Peter A Allard School of Law

David Duff

B.A., LL.B., M.A., LL.M.


David G. Duff is Professor of Law and Director of the Tax LLM program at the Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia, where he teaches and writes in the areas of areas of tax law and policy, corporate and international taxation, environmental taxation and distributive justice. 

Prior to joining UBC Law in 2009, Professor Duff was a faculty member of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. Before that, he was a tax associate at the Toronto office of Stikeman, Elliott. He was also employed as a researcher with the Ontario Fair Tax Commission from 1991 to 1993 and as a tax policy analyst with the Ontario Ministry of Finance from 1993 to 1994.

He is a member and former Governor of the Canadian Tax Foundation, a member of the International Fiscal Association and the governing council of the Canadian branch of the International Fiscal Association, and an International Research Fellow of the Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation, and has been a visiting scholar at the Max Planck Institute for Public Finance and Tax, the Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation, and the law faculties at Auckland University, Hebrew University in Jerusalem, McGill University, the University of Ottawa, Oxford University, and the University of Sydney. 

Professor Duff has published numerous articles on tax law and policy, is the primary author Canadian Income Tax Law (5th ed., 2015) and The Taxation of Business Organizations in Canada (2015), and has co-edited books on tax avoidance in Canada, Canadian climate change policy, and environmental taxation. He has written several articles on tax avoidance and the interpretation of tax legislation and tax treaties, and was cited extensively by the Supreme Court of Canada in its decision on the Canadian General Anti-Avoidance Rule (GAAR) in Copthorne Holdings Ltd. v. Canada, 2011 SCC 63:


  • Fundamental Concepts in Tax Law (Law 561)
  • Taxation (Law 407/506
  • Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders (Law 408/562)
  • Taxation of Partnerships (Law 409/563)
  • International Taxation (Law 410/565)


Tax Casebooks

Taxation of Business Organizations in Canada, (Toronto: LexisNexis, 2015), with Geoff Loomer. (download article)

Canadian Income Tax Law, 5th edition, (Toronto: LexisNexis, 2015), with Ben Alarie, Kim Brooks, Geoff Loomer and Lisa Philipps. 

Tax Policy and Theory

Tax Policy and the Virtuous Sovereign: Dworkinian Equality and Redistributive Taxation” in Monica Bhandari, ed., Philosophical Foundations of Tax Law, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), 167-89. (download article)

Alternatives to the Gift and Estate Tax?” (2016), 57 Boston College Law Review 893-912. . (download article)

Tax Treatment of Charitable Contributions in a Personal Income Tax: Lessons from Theory and Canadian Experience” in Matthew Harding, Ann O’Connell and Miranda Stewart (eds), Not-for-Profit Law: Theoretical and Comparative Perspectives (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014), 199-231.

Charities and Terrorist Financing” (2011), 61 University of Toronto Law Journal 73-117. (download article)

The Social Contract Revisited: Tax Fairness and the Tax Mix (Oxford: Foundation for Law, Justice and Society, 2008). (download aritcle)

"Private Property and Tax Policy in a Libertarian World: A Critical Review" (2005), Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 23. (download article

The Abolition of Wealth Transfer Taxes: Lessons from Canada, Australia and New Zealand” (2005) 3 Pittsburgh Tax Review 72. (download article)

"Benefit Taxes and User Fees in Theory and Practice" (2004) 54:3 University of Toronto Law Journal 391. (download article

"Tax Treatment of Charitable Contributions in Canada: Theory, Practice, and Reform" (2004) 42:1 Osgoode Hall Law Journal 1. (download article)

"Special Federal Tax Assistance for Charitable Donations of Publicly Traded Securities: A Tax Expenditure Analysis" (2003) 51:2 Canadian Tax Journal 925. (download article) Full text version reproduced with the permission of the Canadian Tax Foundation.

"Recognizing or Disregarding Close Personal Relationships Among Adults? The Report of the Law Commission of Canada and the Federal Income Tax" (2002) 50:3 Canadian Tax Journal 1021. (download article) Full text version reproduced with the permission of the Canadian Tax Foundation.

"Charitable Status and Terrorist Financing: Rethinking the Proposed Charities Registration (Security Information) Act," in Ronald J. Daniels, Patrick Macklem, and Kent Roach, The Security of Freedom: Essays on Canada’s Anti-Terrorism Bill, (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001) 321-37.

"Tax Policy and the Family: A North American Perspective" in Proceedings of the Fifteenth Annual Conference of the Foundation for Fiscal Studies, (Dublin: Foundation for Fiscal Studies, 2001) 36-75.

"Charitable Contributions and the Personal Income Tax: Evaluating the Canadian Credit," in Jim Phillips, Bruce Chapman, and David Stevens, eds., Between State and Market: Essays on Charities Law and Policy in Canada, (Montreal &Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2001) 407-56.

"Disability and the Income Tax" (2000), 45 McGill Law Journal 797. (download article

"Taxing Inherited Wealth: A Philosophical Argument" (1993), 4 Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 3. (download article)

International Taxation

"Canada: Limitation on the Elimination of Double Taxation Under the Canada-Brazil Income Tax Treaty” in M. Lang, et. al., eds., Tax Treaty Case Law Around the Globe 2017, (Amsterdam: International Bureau for Fiscal Documentation, forthcoming) (download article)

“Implementing Key BEPS Actions: Where Does Canada Stand?” in M. Lang, et. al., Implementing Key BEPS Actions: Where Do We Stand? (Amsterdam: International Bureau for Fiscal Documentation, forthcoming 2017).

“Canada: The Canada-US Enhanced Information Exchange Agreement and the Canada-US Tax Treaty” in Peter Essers, et. al., Tax Treaty Case Law Around the Globe 2016, (Amsterdam: International Bureau for Fiscal Documentation, 2016) 397-408. (download article)

“Action 4 of the OECD Action Plan on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting Initiative: Interest and Base-Eroding Payments - Insights from the Canadian Experience” (2015), 69 Bulletin for International Taxation 350-354. (download article)

“Individual Residence Under the Canada – U.S. Tax Treaty: Trieste v. The Queen” in Michael Lang, et. al., Tax Treaty Case Law Around the Globe 2013, (Amsterdam: International Bureau for Fiscal Documentation, 2013), 29-40. (download article)

“Canada: Capital Gains Realized by an Austrian Private Foundation: Sommerer v. The Queen” in Michael Lang, et. al., Tax Treaty Case Law Around the Globe 2013, (Amsterdam: International Bureau for Fiscal Documentation, 2013), 241-57. (download article)

“Beneficial Ownership: Recent Trends” in M. Lang, et al, eds., Beneficial Ownership: Recent Trends, (Amsterdam: International Bureau for Fiscal Documentation, 2013), 1-25. (download article)

“Transfer Pricing Disputes in Canada” in Eduardo Baistrocchi, ed., Resolving Transfer Pricing Disputes: A Global Analysis, (Cambridge; Cambridge University Press, 2012) 95-164, with Byron Beswick (download article)

Responses to Treaty Shopping: A Comparative Evaluation” in M. Lang, et. al. eds., Tax Treaties: Building Bridges between Law and Economics, , (Amsterdam: International Bureau for Fiscal Documentation, 2010), 75-102. (download article)

Tax Avoidance and Interpretation

Canadian Bijuralism and the Concept of an Acquisition of Property in the Federal Income Tax Act” (2009) 55 McGill Law Journal 423-62. (download article)

Lipson v Canada - Whither the Canadian GAAR?” [2009] 2 British Tax Review 161-169 (download article)

Tax Avoidance in the 21st Century” in Chris Evans & Rick Krever, eds., Australian Business Tax Reform in Retrospect and Prospect, (Sydney: Thomson, 2009), pp. 477-501. (download article)

"Relationships, Boundaries, and Corporate Taxation: Compliance and Avoidance in an Era of Globalization" in Judith Freeman, ed., Corporation Tax: Breaking Down the Boundaries, (Oxford: Oxford Centre for Business Taxation, 2008) 197-205.

"The Legacy of U.K. Tax Concepts in Canadian Income Tax Law" [2008] 3 British Tax Review 228-52, with Benjamin Alarie. (download article)

Justice Iacobucci and the ‘Golden and Straight Metwand’ of Canadian Tax Law” (2007), 57 University of Toronto Law Journal 525-79. (download article)

"The Supreme Court of Canada and the General Anti-Avoidance Rule: Canada Trustco and Mathew" (2006) 60 Bulletin for International Taxation 54. (download article)

Tax Avoidance in Canada after Canada Trustco and Mathew, (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2007), edited with Harry Erlichman.

"Interest Deductibility, the Reasonable Expectation of Profit Test, and the Supreme Court of Canada: From Bronfman Trust and Moldowan to SingletonLudmerStewart and Walls" in David W. Chodikoff and Jim Horvath, eds., Advocacy and Taxation in Canada, (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2004) 399-429. (download article

"The Federal Income Tax Act and Private Law in Canada: Complementarity, Dissociation, and Canadian Bijuralism" (2003) 51:1 Canadian Tax Journal 1. (download article) (Also available in French) Full text version reproduced with the permission of the Canadian Tax Foundation.

"Judicial Application of the General Anti-Avoidance Rule in Canada: OSFC Holdings Ltd. v. The Queen" (2003), 57 Bulletin for International Fiscal Documentation 278.

Deductibility of Fines and Penalties under the Income Tax Act: Public Policy, Statutory Interpretation and the Scheme of the Act in 656302 B.C. Ltd." (2001), 34 Canadian Business Law Journal 336.

"Weak Currency Borrowings and the General Anti-Avoidance Rule in Canada: From Shell Canada to Canadian Pacific" (2001) 55 Bulletin for International Fiscal Documentation 233-40.

"Neuman and Beyond: Income Splitting, Tax Avoidance, and Statutory Interpretation in the Supreme Court of Canada" (1999), 32 Canadian Business Law Journal 345. (download article)

"Interpreting the Income Tax Act – Part 2: Toward A Pragmatic Approach" (1999), 47:4 Canadian Tax Journal 741. (download article) Full text version reproduced with the permission of the Canadian Tax Foundation.

"Interpreting the Income Tax Act – Part 1: Interpretive Doctrines" (1999), 47:3 Canadian Tax Journal 464. (download article) Full text version reproduced with the permission of the Canadian Tax Foundation.

Environmental Taxation

Tax Expenditures to Limit the Growth of Carbon Emissions in Canada” in Neil Brooks, Jinyan Li, and Lisa Philipps, eds., Tax Expenditures: State of the Art, (Toronto: Canadian Tax Foundation, 2011) 8:1-28 (with E. Ian Wiebe).

“Carbon Taxation in Theory and Practice” in Claudia Dias Soares, et. al., Critical Issues in Environmental Taxation: International and Comparative Perspectives, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010) 261-76 (with Shi-Ling Hsu). 

Carbon Taxation in British Columbia” (2008), 10 Vermont Journal of Environmental Law 87-107.(download article)

"Road Pricing in Theory and Practice: A Canadian Perspective” in Alberto Cavaliere, Hope Ashiabor, Kurt Deketelaere, Larry Kreiser, and Janet Milneeds, Critical Issues in Environmental Taxation, Vol. III, (Richmond, UK: Richmond Law and Tax, 2006), 187-213 (with Carl Irvine). (download article)

"Tax Policy and Global Warming" (2003) 51:6 Canadian Tax Journal 2063. (download article) Full text version reproduced with the permission of the Canadian Tax Foundation. 

Publications listed on the Law Library Faculty Research Publications Database

Duff Profile

Organization Affiliations

  • Centre for Business Law

Research Interests

  • Comparative law
  • Environmental law, natural resources, and climate change
  • International law
  • Law and social justice
  • Tax law and policy

How can tax laws be best designed to reduce growing inequalities in the distribution of income and wealth, and why does this matter?

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