Minister enjoyed very broad discretion
FEDERAL COURT - TAX - INCOME TAX - ADMINISTRATION AND ENFORCEMENT
Taxpayer company was audited by Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for unremitted source deductions, and CRA issued notices of assessment to taxpayer for failure to remit source. Taxpayer filed notice of objection in 2004, but CRA confirmed assessment year and one half later and taxpayer did not appeal to tax court, and also let pass one-year discretionary extension period. In 2007, Minister issued notice of assessment against director personally, to which director successfully objected. In 2014, taxpayer submitted unsuccessful application for remission of source deductions, remission committee recommended application be denied and Minister concurred with committee’s recommendations. Taxpayer brought application for judicial review. Application dismissed. Minister’s delegate reasonably found that no circumstances were presented that would have prevented taxpayer from filing appeal to tax court disputing underlying assessment within statutory timelines. Minister in deciding whether to recommend remission, followed its Guidelines in assessing whether several factors warranted relief, including whether there was incorrect action on part of CRA or financial setback coupled with extenuating circumstances, and whether remission was in public interest. Minister found that payments applied to taxpayer’s payroll debt would have caused financial setback to taxpayer but that there were no extenuating circumstances that would support remission. Discretionary decision of whether to recommend remission was exceptional remedy where Minister enjoyed very broad discretion, and as such, was owed considerable deference by reviewing court.
Internorth Ltd. v. Canada (National Revenue) (2019), 2019 CarswellNat 1595, 2019 CarswellNat 2968, 2019 FC 574, 2019 CF 574, Alan S. Diner J. (F.C.).
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