A court has ruled that Revenue Canada can no longer level corporate taxes on band-owned businesses. Judge D.G.H. Bowman, of the Tax Court of Canada, recently set a new precedent when he ruled that the Otinek Development Corporation Ltd. is exempt from taxes becuase its owner, the Opasquaiack Band of Manitoba, has the same status as a municipality. Municipally-owned corporations in Canada are exempt from both provincial and federal corporate taxes.
The ruling means that any other Native band in Canada can apply for corporate tax-free status. It may also mean that Native businesses could be exempt from paying taxes both on and off reserve. The tax-exemption may also be retroactive.