Paul DioGuardi, Queens Counsel (QC)



Paul DioGuardi, QC is Canada’s best known tax resolution lawyer, and one of Canada’s foremost legal resources in criminal tax and offshore matters. He has been practising as a tax lawyer for 48 years, as of April 2014. His firm was among the first in Canada to offer the opportunity of a lawyer-protected tax amnesty for forgiveness of the serious penalties and risk of prosecution associated with unreported income and years of unfiled back taxes.

Background

Paul DioGuardi was born in Ottawa in 1938. He attended St. Patrick’s College in Ottawa, before attending Queen’s University in Kingston Ontario for an undergraduate degree. During his senior year, he was invited to apply to the Queen’s Law School, which was about to graduate its first class of LL.Bs. He was accepted there, graduating in 1964. During the summers he clerked for various law firms, acquiring first-hand experience in the court rooms and in general litigation. His student cases included representing a young woman in Kingston accused of stabbing her abusive spouse. Inventive and undaunted, young DioGuardi secured expert testimony to demonstrate that the young woman, who was tiny of build and height, was impaired at the time and therefore not responsible for her actions. The client was acquitted and a promising legal career commenced.

Career

While still a law student, Paul determined upon a career in tax law, at that time a new and relatively uncharted practice area. He attended the Bar Admissions Course at Osgoode Hall in Toronto, and took his call to the Bar in April 1966. Immediately he joined the Department of National Revenue as junior counsel in the Ottawa Head Office. Later he transferred to the Department of Justice at Head Office level in Ottawa, tax litigation section, where he appeared as Counsel for the Canada Revenue Agency. After 10 years in the federal service, he entered into private practice in Ottawa. He has represented both individuals and corporations in tax matters, and has developed important relationships within the CRA with people, processes, and channels of escalation for review by true decision makers.

He has extensive experience in off-shore tax matters, including repatriation of money and protection of assets.

In 2004 he joined with his son, Philippe, also a tax litigation lawyer, to create a law firm focused exclusively on the resolution of taxpayer delinquencies and conflicts with the tax authorities. The DioGuardi Tax Law firm was among the first in Canada to assist taxpayers in the filing of a tax amnesty (voluntary disclosure) to resolve unreported income and unfiled back taxes.

Initially located in downtown Ottawa, DioGuardi Tax Law also has established offices in Mississauga and downtown Toronto.

While now of an age where most lawyers consider retirement, Paul continues to practice and provide leading edge legal counsel to taxpayers in adversarial situations with the Canada Revenue Agency and other tax authorities.

Books

Paul DioGuardi has co-authored two tax books with son Philippe DioGuardi:
Tax Amnesty: Avoiding the Tax Trap (On Tax Publications Inc, 2004)

The Taxman is Watching: What Canadians Need to Know and Fear (HarperCollins Canada, 2008).

His third tax book, Never Smile at a Crocodile: Confessions of a Tax Traveller, was publisheed in July 2014.


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