Oct 9, 2020
The Tax Court of Canada’s (TCC) newly created fast-track settlement program for “general procedure” appeals in response to the backlog of cases resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic is “parallel to what existed before,” Osler partner Pooja Mihailovich tells Investment Executive. In her article, author Fiona Collie explores how the TCC went into lockdown in March due to COVID-19, which resulted in the cancellation of approximately 1,000 hearings. In response to this backlog, the article explains how the TCC has implemented several modernizing measures including “digitizing documents for written court procedures and fast-tracking settlement hearings.” Pooja, a partner in Osler’s Taxation Group who specializes in advising clients on tax litigation and dispute resolution matters, explains.
“[The fast-track settlement process] is a little different, but it is parallel to what existed before,” Pooja tells Investment Executive. “[The TCC just] reduced the number of hoops you have to get through to get there.”
The article explains that “one hurdle to having a fast-track settlement conference is that both parties must agree to it,” whereas previously only one party needed to apply.
While the article discusses how the TCC’s future is not going to be fully digital, the push for digitization of some processes and encouragement for parties to reach settlements signal the TCC’s modernization.
“I don’t think it can ever really be business as usual [again],” Pooja says.
For more information, read author Fiona Collie’s article “Tax Court catches up on back taxes” in Investment Executive on October 9, 2020.