism by Fire – This is one of the singles from AC/DC's new Rock or Bust album. The name of the song reminds me of tackling new tax issues that I haven't addressed before. It's a baptism by fire every day. Yes... there's plenty of tax issues that are "new" to me every day. Any honest senior tax practitioner will tell you the same thing. Tax is too difficult of a subject area to know it all. I'm learning every day. Tax needs careful reflection and analysis on each issue no matter how "routine" one might think it is.
  12. You Shook Me All Night Long – This is one of the most heavily radio-played singles from AC/DC. You'll be hard-pressed to find a person of my vintage who doesn't know this song. I often use it as motivation to try and solve tax problems when I come home and go to bed. After shaking and tossing and turning all night with the problem, I often jump out of bed and, while having a shower – voila!! – I've come up with a possible solution!  Off to the office to do the research and see if it works!
  13. Sin City – This single was from AC/DC's fourth internationally released album, Powerage, in 1978. According to the font of all wisdom, Wikipedia, Sin City is an urban area that caters to various vices – legal or illegal. Given such, this song reminds me of the most common example of a sin city – Las Vegas. Whenever I'm in Las Vegas, I admire all of the tax revenue being collected by the large casinos for the coffers of the IRS. As many Canadians know, gambling profits are generally non-taxable in Canada; not so in the US.
  14. Shot Down in Flames – One of the singles from AC/DC's 1979 Highway to Hell album, this single is often used by my favorite hockey team – the Calgary Flames – to provide impact after the hometown favorites score a goal. From a tax perspective, it also trumpets through my head whenever we attack one of the CRA or IRS assessing positions on behalf of a client. Once we are successful in having the reassessments reversed, we celebrate since the original proposal was shot down in flames!
  15. Have a Drink on Me – Another single from the wildly successful Back in Black album, this song reminds me about taxable benefits. If I provide benefits or gifts to people (or if I receive benefits or gifts) are there tax consequences?  You'll be surprised how often there ARE tax consequences.
  16. T.N.T. – A single from the 1976 High Voltage album, this song reminds me of many "tax plans" developed by clients that have gone wrong. Sometimes, when I'm reviewing the "plans" that have been poorly thought out or executed, I just want to "blow up" the plan and start over. And often, that's exactly what we do.
  17. Whole Lotta Rosie – A very popular single from the 1977 Let There Be Rock album, the lyrics of the song describe a night of passion by the then lead singer of the band, Bon Scott. It reminds me to always continue to not accept the status quo when developing tax plans for our clients. Often times, the facts and objectives are not as simple as they appear and the development of tax plans can lead to creative and passionate results!
  18. Let There Be Rock – The title track from the Let There Be Rock album, this song always reminds me of higher powers. For tax matters, such higher powers are often the Courts, CRA, IRS, the Department of Finance, and US Treasury.  Where would the tax world be without such higher powers? Certainly not in a good spot. Accordingly, let there always be the Courts, CRA, IRS, the Department of Finance, and US Treasury.
  19. Highway to Hell – The title track from their 1979 album, this song always reminds me of how clients will be on a highway to hell without proper tax advice... especially in cross-border matters involving Canada/US tax matters.
  20. For Those About to Rock (We Salute You) – The title track from AC/DC's 1981 album, this song always reminds me of how much I appreciate the passionate people I work with to solve clients' tax problems and be on top of their tax affairs. Consider yourself saluted!

Well, there you have it. My ode to AC/DC and tax! Thanks for making it all the way through. I'm sure you'll wholeheartedly agree with my opening line that classic rock concerts and tax go together like wine and cheese! It was a phenomenal concert... in tax we trust. G'day Mate!

Moodys Gartner Tax Law is only about tax. It is not an add-on service, it is our singular focus. Our Canadian and US lawyers and Chartered Accountants work together to develop effective tax strategies that get results, for individuals and corporate clients with interests in Canada, the US or both. Our strengths lie in Canadian and US cross-border tax advisory services, estateplanning, and tax litigation/dispute resolution. We identify areas of risk and opportunity, and create plans that yield the right balance of protection, optimization and compliance for each of our clients' special circumstances.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Kim G.C. Moody
Events from this Firm
27 Oct 2018, Seminar, London, UK

On Dec. 22, 2017, President Trump signed into law the biggest US tax reform bill in 31 years, changing the lives of Americans at home and abroad.

1 Nov 2018, Seminar, Doha, Qatar

On Dec. 22, 2017, President Trump signed into law the biggest US tax reform bill in 31 years, changing the lives of Americans at home and abroad. Many US residents will see an immediate benefit on their 2018 tax return, but for US expats and green card holders living abroad, things may have changed for the worse.

3 Nov 2018, Seminar, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

On Dec. 22, 2017, President Trump signed into law the biggest US tax reform bill in 31 years, changing the lives of Americans at home and abroad. Many US residents will see an immediate benefit on their 2018 tax return, but for US expats and green card holders living abroad, things may have changed for the worse.

 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions