Tax | Income tax | Administration and enforcement
Representative. Corporate taxpayer and three individual taxpayers brought motions for order permitting them to be represented in their respective general procedure appeals by their accountant rather than retaining counsel . Motions dismissed. Subsection 17.1(1) of Tax Court of Canada Act (TCC Act) did contemplate that corporate party in general procedure appeal could appear in person, in sense of being represented by someone who was not counsel as permitted via R. 30(2) of Tax Court of Canada Rules (General Procedure) leave application. Applying presumption against tautology, Parliament intended corporate party to be able to be represented by either counsel or some third party individual who was not lawyer. Textual, contextual and purposive interpretations all accorded that meaning must be given to clear Parliamentary language that party, which was term encompassing both corporate and non-corporate parties, may appear in person in general procedure appeal. Any reading out of Parliament’s clear language in s. 17.1(1) of TCC Act would not respect s. 12 of Interpretation Act, which provides that every enactment shall be given fair, large and liberal construction. Blanket denial of corporate taxpayer’s ability to be represented by non-counsel was not fair, large and liberal construction of s. 17.1(1) of TCC Act. Applying R. 30(2) to corporate taxpayer, no evidence supported that corporation was financially unable to retain counsel and having lawyer representation was important. Accountant would potentially be important, if not key, witness, which lessened his attraction as appropriate non-counsel representative. Rule 30(1) was clear that individual taxpayer may either act in person or be represented by counsel. Accountant was not lawyer and could not represent individual taxpayers.
Sutlej Foods Inc. v. The Queen (2019), 2019 CarswellNat 157, 2019 TCC 20, B. Russell J. (T.C.C. [General Procedure]).
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