The Tax Court & Expanded Jurisdiction
The Tax Court’s Bench and Bar Committee and the Canadian Bar Association’s Tax and Charities sections have sponsored a new resolution proposing that the Canadian Bar Association renew its efforts to persuade Parliament to expand the Tax Court of Canada’s exclusive jurisdiction for all tax-related matters including judicial review of the Minister of National Revenue’s and the Canada Revenue Agency’s discretionary decisions under the voluntary disclosure program and the taxpayer relief provisions.
Supporters of the resolution believe that consolidating all tax matters within a specialized and expert court will improve cost, efficiency and service to taxpayers. Critics believe that the Federal Court provides good service to taxpayers and warn that the proposed change is a major substantive change.
We believe that this debate is important and any discussion that may lead to improved service, efficiency and access to justice in tax matters is gladly received. Unfortunately, the Canadian Bar Association’s governing council has decided to postpone its voting on the resolution until its next meeting in February 2012. We encourage interested readers to read Ms. Cristin Schmitz’s informative article published in the Lawyers Weekly entitled Tax and Federal Courts’ turf war goes public.