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Woodward & Company LLP provides legal advice on all matters related to taxation, including taxation by First Nations themselves and on minimizing liabilities arising from Provincial and Federal taxes.  We assist clients to develop corporate and business structures that address tax issues, while being designed to provide accountability and ease of corporate governance within and alongside your existing governance structures.

First Nation Taxation Bylaws and Laws

We provide advice concerning the development, implementation, and administration of First Nation taxation regimes under the Indian Act, the First Nations Fiscal Management Act, and the First Nations Goods and Services Tax Act. Our past successes include the implementation of real property, commodity, and sales tax regimes.  We can work with communities, Councils, and economics experts to help create tax structures that work for the community.

Income Tax Exemptions

We also provide advice on the income tax exemptions available to First Nations and First Nation entities including businesses, band-empowered entities, and tribal councils. We have experience in the taxation of income from employment, business, and investment and can advise on how best to make use of both Income Tax Act and Indian Act exemptions.

Provincial Sales Tax Exemptions

We assist First Nations and their corporate entities in tax planning to minimize sales tax impacts.  Woodward & Company LLP conducted the Metlakatla Ferry Services Ltd. v. British Columbia case back in 1987 where the Court of Appeal held that the situs of the lease of a ferry, held by the leasee, the First Nation, was located on reserve and therefore exempt from Provincial taxes. 

Our firm has worked with many clients over the years to help shape the common law on tax exemptions and look forward to continuing this work as First Nations governments take back control of their government financing.

Effective tax planning requires creativity and the ability to work effectively with other consulting specialists, including accountants, business advisors, and the community at large.  We understand the impacts that a new tax regime can have on a community and on its elected representatives and will work thoughtfully to help craft a plan for a self-sustaining future for your government.


First Nations' Tax Exemptions
First Nations Fiscal And Statistical Management Act
HST: Implications for First Nations' Governments and Businesses (a PowerPoint presentation)