Canadian Supreme Court dismisses appeal in tax advisor case

By in

The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed the appeal of a case concerning a taxpayer, ruling that the tax advisor penalty in section 163 of the Income Tax Act is administrative in nature and therefore does not constitute a crime.
The Court’s decision in Guindon v. The Queen (2015 SCC 41) (Docket No. 35519) has far-reaching implications for Canadian taxpayers and service providers.

While the majority of the Court (3 out of 4 Judges) exercised discretion to consider the taxpayer’s constitutional argument, the defendant showed a failure to provide notice of a fundamental question, and the Court held their previous ruling that the penalty under section 163 was not criminal in nature.

In a likeminded opinion that disagreed with the issue of the notice requirement, Judge Abella, Karakatsanis and Judge Wagner held that the taxpayer’s failure to provide notice of constitutional question in the Tax and Federal Court of Appeal was vital in the success of her appeal.