" If Mr. Hamer did not receive the notice due to a problem with Canada Post, this does not enable an extension to be granted beyond the deadline set out in the legislation. The time starts to run once the notice of reassessment is put in the mail by the CRA.
" The legislation certainly can be harsh in that the time for objecting runs even if the notice of reassessment is not received due to the fault of a third party such as Canada Post. However, the legislation is clear and the Court is confined to the scheme that Parliament has put in place."
But you can insist that the CRA prove that it did in fact send the Notice of Reassessment to you. If CRA can't prove the mailing, you may still have time to file an objection. Here, Justice Woods didn't think the Crown "provided sufficient reliable evidence that the 2008 notice of reassessment was mailed to Mr. Hamer", even though he himself had said he had had problems with Canada Post. (Para. 19.) Justice Woods' reasons were that: (1) the Crown's evidence, an affidavit, wasn't from someone with direct knowledge of the mailing or of CRA's mailing process; (2) "The affidavit is lacking in detail in important respects." (Para. 14.); (3) the affidavit was based on a standard form; and (4) neither the affiant nor any of the people on whom he relied was available for cross-examination.
But is this deeming rule (that a CRA assessment is "presumed to be mailed or sent, as the case may be, on the date of that notice" (see ITA s. 244(14); also 244(5)) as unfair as it seems? It can be, but, generally, CRA issues reassessments after an audit. You would normally know about the audit and the proposed reassessments before CRA sends them. (So, if you have been audited, you should look for the notice and follow up if you don't get it within a month or so after CRA sends its proposal letter explaining its reasons for reassessing. You can't afford to miss the objection deadline.)
Where CRA issues you arbitrary assessments for not filing a return when asked, even if you miss the deadline to object, CRA's general policy is that you still have a right to file your returns to correct the arbitrary assessments. (CRA's view is based on its duty to assess a return when filed: ITA s. 152(1). If you never filed, then CRA must assess you once you do, even if it has already sent you an arbitrary assessment.)
See Hamer v. The Queen, (2014 TCC Woods J.)