The applicant was seeking an order to extend the time within which to appeal his assessments for the 2007 and 2008 taxation years. The applicant filed paperwork to appeal six months after notices of reassessment were issued, in the belief that he had eighteen months to appeal. In fact, appeals must be filed within ninety days.
The application for an order to extend the time to appeal was granted. An order extending the time within which to appeal may be granted subject to the conditions set out in the legislation. The applicant must show an intent to appeal within ninety days of receiving the assessment, the application must be made as soon as circumstances permitted, it is just and equitable to grant the application and there must be reasonable grounds for appeal. The respondent argued that the applicant failed to demonstrate an intent to appeal and did not make the application as soon as circumstances permitted. Those grounds concern appeal procedure and while the legislation must be followed, unless non-compliance is clear, the application should not be dismissed on procedural grounds. The applicant’s bookkeeper testified that the intent to appeal was formed as soon as reassessments were received following notices of objections being filed. While her testimony was not fully credible, there was enough evidence to support the applicant’s belief that he acted as promptly as possible. On viewing all the evidence, it is reasonable to infer that the applicant formed the intent to appeal when he saw the large amounts owing in the notices of reassessment. Filing six months later was reasonable given the time it takes to prepare an appeal and that the applicant was travelling and moving offices. It is not easy for a taxpayer to navigate the appeals procedure. The applicant reasonably relied on the Court’s website when filing his appeal. Neither the Court’s website nor the forms for extension applications mention the conditions necessary for a successful extension application. The respondent conceded that the grounds in the notice of appeal were not frivolous. It was just and equitable to grant the application.
Reference case: Apic v. The Queen, 2015 DTC 1174