Springer v. R. – TCC: Court Has No Equitable Jurisdiction to Reduce Tax on RRSP Withdrawals

Bill Innes on Current Tax Cases

http://decision.tcc-cci.gc.ca/site/tcc-cci/decisions/en/item/64348/index.do New Window

Springer v. The Queen[1] (October 22, 2013) involved a taxpayer who claimed that withdrawals from his RRSP had been taxed twice and sought relief in the Tax Court.  The court rejected his appeal:

[4]             Mr. Springer submits that the tax on the RRSP withdrawal is particularly harsh because the amount withdrawn is subject to double tax because it was taxed as earnings before it was transferred to the RRSP.

[5]             First, I am not satisfied that there has been any double tax. Mr. Springer testified that the RRSP account was funded by a transfer of pension monies when he retired from CP Rail several years ago.

[6]             Generally, employees are not subject to double tax on pension or RRSP funds or on transfers between these plans. Tax on these amounts is generally imposed only when the funds are withdrawn by the individual, which in this case occurred when Mr. Springer withdrew $19,966 in 2010.

[7]             Without Mr. Springer providing support for his submission that there is double tax, I am not satisfied that there is.

[8]             Second, it is well established that this Court cannot provide relief on grounds of policy, equity or fairness. The Court is required to apply the provisions of the legislation regardless of the consequences in a particular case (Chaya v The Queen, 2004 FCA 327). Accordingly, even if the result is unfair, no relief can be provided.

This appears to be a solid, unexceptional result.

[1] 2013 TCC 332.