Tax Litigation/Appeal

– Practice Area

Highly Experienced Tax Litigators in Waterloo

If you are considering objecting to a notice of assessment received from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), or if you are otherwise involved in a tax dispute, it is imperative to consult with a knowledgeable tax lawyer as soon as possible.

Timelines for resolving tax matters are extremely strict and begin running when the CRA mails their communication to you (not when you receive the communication). Penalties and interest begin to accumulate right away. Speaking with a tax lawyer immediately upon receipt of any communications from the CRA can help you understand your options, prepare for and proactively address any risks, and begin to prepare an effective strategy for responding.

At Duncan, Linton LLP we have served our community for more than 150 years. Our lawyers are dedicated to building strong and lasting relationships with our clients and helping them navigate their most challenging legal and tax issues. We are the oldest independent law firm based in Waterloo Region and one of the oldest law firms in all of Ontario.

Filing an Objection

If you have received a Notice of Assessment, Notice of Reassessment, Notice of Determination, or Notice of Redetermination and you did not receive the outcome you were expecting, or you disagree with any part of the CRA’s assessment the Waterloo tax lawyers at Duncan, Linton LLP can help.

If you are objecting to an assessment or reassessment, a Notice of Objection must be filed within 90 days of the CRA sending the Notice of Assessment. This is the first step in the formal process of resolving a tax dispute. Objections cannot be filed to dispute a Statement of Account or a proposal letter from an auditor.

As much information and detail as possible, including supporting documentation and should be filed with your Notice of Objection. It is critical to be extremely thorough at this stage and it is advisable to seek assistance from a knowledgeable tax lawyer with experience in these matters to ensure that you are providing as much information and supporting paperwork as you can possibly gather.

Once the CRA reviews your objection, they will issue one of three decisions:

  • The objection is allowed in full: the amount in dispute is reversed (as are penalties and interest);
  • The objection is allowed in part: the amount in dispute is adjusted and another Notice of Assessment is issued, reflecting the changes allowed;
  • The objection is not allowed: the original amount indicated as owing on the initial Notice of Assessment is upheld, that amount must be paid (plus additional interest accrued while the objection was under review).

Appealing a Decision

If your Notice of Objection is rejected, or only allowed in part, you may appeal your assessment or determination to the Tax Court of Canada. The time limit for filing an appeal is 90 days from the date on the notice. Your appeal must be made in writing, include the reasons for your appeal, and include all relevant facts.

Decisions of the Tax Court can be further appealed to the Federal Court of Appeal, which can then be further challenged at the Supreme Court of Canada (only with that court’s permission).

Any such appeals should be undertaken with the guidance of a knowledgeable tax lawyer with significant experience representing clients in such disputes. Appeals will follow formal and highly regulated court procedures and will require the gathering of evidence, witnesses, and other information in support of your position.

At Duncan, Linton LLP the lawyers in our Tax Law Group are highly experienced litigators and passionate advocates. We have extensive courtroom experience at all levels of court, as well as significant appellate advocacy experience. We pride ourselves on consistently achieving strong results for our clients in a timely and cost-effective fashion.

Time Limits

For Notices of Objection

The timeline for filing a Notice of Objection is either:

  • One year after the date of your tax returns filing deadline; or
  • 90 days after the CRA sends the notice of assessment (whichever of these two dates is later).

If you miss the deadline for filing a Notice, you can apply for an extension. To receive an extension, you will have to establish that:

  • You could not object or have someone else object for you by the deadline;
  • You intended to object by the deadline;
  • It would be fair to grant you an extension; and
  • You applied as soon as you could.

For Appeals

You must apply to the Tax Court of Canada for an appeal within 90 days of the date the CRA sent their decision on your Notice of Objection.

If you miss this deadline, you can apply to the Court for a time extension. You must explain why you did not file your appeal on time. An application for extension must be made within one year after the expiration of the original filing deadline.

The Waterloo tax lawyers at Duncan, Linton LLP regularly help clients navigate procedural requests in tax disputes, including requests for extensions of timelines. If you find yourself in a situation that complicates your tax objection or appeal, we can help you get your matter back on track.

For Advice and Guidance with Tax Disputes, Appeals, and Related Litigation contact Duncan, Linton LLP

Contact the Waterloo tax lawyers at Duncan, Linton LLP for guidance on communicating with the CRA and representation during appeals of CRA assessments, reassessments and throughout any related litigation. Our lawyers have many years of experience advising clients on tax matters. The lawyers in our Tax Law Group work closely with external accountants as well as lawyers across our other practice groups to provide thorough, in-depth risk management advice. Call us at (519) 886-3340 or contact us online to speak to a member of our Tax Group.