Takenaka – Federal Court requires CRA to reconsider a penalty imposed for failure to timely file a T1135 by a taxpayer with a nil Part I tax liability
The taxpayer, who had no Part I tax payable for her 2011 and 2012 years, decided in 2014 to file returns for those years in order to make Canada child tax benefit claims. With her returns she also filed the T1135s for those years reporting her co-ownership interest in a Florida property (with the other interest already having been timely reported by her husband). CRA assessed late filing penalties under s. 162(7)(a) respecting the late T1135s – and then, on a second-level review, cancelled the penalty for 2012 but not for 2011. This could be viewed as the taxpayer being penalized for not feeling guilty and, therefore, not using voluntary disclosure proceedings.
Rather than appealing the penalty (see Douglas), she went to the Federal Court. Mosley J sent the file back for a redetermination on the issue of the penalty for 2011, partly on the basis that the CRA delegate had incorrectly considered the 2011 and 2012 income tax returns to be overdue (so that there was little excuse for not also timely filing the related T1135s), whereas in his view she was under no obligation to file such returns.