Subsection 288(1) - Inspections
R v. He, 2012 DTC 5129 [at 7234], 2012 BCCA 318
The Court affirmed the trial judge's decision to exclude evidence obtained by CRA in the course of a pilot project to evaluate the adequacy and reliability of the point-of-sale systems of various business including that of the accused, including the warrantless seizure of accounting diskettes. The project was a randomly sampled study intended for policy research, and was not meant to investigate tax liabilities. CRA officials misrepresented their authority under the project in order to seize the diskettes. The Court found that this amounted to a warrantless seizure in violation of the taxpayer's Charter rights.
Hinkson J.A. also remarked (at para. 54) that the Supreme Court of Canada's requirement in Richardson, that the Minister exercise power under s. 231.2 of the Income Tax Act only if the taxpayer's liability is a "subject of genuine and serious inquiry," also applies to s. 231.1. As Hinkson J.A. also stated (at paras. 20 and 22) that ss. 288 and 289 Excise Tax Act were parallel provisions to 231.1 and 231.2 respectively, a similar conclusion probably applies to those sections.
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