Last Thursday, we went through the steps in filing an objection if you disagree with the CRA’s assessment of your income tax and benefit return. We also mentioned that once you are informed of the results of the review after your objection and if you still disagree with that decision, you can still appeal your assessment to the Tax Court of Canada. The Tax Court of Canada has to receive your notice of appeal within 90 days of the date the CRA sends their decision on your objection. You can also apply to the Court if the CRA fails to give you a decision within 90 days of the day you filed your application for extension.
So what is the Tax Court of Canada? The Tax Court of Canada is an independent court of law that regularly conducts hearings in major centres across Canada. It follows two procedures: the informal procedure and the general procedure.
You can qualify to use the informal procedure if:
·The disputed amount of federal tax and penalties is not more than $12,000 per assessment.
·The disputed loss amount is not more than $24,000 per determination.
·Interest on federal tax and on penalties is the only matter in dispute.
During the informal procedure, the Court does not have to follow rules of evidence to resolve appeals as quickly and informally as possible. The judgement issued under the informal procedure will not be treated as a precedent for other cases.
Unless you qualify for and choose to follow the informal procedure, the Tax Court of Canada will hear your appeal under the general procedure. The general procedure follows formal court rules which cover such matters as filing of an appeal, rules of evidence, examination for discovery and production of documents.
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