Mr. DuoangChanh took part in a charity scheme. CRA reassessed him. Commonly, the promoters direct participants in how to file a Notice of Objection. Mr. DuoangChanh did file an Objection, which CRA put on hold, so that it could decide his objection on the same basis as it treated all other investor-donors, a process that can take years, especially if the promoters have the funds they need to pursue the matter through the tax courts.
About a month after filing his Objection, Mr. DuoangChanh asked CRA to reassess his return to allow some carrying charges. CRA did that.
There is a principle in tax law that when CRA issues a reassessment, it wipes out any prior assessment. The prior assessment having disappeared, the courts have said that the objection to it also becomes invalid. Instead, if the taxpayer still objects, he must object to the new reassessment. But Mr. DuoangChanh didn't understand this odd logic and so he missed the time limits for filing an objection to the new reassessment so that he could still oppose the CRA's disallowing his charity donation.
The rules in this area are confusing. Mr. DouangChanh was too late to object to the new reassessment, as CRA said and Justice Woods agreed. But in a further twist, she said that CRA was too late to reassess Mr. DouangChanh to allow the carrying charges, even though he asked for that. So, the new reassessment was invalid; the old one, to which he objected, remained, as did his objection. CRA had argued that Mr. DouangChanh had asked for a late reassessment, (a form of taxpayer relief), which, if true, validated the late reassessment and, in that case, he could not object even if he had done so on time. Justice Woods, obviously sympathetic to Mr. DouangChanh said that he had not asked for a late reassessment; so it was invalid; his old objection stood.
(There is also something called an "additional assessment", which adds an additional amount of tax or deals with an independent issue from the one that gave rise to the earlier objection. A taxpayer can object separately to an additional assessment and it doesn't invalidate the earlier reassessment or the objection to it. But Justice Woods didn't consider this possibility and it may not have suited the facts. For a discussion, see: Parent v. The Queen, 2003 TCC 509 and Walkem v. MNR 71 D.T.C. 5288 (F.C.T.D.).)
As confused as all this sounds, it highlights an important principle to keep in mind: A new reassessment, as a rule, invalidates the old one. If you objected to the old one, you must also object to the new one, or lose your chance to challenge the reassessment.
For all this, it seems doubtful Mr. DouangChanh will gain much by having his objection validated. Courts have agreed with CRA that these donation schemes are invalid and have upheld CRA's reassessments. So, Mr. DouangChanh does not have his carrying charges (because Justice Woods said that CRA's reassessment to allow those adjustments was too late) and yet it's likely also he will lose his objection.
See DouangChanh v. The Queen, (2013 TCC Woods)