Iris Technologies – Federal Court of Appeal finds that seeking review of an improper exercise of CRA discretion in assessing represented a futile collateral attack on those assessments

Rennie JA struck out a Federal Court application of Iris Technologies Inc., which sought a declaration that Iris was denied procedural fairness in the audit and assessment process, that the resulting assessments were made without an evidentiary foundation and that they were issued for the improper purpose of depriving the Federal Court of jurisdiction to hear its administrative law grievances. He stated inter alia that the application was “in essence, a collateral challenge to the validity of the assessments issued under the ETA, a matter within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Tax Court.”

In also applying the proposition that the Court should not exercise its discretion by making a declaration that will not “have any real or practical effect,” he stated:

The assessment remains valid and binding until vacated by the Tax Court. Issuing a declaration that does not quash or vacate the assessments would serve little or no purpose …

Neal Armstrong. Summaries of Canada (Attorney General) v. Iris Technologies Inc., 2022 FCA 101 under Federal Courts Act, s. 18.5.