Tax court had discretion to bifurcate appeal issues at parties' request

Tax – Income tax - Administration and enforcement

Taxpayers appealed from assessments. Parties requested bifurcation of issues in taxpayers’ appeals, by letter to Tax Court. Tax Court of Canada judge rejected request, concluding that s. 171(2) of Income Tax Act could not be applied to taxpayers’ appeals. Taxpayers appealed. Appeal allowed. Provision clearly allowed Tax Court judge, if he was so inclined in exercise of his discretion, to give effect to parties’ request. Considering that s. 171(2) of Act was applicable and did not bar parties’ request, fact that parties were in agreement with respect to manner in which their tax appeals should proceed was highly relevant although not determinative consideration in exercise of discretion. Matter would be returned to Tax Court judge for reconsideration.

Patel v. Canada (2020), 2020 CarswellNat 140, 2020 FCA 27, M. Nadon J.A., Webb J.A., and Boivon J.A. (F.C.A.).

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