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Objection to an assessment - Part 2

From tax expert Gerry Vittoratos
February 14, 2017

In the first part of the series, we saw the way to contest a notice of assessment with the CRA through a Notice of Objection. But what happens if the CRA does not rule in your favour? Read on to find out…

In the situation where the CRA does not rule in your client’s favour after the Notice of Objection, your recourse is to file a Notice of Appeal to the Tax Court of Canada. As per paragraph 169(1), a Notice of Appeal can only be filed if you have already submitted a Notice of Objection. You have up to 90 days from the day the CRA send a notice of confirmation or reassessment to file a Notice of Appeal. You can also appeal to the Court if the CRA does not give you a decision on your objection within 90 days of the day you filed the Notice of Objection.

If you miss the deadline above, paragraph 168(1) of the ITA allows for an extension of the deadline mentioned above. The request must be made to the Tax Court of Canada.  ITA 167(5) indicates that this request can only be made within one year of the expiration of the regular deadline, and the request must include the following information:

  • Reasons as to why it was impossible for your client to file the Notice of Appeal himself/herself or instruct another to act in their name,
  • Show that your client had a bona fide intention to appeal,
  • Show that, given the circumstances listed above, it would be just and equitable to grant the request,
  • Show that the request was made as soon as circumstances permitted,
  • Show that your client has reasonable grounds for appealing.

The content within the Notice of Appeal depends on the type of procedure you will follow with the Tax Court of Canada.

Two procedures are followed for proceedings: the informal procedure and the general procedure. Under the informal procedure, formal rules and legal steps are relaxed.  The taxpayer can represent himself/herself under this procedure, or be represented by a lawyer or an agent. The amount in dispute cannot be above $25,000 for income tax assessments ($50,000 for GST disputes). The content of the Notice of Appeals is laid out in section 4 of the Tax Court of Canada Rules (Informal Procedure). The Court provides a template that you can use to complete the notice in paper or electronic format; in the latter case, you can submit the notice electronically.

Under the General Procedure, formal court procedures are closely followed. The taxpayer can represent himself/herself under this procedure, or be represented by a lawyer or an agent. Form 21(1)(a) has to be submitted  as your Notice of Appeal; the form itself is more of a template which guides you in the information you need to provide. You can complete the notice in paper or electronic format; in the latter case, you can submit the notice electronically.

In the case where, under either procedure, the judgment is not rendered in your client’s favour, an appeal has to be filed to the Federal Court of Appeals within 30 days after the pronouncement of the decision.ove), which might be the cause of your error code.

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