Dennis L. Nerland

Dennis L. Nerland
Nerland Lindsey
Founding Partner

Dennis Nerland is managing partner and one of the original founders the Calgary firm Nerland Lindsey, and leads the firm’s tax and estate planning practice.

Mr. Nerland earned a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in economics and mathematics from the University of Calgary in 1975; a Master of Arts in economics from Carleton University in 1976; and a Juris Doctor from the University of Calgary in 1979. He was called to the Alberta bar in 1980 and appointed a Queen’s Counsel of Alberta in 2014.

He completed the Rotman/Haskayne Directors Education Program at the Rotman School of Management in 2011 and achieved the designation of Institute-Certified Director (ICD.D) from the Institute of Corporate Directors in 2011. Mr. Nerland also successfully completed the Rotman Financial Literacy Program, and received the Trust and Estate Practitioner (TEP) designation from the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).

He works closely with the firm’s cross-border specialists and corporate lawyers in providing innovative and effective succession solutions for Canadians with property abroad, and for foreign residents holding Canadian property.

Mr. Nerland is a director and trustee of a significant number of private financial businesses and trusts as well as a director of numerous public companies listed on the TSX Venture Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange.

He is a member of the Law Society of Alberta, Canadian Tax Foundation, Calgary Bar Association, Canadian Bar Association, Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, and is a director of the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Dennis L. Nerland In The News
Proper planning best way to address complex blended family estates

Blended family situations have become increasingly common as many people remarry after a divorce or the passing of their spouse — but these individuals need to be aware that they will likely face unique considerations and complications when planning for the distribution of their estate, Calgary tax and fiduciary services lawyer Dennis Nerland tells . Read more

The limited partnership protective shield

By Dennis Nerland . In contrast to a general partnership, a limited partnership must by law be composed of at least one general partner, who serves as the managing partner, and one or more limited partners. Provincial legislation sets out the general rights and responsibilities of the limited and general partners between themselves, the public, and all other individuals with whom they have business dealings. This law protects the limited partners from the broader liability of a general partner – unless the limited partner actually takes an active part in management and control of the business. It further gives the limited partners full rights and access to all partnership information, as well as guaranteeing the limited partners their share of profits or other compensation by way of regular income payment. Read more

Insights into general partnerships

By Dennis Nerland . Family limited partnerships offer tax benefits, lawsuit protection, and financial control. Read more

Goals, objectives, tax considerations paramount when choosing a trust

Trusts are “purpose-driven” vehicles that can be beneficial in a number of circumstances, but it is important for individuals and families to begin by reviewing their goals with a lawyer to determine which type of trust may work best in their situation, Calgary tax and fiduciary services lawyer Dennis Nerland tells . Read more

Dividend tax insights

By Dennis Nerland . Dividends themselves can be either eligible or non-eligible. An eligible dividend is subject to a 38 per cent gross-up. The dividend is generated by the active business income of a Canadian-controlled private corporation, which isn’t eligible for the small business deduction, and dividends from other Canadian public and private corporations resident in Canada that are subject to the general corporate income tax rate (27 per cent in Alberta). Read more

Choice of trustee vital to trust's financial, relational goals

A trust can provide individuals with asset protection, tax advantages and confidentiality — but choosing the right trustee is essential to achieving these objectives, Calgary tax and fiduciary services lawyer  Dennis Nerland  tells . Read more

Proposed tax changes a ‘renewed attack’ on job creators

By Dennis Nerland . The Department of Finance released new proposed tax legislation and policy on July 17, 2017. The new policies target income splitting in private corporations, access to the capital gains exemption through family trusts, and corporate-owned passive investments. These amendments signal a renewed attack on small and medium-sized businesses and business-owners, tipping the scales further in favour of large corporate oligopolies. Read more

Feds unveil plans to stop 'unfair' business tax advantages

OTTAWA — The federal government is proposing measures to tighten what it calls “unfair'' loopholes for private corporations that enable many wealthy Canadians, including professionals like some doctors, to reduce the amount of tax they pay. Finance Minister Bill Morneau unveiled plans Tuesday designed to prevent some business owners from using a number of legal strategies to shield part of their income in order to gain tax advantages that are out of reach for most Canadians. Even Morneau himself, who had a successful business career before entering politics, admitted that if the changes are introduced he will likely pay more taxes going forward. “We see these approaches to managing people's affairs through a private corporation as creating an unfair playing field,'' Morneau said. “I don't want to see one small subset of the population advantaged because of our tax code, so it is about creating fairness ... All Canadians should be willing to pay that fair share, including myself.'' The suggested changes include steps to prevent business owners from using their private corporations as a way to shift some their income to family members, including minors, who are subject to lower personal tax rates — even if those relatives are not involved in the business. The Finance Department believes about 50,000 families in Canada do this, a practice the government calls “income sprinkling.'' When asked later Tuesday in an interview to describe the businesses associated with these families, Morneau said “a lot of professionals.'' “There's been a big increase in professionals that have been using these structures,'' he said. Morneau said doctors and lawyers are among the examples, but he added that they also include many other types of professionals. To help address income sprinkling, the government is proposing measures such as stricter age-related requirements for family members and tests to ensure their contributions to the business are “reasonable.'' Doing so would provide an estimated $250 million per year in additional federal revenue, or about $5,000 per family, the government said. The government also released proposed changes to target those who gain tax relief through passive investment income, which enables corporate owners and employees to make one-time investments from $100,000 of pre-tax income and retain them for 10 years. The feds are calling for the elimination of the tax-deferral advantage on passive income earned by private corporations. Ottawa is also looking to address a tax-planning approach that converts income into capital gains, which are taxed at a lower rate. It has yet to say how much additional federal revenue could be provided by closing those loopholes. There will be a 75-day public consultation period to allow stakeholders to examine and weigh in on the three sets of proposals announced Tuesday. Read more

Corporation can be effective wealth preservation tool

For some individuals, a corporation can play a key role in personal wealth management — but it is crucial to undertake a cost-benefit analysis before pursuing this strategy, Calgary tax and fiduciary services lawyer  Dennis Nerland tells . Read more

Governance strategy crucial to family business succession

Successfully transferring a company to the next generation requires planning and open communication between the owner, heirs and key advisors — including a disciplined governance strategy facilitated by an experienced lawyer, Calgary tax and fiduciary services lawyer  Dennis Nerland  tells . Read more

Keeping your family informed

By Dennis Nerland . Your children are your greatest legacy. If they are trusted to be the custodians of your business and wealth, at the very least they should be informed about the basics of finance and running a business. This is a fundamental tenet of your succession plan to ensure effective management of your family legacy. Read more

Wealth management insights

By Dennis Nerland . Wealth is not finite. That implies it can be created. Read more

Vital to consider human side of trustee-beneficiary relationship

While it's   important to pay close attention to the financial and legal responsibilities associated with a trust, trustees should also be aware there's   an important human element to their relationship with the beneficiary, Calgary tax and fiduciary services lawyer  Dennis Nerland says in a recent  Caregiving Matters podcast. Read more

Questions an effective decision-making tool

Instead of pushing your point of view on a colleague, a preferable approach is to ask questions that prompt   an individual to come to their own conclusion on an issue, Calgary tax and fiduciary services lawyer  Dennis Nerland  tells The Lawyers Weekly . Read more

Risk profile key in assessing best tax, estate planning strategy

There are a number of approaches lawyers and other advisors can take when implementing estate and tax planning strategies for individuals and families — but it is ultimately the client’s tolerance for risk that will serve as the main factor in deciding the most appropriate path, Calgary tax and fiduciary services lawyer  Dennis Nerland tells . Read more

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