" Generally, the authorities may be divided into several categories: deadlines completely missed by even a few days for no reason; incomplete or incorrect interceding acts by a taxpayer to appeal or object; and, mishandled objections or appeals prosecuted by professional advisors."
Here, the taxpayer had hired advertised tax lawyers to handle the appeal and, seeing that time was passing, warned its lawyers of the approaching deadline. The lawyers missed the TCC filing deadline anyway and then took the wrong step to correct that error, applying to CRA, instead of the TCC, for an extension of time to file a TCC appeal. But the Court accepted that the taxpayer did not know the lawyer's error until two weeks before the hearing on the extension of time application.
" In contrast, where a taxpayer has undertaken reasonable actions, albeit incorrectly, to file an objection or appeal in some form with some logical entity, the Court has been prepared to find that such steps act as a standstill which freezes the countdown of time during that period within which a taxpayer was under a reasonable misapprehension that an appeal has been perfected (Hickerty, supra at paragraph 12).
" Documents not meeting the precise procedural requirements and/or otherwise sent to the wrong party, provided same are sent within the requisite time frame to some party relevant and involved in the proceedings, constitute actions requiring the Court to analyze the saving provisions of its rules to determine whether an application or appeal may have been constructively received by virtue of the inchoate step: Cheam Tours Ltd. v. MNR, 2008 TCC 18 (CanLII), 2008 TCC 18 at Paragraphs 14, 15 and 18. The Court may be prepared to construe the actions of the taxpayer as being reasonably sufficient to virtually constitute an application to extend the time to bring the appeal. Inexplicably misplaced or wrongly addressed documents are to be assigned the highest benefit of doubt in order to have an applicant’s appeal heard on it merits: Miniotas v. Her Majesty the Queen, 2011 TCC 43 (CanLII), 2011 TCC 43 at paragraphs 28 and 48. A letter filed by the taxpayer with the CRA instead of the court, where the taxpayer is confused, if filed within the requisite time, may be deemed to be a notice of appeal filed with the Tax Court by virtue of the discretion embedded in the 27(3) of the EI Tax Court Rules: Pham v. MNR, 2009 TCC 235 (CanLII), 2009 TCC 235 at paragraph 10.
" ... These causally interdependent errors of judgment [of the tax lawyers], none of which were committed by the taxpayer, all procedurally robbed the otherwise pro-active, cooperative and reasonably mistaken Applicant of its opportunity to perfect its appeal rights and access the curative provisions for remedying same had it been aware of the initial missteps and tardiness.
" Therefore, ... this Court will deem the request for extension and the notice of objection (filed with the CRA) to have been received by the Court on October 24, 2013 as a notice of appeal, now amended by the grounds of appeal contained within the proposed notice of appeal received with this application. It does so because the missteps were steps nonetheless. These actions, admittedly incomplete, give the Court jurisdiction to deploy its authority and discretion under sections 5.2 and 27 of both theCPP and EI Act Rules of Procedure of this Court to correct the errors in such a unique situation."
In a further unusual step, Justice Bocock awarded costs against the taxpayer's counsel personally -- meaning that the tax law firm had to pay the Crown's legal costs for the hearing.
See Breathe E-Z Homes Ltd. v. M.N.R., (2014 TCC Bocock)