The informal procedure at the Tax Court of Canada is similar to the Small Claims Court offered throughout Canada. Essentially, if you are disputing less than $25,000 per tax assessment, you may choose the informal procedure.
What is the Informal Procedure at Tax Court?
The informal procedure at Tax Court is a simplified method of taking your tax case in front of a Judge. The rules of evidence are relaxed, and the litigation steps required for the General Procedure are relaxed as well.
If you have been audited, and you have already objected and are unhappy with the final decision from the Canada Revenue Agency, the next step is filing a Notice of Appeal in Tax Court. This is where you have the choice of the Informal, or General Procedure.
Why Choose the Informal Procedure?
If you qualify for the informal procedure at Tax Court, most of the time it is the better option. It takes less time, and it also allows for self-representation. However, there are times where the General Procedure is the better avenue. This is not an easy choice to make and a lawyer should be consulted. The General Procedure may be a better option if you have a case that the Canada Revenue Agency does not want a losing decision to become a precedent. A precedent is something that can be relied on by other taxpayers in their fight against the Canada Revenue Agency.
By going through the General Procedure, you may get a quick settlement rather then the CRA going to trial risking a defeat and a possible precedent that hurts them in later fights against taxpayers.
Why use a Tax Lawyer for the Informal Procedure?
As mentioned above, tax lawyers assist in determining whether to file a notice of appeal under the Informal, or General Procedure. Where the decision is to apply under the Informal Procedure, tax lawyers can ensure that the process goes smoothly, and you put your best foot forward.
Some tax cases may appear simple, but can be quite complex when it comes to presenting in front of a Judge.
For most people, Tax Court is their last chance to fight against the Canada Revenue Agency and the assessment that they do not agree with. You do have the option of appealing a decision to the Federal Court of Appeal, but this may be too costly for most people.
The Canada Revenue Agency always puts their lawyers (the Department of Justice) on Informal Procedure cases. Why should taxpayers be put at a disadvantage?
Rosen Kirshen Tax Law believes that you should have the representation you deserve. Whether you are filing a notice of appeal under the informal procedure, or the general procedure, we can help. If you want complete representation, or just want some advice on certain matters, we are here and ready to assist. Call us today to see what we can do for you and your tax court appeal!
This article provides information of a general nature only. It does not provide legal advice nor can it or should it be relied upon. All tax situations are specific to their facts and will differ from the situations in the articles. If you have specific legal questions you should consult a lawyer.