Iris Technologies – Supreme Court of Canada notes that the Federal Court has jurisdiction over matters of reprehensible CRA conduct (none was alleged here)

Kasirer J confirmed the decision of the Federal Court of Appeal to strike 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 found that the first two claims were “best characterized as attacks on the correctness of the assessment which is the proper subject matter of an appeal to the Tax Court under the express authority of the ETA.” Regarding the third claim, he noted that ”jurisdiction to provide relief from reprehensible conduct of the Minister would fall to the Federal Court exercising its exclusive jurisdiction in judicial review under s. 18.1 of the FCA.” However, Iris’ third claim, that the Minister acted with an improper purpose, was properly struck “because Iris did not allege facts in its application that, if taken to be true, would give any support to this claim.”

Kasirer J also agreed with the Federal Court of Appeal that the Court should not exercise its discretion by making a declaration that will not “have any real or practical effect,” and that “[i]ssuing a declaration that does not quash or vacate the assessments would serve little or no purpose”.

Neal Armstrong. Summaries of Iris Technologies Inc. v. Canada, 2024 SCC 24 under Federal Courts Act, s. 18.5 and ETA s. 296(1).