Adboss – Tax Court of Canada strikes the Minister’s pleading of an assumption that a company’s “controlling mind and management” was in Canada as a mixed statement of fact and law

The Minister’s reply, to the taxpayer’s appeal of an assessment of it to deny zero-rating of taxable supplies made by it to a mooted non-resident (“Lowfroc”) on the basis that Lowfroc was a resident of Canada, pleaded “assumptions” including that Lowfroc was incorporated in Cyprus, that the taxpayer had no correspondence with any Lowfroc-connected persons in Cyprus and that “at all material times, the controlling mind and management of Lowfroc was in Canada.” Lafleur J found that the quoted phrase referenced the jurisprudential test of “central management and control,” and further noted that the “location of the ‘central management and control’ of a corporation … is actually the legal test that must be applied to determine the residency of a corporation.” In explaining the decision to strike under Rules 53(1)(a) (“delay … fair hearing”) and (c) (“abuse of … process”), she stated:

[B]ecause the Appellant will have to speculate as to the facts underlying the conclusion of mixed fact and law of the Minister that the “controlling mind and management” of Lowfroc was in Canada, and because the Appellant therefore cannot be properly prepared for and proceed with discoveries, this will prejudice or delay the fair prosecution of the appeal and constitutes an abuse of the Court’s process.

Neal Armstrong. Summary of Adboss, Ltd. v. The King, 2022 TCC 125 under Rule 53(1)(c).