Lauzon – Federal Court rejects an unjust enrichment claim by a taxpayer claiming he had not received refund cheques

The taxpayer alleged that he had not received cheques for refunds claimed in his returns for his 2005 and 2006 taxation years, which CRA’s records showed as having been paid, and brought an action against CRA in 2018 for unjust enrichment on the basis that it had not in fact received the refunds. In addition to finding that this action had been brought beyond the two-year limitation period in s. 4 of the Limitations Act (Ontario), Walker J also found that the CRA’s records of the payments having been made were sufficient evidence of this having occurred. She then stated:

I agree with Mr. Lauzon that the CRA’s evidence does not establish whether the Refund Cheques were negotiated by Mr. Lauzon or were stolen and negotiated by a third party. However, the CRA has demonstrated on a balance of probabilities that the Refund Cheques were issued, mailed and cashed with the result that Mr. Lauzon has not established any enrichment of the Crown. Without proof of enrichment, Mr. Lauzon’s claim for unjust enrichment can go no further and his action must fail.

Neal Armstrong. Summaries of Lauzon v. Canada (Revenue Agency) 2021 FC 431 under General Concepts – Unjust enrichment and s. 248(7).