What is Involved in a Tax Appeal?

Steps in a Tax Court Appeal

At Ummat Tax Law, we receive many calls from taxpayers who are simply unaware of what an appeal to Tax Court entails.  A Tax Court appeal is the option available to you in certain situations.  In most cases, you have objected to a reassessment you disagree with, and the CRA has confirmed that reassessment.  Once you receive notice of CRA’s confirmation, you generally have 90 days to appeal to the Tax Court of Canada.

Appeals of smaller amounts are dealt with through the Informal Procedure, where the process is more streamlined.  If the amount at issue exceeds certain thresholds, the appeal is instituted as a General Procedure appeal.  See General Procedure Rules here.

In a general procedure appeal, an appellant must file a Notice of Appeal. The Department of Justice (DOJ) – lawyers representing the CRA – will then file a Reply to the Notice of Appeal.

The next step is usually entering a timetable with the DOJ for the remaining litigation steps.  The remaining steps will generally be the serving and filing of a List of Documents, exchanging a book of documents, Examinations for Discovery, exchanging Undertakings and either a Settlement Conference or Trial (and sometimes both).

At Ummat Tax Law, we try to see the middle ground in a tax dispute and will always consider early settlement.  If early settlement is not possible, then our clients can breathe a sigh of relief knowing our expert tax lawyers have conducted scores of discoveries and argued hundreds of trials.

Tax Court is a fair and just institution designed to resolve tax disputes between the CRA and taxpayers.  The judges know their tax and have a deep understanding of the rules of evidence.  We urge all taxpayers to protect their legal positions in the Tax Court context by hiring experienced and talented lawyers.