Précis: On the face of it this was a run-of-the-mill appeal involving a net worth assessment against a denturist/cabdriver for the failure to report roughly $150,000 over a period of two years. The taxpayer was unsuccessful in the Tax Court an appealed to the Federal Court of Appeal. Justice Woods, with whom, Justice Stratas and Justice Webb concurred, found no reversible error on the part of the trial judge. Justice Webb wrote an extensive concurring opinion dealing with the issues of onus of proof in the case of Ministerial assumptions of fact. Essentially he found that there was no difference between facts pleaded by a taxpayer and Ministerial assumptions denying facts alleged by the taxpayer; in both cases the onus was on the taxpayer to establish the disputed facts on a balance of probabilities. Thus notwithstanding earlier jurisprudence that speaks of the taxpayer raising a prima facie case demolishing the Minister’s assumptions Justice Webb believes that simply means that the taxpayer must disprove the Minister’s assumptions on the balance of probabilities (at least in the case of denials of fact).
Sarmadi v. R. - FCA: Lone dissent on onus revives debate on Ministerial assumptionsREAD MORE »