The Tax Court of Canada – What is a Notice of Appeal?
When a Taxpayer files their income tax return, the Canada Revenue Agency (the “CRA”) review the returns and issues a Notice of Assessment. The CRA may reassess your returns and issue a Notice of Reassessment. If you disagree with your Notice of Assessment, or Reassessment, you have the option to object to it.
A Notice of Objection can be filed 90 days from the date of the Notice of Reassessment. The CRA appeals division will notify you when your objection has been received and an appeals officer will review your objection. Once your objection has been reviewed, the CRA appeals branch will contact you to either confirm that your objection is valid, to change the Notice of Assessment or Reassessment, or confirm the original assessment or reassessment. If you disagree with the decision, you have the option to file a Notice of Appeal.
Essentially, a Notice of Appeal is a document challenging the CRA decision in court. A taxpayer has 90 days from the date stamped on the response to their objection to file a Notice of Appeal with the Tax Court of Canada. However, it is possible to extend the deadline.
What is a Notice of Appeal?
The Notice of Appeal is an essential document required to begin an appeal against the CRA’s assessment or reassessment. The Notice of Appeal is an extremely detailed document that contains a great deal of parts, such as:
- The date of the notice;
- The individual’s home address or the Corporation’s principal place of business in the province in which the appeal is being sought;
- The (re)assessment(s) under appeal, including the date of the assessment(s) and the taxation years. If the appeal is under the Excise Tax Act, it must also contain the periods under appeal;
- Provide a detailed description of the facts relied on;
- Specify the legal issues at stake;
- Reference the specific statutory provisions relied upon;
- Detail the reasons the appellant intends to rely on; and
- Indicate the specific relief that is sought.
The Notice of Appeal requires significant time and attention to produce. It requires a large amount of time for lawyers to analyze the facts, interpreting the situation in a favourable manner to support your position. The more detail you are able to provide, the greater the likelihood of your appeal being successful. Furthermore, the lawyer must spend significant time studying the statutory provisions relied upon and ensuring that a proper remedy is available.
Any errors made on the Notice of Appeal may be fatal, as it can greatly affect your chance for a successful appeal. Not only will it hurt your case moving forward, but amendments to your Notice of Appeal can cause the courts to doubt your version of the facts, which greatly weakens your case.
The Notice of Appeal is the first step of the appeals process that will end up in the Tax Court of Canada. The CRA and the Department of Justice can be extremely difficult to deal with, especially when the tax law is one of the most difficult areas of law to navigate, even for lawyers.
Our team of experts at R&A Tax Law have significant experience with appeals to the Tax Court of Canada and beyond. If you are seeking to appeal an assessment, reassessment, or notice of confirmation, contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our expert tax lawyers.
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.