Including Criminal Code, Highway Traffic, Income Tax, and Regulatory Offences

Refusing to Play Along with the Income Tax Act

There is an adamant element of society who object to paying taxes or otherwise being governed by Canadian laws. They have been bringing all nature of court actions for many years, are usually self-represented, and place a huge burden on judges and the court system.

The Ontario Court of Appeal released a decision dismissing one such court action. Judges used to write long decisions carefully analyzing the novel ideas raised in these actions. Their decisions are now shorter and make the point that there is simply no legal merit in the ideas raised.

In this recent decision, the self-represented Applicants, in typical fashion for self-representing persons, failed to follow the proper legal procedures. That alone causes havoc in the legal system and, given that approximately fifty per cent of persons going through the courts are self-represented in all types of cases, this is a continuing and serious problem. Understanding the process is a big part of the value I bring as a lawyer.

In addition, the very premise of their legal argument was wrong, which is also typical for all sorts of self-represented persons. They were said to misunderstand the allocation of responsibilities between the judiciary and Parliament. Explaining these issues to clients can get a bit circular. Some people simply don't buy in to the jurisdictional framework – that really is part of their argument, after all!

This case ended as so many of these self-represented cases do. The judges ruled:

To conclude, every assertion made by the appellants ... is based on a selective reading of words and phrases in the (Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms – ed.), several international covenants, and several Supreme Court of Canada decisions, none of which, properly interpreted, support their radical positions. At least as long as they continue to live in Canada, to reside here, the appellants are subject to federal and provincial laws that apply to residents of Canada, including the Income Tax Act.

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