How To Find The Right Tax Court Lawyer
The Tax Court of Canada is a unique Court in Canada. It only hears tax cases, and there is no fixed location where the judges reside. Rather, Tax Court Justices come to you. When you have already been through the audit, and objection stage, and you still disagree with Canada Revenue Agency’s (“CRA”) Notice of Assessment, or Reassessment, the next step is to file an appeal to the Tax Court of Canada.
The informal procedure under the Tax Court is similar to small claims court when settling civil disputes. If the amount of taxes in dispute is low enough, then taxpayers can elect to have their appeal heard under the informal procedure. There is no filing fee when you apply under the informal procedure.
The informal procedure simplifies the process of going to Court making it easier for everyday Canadians who choose to represent themselves or have someone other then a lawyer represent them. That being said, going to Tax Court, even under the informal procedure, can be a very stressful and difficult time.
First you must file a Notice of Appeal, following which the Department of Justice, the lawyers for the CRA will draft and file a Reply. The Notice of Appeal explains your issues with what CRA has done to you, and the Reply explains the Government’s position.
For the informal procedure, those are the only necessary steps before proceeding to trial.
At R&A Tax Law, we gather all of your evidence, and attempt to settle with the Department of Justice prior to trial. Taxpayers, sometimes, do not want to go to Tax Court and do not want to get grilled by a lawyer or a Judge. That is why we try and settle to get you the best outcome, without actually going to trial.
We are also happy to argue your matter at the Tax Court of Canada under the informal procedure if you do not want to settle. Majority of the time, taxpayers are right, and the only way to prove their point is to beat the Government in Tax Court. We have done that, and we can do it for you!
The general procedure under the Tax Court is a much more formal process. There are litigation steps to follow, and you cannot miss deadlines without penalty. You may represent yourself under the General Procedure, but it is highly recommended that you get a lawyer who knows the ins and outs of the Tax Court system. There is also a filing fee based on the amount of taxes in issue.
After filing a Notice of Appeal, and receiving a Reply, your lawyer, and the Government lawyer create a timetable for all of the next steps on the file. Lists and books of documents are exchanged, and then the parties usually meet for the discovery process.
At any point settlement discussions can occur between you and the Department of Justice. We have been successful settling cases right after the appeal and reply have been filed, all the way up to trial.
Once discovery is finished, both sides have a better understanding of the others position. Sometimes, R&A Tax Law settles its Tax Court files at this time. Not many people know, but Department of Justice lawyers may be juggling one hundred or more Tax Court files. They simply do not have the time to know all of their files back and forth. They really only get into a file right before the discovery process. That is why attempting settlement after discovery may be a good idea on your case. The reason being, the Department of Justice lawyer now knows the situation, and can recommend to their client, the CRA, that what we are offering is a good deal for everyone.
If you do not settle prior to trial, both parties attend the Tax Court of Canada and put their respective evidence, and positions in front of a Judge. This Tax Court Judge then considers the evidence and the testimony, and makes a decision about who is correct.
How a Tax Court Lawyer Helps
Here at R&A Tax Law, we have the experience necessary, because we have litigated a number of cases with the Tax Court of Canada. We know the ins and outs, and most importantly, we know how to get you want you want. Whether that is a good settlement, or going to trial trying to win it all.
We will go over everything with you to make sure you understand the process, and you, as the client, will have the final say on whether we settle, or proceed to trial.
If you need to appeal to the Tax Court of Canada, or if you already have, give us a call! Let us take your case, and put your mind at ease at the same time!
This article provides information of a general nature only. It does not provide legal advice nor can it or should it be relied upon. All tax situations are specific to their facts and will differ from the situations in this article. If you have specific legal questions you should consult a lawyer.