Justice Pizzitelli rejected Mr. Hall's claim essentially because Charter s. 15 is designed to make sure that people have the same privileges under the law, without regard to characteristics over which they have no individual choice, such as race, sex or religion. Since no one in Canada can claim tax credits for donations to charities that aren't registered with CRA, Mr. Hall wasn't discriminated against. And in any case, the discrimination would be based on Mr. Hall's choice to donate to an unregistered charity not "on any of the Appellant’s characteristics that are immutable [though religion should involve some choice, unlike the other characteristics in s. 15]." (Para. 10.)
To support his view, Justice Pizzitelli referred to a Federal Court of Appeal decision that said Canadians have no Charter right to claim medical expense tax credits for "off-the-shelf" (i.e., not prescription) drugs, even if a doctor prescribes them. In Ali v. Canada, the FCA said:
"In Auton, the Supreme Court of Canada held that subsection 15(1) of the Charter will not be infringed where the benefit that is sought is not one that is provided by the law that is being challenged. In the present case, the benefit claimed by the appellants is the METC in respect of the cost of Dietary Supplements that are purchased “off the shelf”. ... In Ray, this Court confirmed that such a benefit is not one that is provided by paragraph 118.2(2)(n) of the ITA. How then can it be discriminatory to deny the appellants a benefit (the METC in respect of the cost of “off the shelf” drugs) that no one gets?"
See Ali v. Canada, 2008 FCA 190 at para. 12. (Justice Pizzitelli quoted part of this para. in Mr. Hall's case.)
Aside from cases dealing with criminal tax evasion, it will be extremely rare that courts agree that the Charter of Rights is relevant to tax laws. In Ali, the FCA cited an earlier 2003 FCA decision of Justice Rothstein (now on the SCC). An even clearer statement on Charter s. 7 is this:
" Under the Income Tax Act as it now reads, and as it read in 2001 and 2002, an income tax assessment is a civil matter involving only economic interests. It does not deprive the assessed person of life, liberty or security of the person within the meaning of section 7 of the Charter, and it does not place the assessed person under state control in a manner that could possibly be considered treatment or punishment within the meaning of section 12 of the Charter." Gratl v. Canada, 2012 FCA 88 (Sharlow).
See Hall v. The Queen, (2013 TCC Pizzitelli)