Content of Tax Appeals

In an interesting article on March 13, 2010, Jamie Golombek wrote about a recent decision in the Tax Court of Canada. The issue before the Tax Court of Canada was whether Fidelity Investments Canada ULC had filed a proper notice of objection. According to Mr. Golombek’s article, upon receiving a notice of objection for 2006 for a particular mutual fund, Fidelity sent a letter to CRA asking for 2 adjustments to the notice of assessment. The Tax Court of Canada found that a notice of objection had not been filed by Fidelity.

The actual content of a valid notice of objection can contain as little as “I object to the notice of (re)assessment for the 20XX taxation year.” If the letter is sent to a tax services office, it should meet the requirements found in section 165 of theIncome Tax Act. Further, if such a letter were attached to CRA’s T400a Notice of Objection form, there should be no issue as to whether a notice of objection was filed. While such a letter would be the bare minimum to start the objection process, supplementary information would be required to resolve the objection.

Given the basic nature of such a letter, it is mind-boggling that none of the accountants and lawyers employed or retained by Fidelity were able to locate and resolve the deficiency.