Tax Court of Canada


Income tax

Administration and enforcement

Blind acceptance of returns amounted to wilful blindness and gross negligence

Taxpayer had her tax returns prepared by DSC and signed them without review. Minister reassessed taxpayer for 2008 and 2009 taxation years, including gross negligence penalties in respect of net business loss falsely claimed for each taxation year. Taxpayer appealed. Appeal dismissed. Taxpayer was aware that Minister had disallowed 2005 and 2006 charitable deductions and assessed gross negligence penalty. Taxpayer admitted that she had done no work for business pushed by DSC. Blind acceptance of returns prepared by DSC in face of reassessments and disallowances of deductions amounted to wilful blindness and as well to degree of negligence sufficient to constitute gross negligence. Educated taxpayer cannot fob off responsibility so as to be unaware of what is being claimed on his/her behalf; while giving no credence to ample signs of non-acceptance of previous filings by Minister.

Tavernier v. The Queen (2018), 2018 CarswellNat 4760, 2018 TCC 173, B. Russell J. (T.C.C. [General Procedure]).

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