Minister’s reasons reflect required elements of justification, transparency, and intelligibility

Tax - Income tax - Administration and enforcement

Taxpayer participated in programs that sought to minimize tax liability. Taxpayer’s participation in these programs resulted in reassessment of his 1995 to 2000 tax returns and as result, taxpayer incurred significant debt and gross negligence penalties were also assessed against taxpayer. After lengthy litigation, taxpayer reached settlement with CRA that included waiver of gross negligence penalties. Taxpayer then sought interest relief in 2010, was granted partial relief on that debt, and then made second request in 2018, for which taxpayer was also granted partial relief. Taxpayer brought application for judicial review. Application dismissed. Minister’s decision letter demonstrated that taxpayer’s submissions in support of relief were acknowledged, summarized and considered. Ultimately, relief was provided after consideration of broad range of factors and circumstances and in respect to time periods and circumstances that fell outside scope of guidelines. Fact that relief was limited to those circumstances involving delay attributable to CRA does not render decision unreasonable or demonstrate fettering of discretion. Minister’s reasons reflect required elements of justification, transparency, and intelligibility, and conclusions reached fell within range of possible, acceptable outcomes.

Macintosh v. Canada (National Revenue) (2019), 2019 CarswellNat 5917, 2019 FC 1343, Patrick Gleeson J. (F.C.).

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