Federal Court


Income tax

Administration and enforcement

Record of late filing in 15 of 30 years supported discretionary decision not to grant relief

After deadline, taxpayer delivered his income tax return to drop box as instructed by Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) officer, but return was misdirected, so non-filer notice of assessment (NOA) was issued. Taxpayer’s appeal led to reassessment that reduced taxes, late filing penalty and interest. Taxpayer’s request for relief from penalties and interest was initially denied because of his failure to file on time and pay taxes, and second time, because CRA did not cause delay, there was no financial hardship, and taxpayer’s age was not connected to his ability to pay taxes. Taxpayer brought application for judicial review. Application dismissed. Decision was reasonable and appropriately took into account taxpayer’s circumstances and taxpayer relief provisions in guidelines. Taxpayer chose not to pay his income taxes for five years because he believed non-filer NOA was wrong, but this did not provide him with legal right to pay no tax. It was reasonable for decision maker to reject argument that issuance of non-filer NOA was circumstance beyond taxpayer’s control. Whether return was directed to intended department immediately or at later date did not have any material effect on calculation of interest and penalty because interest and penalty levied on non-filer NOA were cancelled and readjusted to actual date of filing. Remaining interest and penalty arose from filing return eight months after deadline and non-payment of taxes by deadline. It was reasonable for decision maker to conclude that no action or error by CRA was material cause of penalty and interest. Taxpayer submitted that he was fully compliant taxpayer, which put his compliance history in play. Record of late filing in 15 of 30 years supported discretionary decision not to grant relief.

Robinson v. Canada (National Revenue) (2018), 2018 CarswellNat 4460, 2018 CarswellNat 5125, 2018 FC 825, 2018 CF 825, E. Susan Elliott J. (F.C.).

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