You should be careful when deciding whether or not to retain a tax lawyer.
If the appeal is under the Informal Procedure Rules and the amount involved is small, it makes sense to be self-represented. Taxpayers who are self-represented can take comfort in the fact that the Tax Court of Canada is used to having taxpayers represent themselves and will try, within the bounds of what is permissible, to help them navigate the process. That being said, a Tax Court judge can only do so much and the ultimate responsibility rests with you to prepare and present your case.
If the appeal is under the General Procedure Rules, some factors to consider before retaining a tax lawyer include:
- How complex are the issues under appeal?
- What is the amount at stake in the appeal?
- Legal costs?
- How familiar are you with the legal system?
- Your background?
- How much time can you devote to the appeal?
- How emotional are you about your case?
You should not underestimate the complexity of properly handling a case through the litigation process. There are many nuances in the law and strategic factors to consider. The ultimate question is whether or not you can adequately represent yourself in court. If the answer is no, you should consider retaining a tax lawyer.
NEXT – TAX COURT OF CANADA
Last updated: October 5, 2018