Legal Tax and Accounting Strategies for the Canadian Real Estate Investor
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More About This Title Legal Tax and Accounting Strategies for the Canadian Real Estate Investor


Legal, Tax and Accounting Strategies for the Canadian Real Estate Investor begins and ends with the premise that buying property in Canada can be a smart, safe and successful way to invest your money. However, like most things in life, success requires hard work. You need to do your homework, understand what you are buying, and know the pros and cons of various decisions. Most importantly, you also need to know how to structure and maintain your investment. That's where we come in. Experience is a good teacher-but its lessons can be nasty and, in the real estate business, mistakes can cost you big bucks. Our goal with this book is to help you do it right-the first time. Rest assured that this book covers a vast range of topics and you're going to appreciate its breadth and depth if you're wondering about things like whether:
  • You should opt for a sole proprietorship versus a partnership or corporate ownership strategy.
  • There are things you can do to manage the way HST impacts your real estate investment business.
  • You need information about the tax implications of a real estate disposition.
  • You can change your bookkeeping system to better meet your needs and those of your accountant.

Who Are We?

This book was written by two individuals whose collective experience in helping Canadians make wise property investment decisions spans several decades. Steve Cohen is a securities lawyer with a great deal of experience in the real estate sector. George Dube is a chartered accountant whose knowledge is based on many years of helping clients with their property buying needs. Both Steve and George are real estate investors themselves. Working from this foundation, we have put together the definitive guide on how to build a successful real estate portfolio in Canada from a legal, tax and accounting perspective.


STEVE COHEN, LL.B. LL.M., established Steve Cohen Law in 2008 after more than 10 years at a leading Canadian law firm. A boutique corporate/ securities practice located in downtown Toronto, Steve Cohen Law acts for promoters of, and investors in, a wide range of real estate and real estate related investment vehicles, ranging from joint ventures to limited partnership syndications to real estate investment trusts (REITs), and has also represented numerous entrepreneurs in their start-up ventures, primarily related to real estate.
Steve is also real estate investor and, in 2008, he established SmartCap Ventures Inc., an investment company with a focus on joint venture real estate initiatives. He recently launched the Real Estate Investment Law Blog at

GEORGE E. DUBE, MACC., CA, jointly established the predecessor to Dube & Associates Professional Corporation, Chartered Accountants, in 1997 after several years with national accounting firms. He is a graduate of the University of Waterloo's Master of Accounting Program, and has also completed the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants' two-year In-Depth Taxation Course. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario Small Practice Advisory Committee, a CRA regional practitioner committee member, and a member of the Canadian Tax Foundation since 1993.
A veteran real estate accountant and investor whose practice focuses on providing the knowledge and tools clients need to increase and preserve the value of their businesses, George is a frequent guest speaker at an assortment of meetings, events and workshops through the year. He has written articles or contributed to the same, in various national and regional publications. His website is




Chapter 1: Eyes Wide Open.

Chapter 2: Building a Successful Team.

Chapter 3: Mastering the Basics.

Chapter 4: Structuring Your Acquisitions.

Chapter 5: Structuring Your Acquisitions with a Large-Scale Joint Venture.

Chapter 6: Structuring Your Real Estate Business.

Chapter 7: Owning Your Properties.

Chapter 8: More Tax Strategies for Property Ownership.

Chapter 9: Structuring Dispositions.

Chapter 10: Tax Considerations on Dispositions.

Chapter 11: Estate-Planning Considerations.

Chapter 12: Keeping the Books.

Appendix 1: Joint Venture Agreement Checklist.

Appendix 2: Legal Considerations Relating to Syndicate Offerings—Investor Checklist.

Appendix 3: Legal Considerations Relating to Syndicate Offerings—Promoter Checklist.


About the Authors.