Tax Court of Canada – The Book of Documents
What is a List of Documents?
Before we can dive into the book of documents, we must briefly discuss the list of documents (“LOD”), which is a mandatory litigation step pursuant to the Tax Court of Canada Rules (General Procedure) – specially rule 81. The LOD is a list of all documents that a party has in their power, possession or control that they plan on relying on at the inevitable hearing.
This list is generally organized chronological order starting with the earliest dated documents and ending with the documents most closely dated to the day the list of documents is made. The Parties must provide this list to the other side well in advance of trial so that the opposition can have adequate time to inspect the documents and prepare their examination questions on discovery.
The Parties submit a joint request for a litigation timetable which would include the date that the LOD must be exchanged by and filed with the Court.
What is a Book of Documents?
The book of documents (“BOD”) as it is known, relates to the discovery stage of a Tax Court matter (or any court matter for that reason). While this is not a formal step in the dispute resolution process, it is common practice to exchange the BOD at least thirty (30) days prior to the examinations for discovery (whether in writing or orally). The BOD contains all the relevant documentation that a side will be using to help prove their case or will be using to help demolish arguments made by the other party. Any documents that are going to be referred to at the hearing must be included in the previously mentioned LOD, produced in the BOD or by way of undertaking following the examinations for discovery.
Each party must prepare four copies of the BOD ahead of trial. One copy for yourself to keep, one copy for the judge, one copy for the opposing counsel, and the last copy will stay in the witness box to assist them in answering the questions asked by counsel.
What is a Joint Book of Documents?
A joint book of documents (“JBOD”) is highly advisable for parties who have the ability to be civil with one another, as a JBOD can help save your client or yourself (if self-represented) a sizeable amount of money. A JBOD involves both parties to a dispute agreeing on which documents should be produced within the book, and which documents are unnecessary and therefore do not need to be included. The parties submit one joint book, rather than each party submitting their own book of documents. All the previously mentioned rules for the LOD and BOD still apply when the book is made jointly. Overall, this is a fantastic method to save money when practically possible by the cooperation of both parties and is greatly appreciated by the Court (and the environment).
Overall, the requirements relating to the list of documents and book of documents may seem simple but are quite complex. Failure to properly file and serve the list of documents and/or produce the book of documents can have a detrimental impact on the potential success of your Tax Court of Canada case (or any level court case for that matter). If you have any questions or need any assistance, please feel free to call us toll free at 877-921-8423 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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