Non-existence of receipt for each taxpayer was fatal

Taxpayers appealed from assessments disallowing deductions for purported charitable donation

Tax - INCOME TAX - Tax credits

Taxpayers appealed from assessments disallowing deductions for purported charitable donation to universal donation program during taxation year 2010. At consolidated hearing that also served as case management conference and show cause hearing, Minister brought motion to dismiss appeals. Nine taxpayers failed to appear despite court order requiring their presence in person or through agent or counsel. Motion granted; appeals dismissed. None of non-appearing taxpayers provided any communication conveying reason or excuse for failing to attend, and did not provide required list of documents or affidavit swearing to existence of charitable donation receipt. Sine qua non of deductibility of eligible donation amount was production of charitable receipt as required under s. 118.1(2) of Income Tax Act. Quest in case management process simply to determine whether any donation receipt existed for 2010 year relevant to each appeal. As there was no evidence that any receipt ever existed for non-appearing taxpayers, appeals could not be directed to trial where authenticity, sufficiency or accuracy of any such receipt would have been decided. Attending taxpayers provided various documents relating to donation program, including receipts for other years, various promotional materials, and copies of cheques or money orders, but did not produce original or copy of receipt for any charitable gift or donation given in 2010. Requirements of s. 118.1(2) of Act, including charitable donation receipt that must be produced for Minister upon request, were mandatory. Receipt was ironclad, baseline requirement. Non-existence of receipt for each taxpayer was fatal and left trial judge no evidence from which to determine whether critical elemental details existed. Court could not abide further use of its processes in these appeals where critical threshold of existence and production of donation receipt had not been met.

Eusebe v. The Queen (2018), 2018 CarswellNat 8327, 2018 TCC 254, Randall S. Bocock J. (T.C.C. [Informal Procedure]).

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