A notice of appeal can be filed using one of the following methods:
- depositing the notice of appeal with the Registry of the Tax Court of Canada;
- sending the notice of appeal to the Registry;
- faxing the notice of appeal to the Registry; or
- filing the notice of appeal electronically.
If the notice of appeal is filed in person or mailed, two copies must be filed.
The notice of appeal is deemed to have been filed on the day it was received by the Registry. When it is filed in person, mailed or faxed, the registrar will put a stamp on the document. That date will be deemed to be the date of filing. If the notice of appeal is filed electronically, the date shown on the acknowledgement of receipt is deemed to be the date of filing.
How to Write a Notice of Appeal?
A taxpayer filing a notice of appeal under the General Procedure Rules must use one of the forms specified (Form 21(1)(a), (d), (e) or (f)). Since the taxpayer is the one appealing to the Tax Court of Canada, he is the “appellant”. The respondent is “Her Majesty the Queen”.
The notice of appeal contains 5 sections:
- Facts – The material facts relied on by the appellant in support of his position must be stated here.
- Issues – The issues or, in other words, the questions that the appellant wants the Court to decide must be stated here.
- Statutory provisions – The statutory provisions the appellant intends to rely upon in support of his appeal must be stated here. The statutory provisions will generally be from the Income Tax Act or Excise Tax Act (for GST or HST), although reference can also be made to other legislation, if relevant (e.g. Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, Canada Business Corporations Act, etc.).
- Reasons – The arguments that the appellant intends to make must be stated here.
- Relief sought – What the appellant is asking the Court to do must be stated here. Generally, the appellant will be asking the Court to allow his appeal with costs (referring to the costs of the litigation).
Some comments about what to include in the notice of appeal:
- It is a common mistake for taxpayers to complain about CRA officers’ misconduct, or how they acted improperly during the audit. Personal attacks on CRA officers can be counterproductive and cast a negative light on the person making those allegations. Further, the Tax Court of Canada’s jurisdiction is limited to determining the correctness of the reassessment(s) under appeal. The Court will generally not hear complaints of misconduct and, regardless, cannot grant any relief related to such alleged misconduct. The facts stated in the notice of appeal should be limited to what is relevant.
- It is another common mistake for taxpayers to include evidence in their notice of appeal. There is a difference between a fact and the evidence that supports that fact. The notice of appeal should limit itself to statements of fact.
A taxpayer should make sure that his notice of appeal is clear, complete and compelling.
Last updated: October 4, 2015