Reasonable to consider taxpayer’s past late filings in assessing whether he would be given relief from penalties

Federal court | Tax | Income tax | Administration and enforcement

Canadian taxpayer was self-employed sound engineer who worked as independent subcontractor for United States (US) company while touring with Canadian musicians, largely in US. Taxpayer paid income taxes in US but eventually tried to take advantage of US/Canada tax treaties. When taxpayer sought retroactive adjustments, Canada Revenue Agency issued reassessments noting income tax and interest were due and charged penalties and associated interest. Taxpayer unsuccessfully requested cancellation of penalties. Taxpayer had requested opportunity to speak with someone over phone, but no one called him. Taxpayer brought application for judicial review and provided affidavits that included matters he would have conveyed over phone. Application dismissed. Taxpayer did not establish breach of procedural fairness, and decision was reasonable. Much of taxpayer’s affidavit evidence was either struck or given no weight due to not having been before delegate or being otherwise improper, though matters relating to procedural fairness were admissible. Taxpayer did not establish reasonable apprehension of bias relating to decision-makers or agency as whole, and taxpayer provided no authority suggesting he had right to make oral submissions in lieu of written submissions. Delegate had not been unreasonable in considering taxpayer’s past late filings as negative factor in assessing whether he would be given relief from penalties. Facts of case did not remotely fit into any categories of extraordinary circumstances in agency’s guidelines, and voluntary disclosure did not in itself allow taxpayer to escape penalties.

Klopak v. Canada (Attorney General) (2019), 2019 CarswellNat 1323, 2019 CarswellNat 568, 2019 FC 235, 2019 CF 235, Glennys L. McVeigh J. (F.C.).

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