Olympia Financial Group Inc.

Olympia Financial Group Inc.

December 04, 2015 17:04 ET

Olympia Loses Appeal of Adverse Tax Ruling; Proceeding to Full Trial on Issues

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Dec. 4, 2015) - Olympia Financial Group Inc. (TSX:OLY) announces that it was not successful in its appeal of the adverse tax ruling of the Tax Court of Canada dated December 19, 2014. The Federal Court of Appeal has today confirmed that Olympia Trust Company ("OTC") is a "purchaser" for the purposes of section 116(5) of the Income Tax Act (Canada) ("Tax Act"), whereby OTC may be liable for certain withholding tax obligations relating to share sale transactions completed by certain self-directed registered plans to non-residents from 2001 to 2004 (which resulted in OTC previously paying CRA $1.27 million in 2010). Notwithstanding today's decision by the Federal Court of Appeal, OTC intends on proceeding to a full tax court trial of all the issues as management believes that the facts show that no withholding taxes should have been assessed for the subject transactions. Further, Olympia will continue to advance its claim for damages against the annuitants that completed the transactions and the lawyers that facilitated the transactions for the vendors.

Further, based on the ruling by the Federal Court of Appeal, management believes that the Canada Revenue Agency ("CRA") may proceed with its proposal to issue additional assessments for $1.9 million in withholding taxes owing in accordance with Section 116(5) of the Tax Act (plus arrears interest of at least $890,000) as a result of certain OTC clients purchasing securities from a non-resident through their self-directed registered plan in the years 2000 through 2002 (which CRA proposal notice was disclosed by Olympia in its press release dated April 8, 2015). Olympia will request CRA hold such additional assessments in abeyance until completion of the full trial but any such decision will be made by the CRA at a later date.

Rick Skauge, President of Olympia commented: "Although we are disappointed with the Court's decision, we have sufficient cash available to pay CRA the potential assessment amount and we remain committed to recovering all amounts paid and proceeding to a full trial on the issues."

At the present time, the financial impact of the Federal Court of Appeal's decision on Olympia is not yet certain as the financial impact depends on various factors, including, among others, the results of the tax court trial on all issues and OTC's claims against annuitants and the lawyers for the vendors. Olympia will provide further updates once these factors become settled.

About Olympia Financial Group Inc.

Olympia Financial Group Inc. ("OFGI") conducts most of its operations through its wholly- owned subsidiary Olympia Trust Company, a non-deposit taking trust company. Olympia Trust Company is licensed to conduct trust activities in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Olympia Trust Company administers self-directed registered accounts and offers foreign currency exchange services. OFGI also offers private health services plans through its wholly-owned subsidiary Olympia Benefits Inc. and operates an ATM business through its wholly-owned subsidiary Olympia ATM Inc.

OFGI's common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "OLY".

Forward-looking statements

Certain statements contained in this press release may constitute forward-looking statements. These statements relate to future events or Olympia's future performance. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, may be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are often, but not always, identified by the use of words such as "seek", "anticipate", "plan", "continue", "estimate", "expect", "may", "will", "project", "predict", "propose", "potential", "targeting", "intend", "could", "might", "should", "believe", "likely" and similar expressions. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements. Olympia believes that the expectations reflected in those forward-looking statements are reasonable but no assurance can be given that these expectations will prove to be correct. Any forward-looking statements included in this press release should not be unduly relied upon by investors as actual results may vary. These statements speak only as of the date of this press release and are expressly qualified, in their entirety, by this cautionary statement.

With respect to forward-looking statements contained herein, Olympia has made assumptions regarding, among other things:

  • legislative and regulatory developments;
  • legal developments;
  • changes in tax laws; and
  • management's ability to anticipate and manage risks associated with these factors.

Olympia's actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements contained herein as a result of the risk factors set forth herein.

Although Olympia's management has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause results to not be as anticipated, estimated or intended. Forward-looking statements contained herein are made as of the date of this press release and Olympia disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements if circumstances or management's beliefs, expectations or opinions should change, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless required by applicable securities laws.

Contact Information

  • Olympia Financial Group Inc.
    Rick Skauge
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    (403) 261-0900
    (403) 265-1455 (FAX)

    Olympia Financial Group Inc.
    Gerhard Barnard
    Vice-President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer
    (403) 261-0900
    (403) 265-1455 (FAX)