Dominion Nickel Investments Ltd v. The Queen - redaction and Banyan Tree Foundation receipting

January 27, 2015 | By: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Mark Blumberg
Topics: News, What's New from the Charities Directorate of CRA, Canadian Charity Law

The case of Dominion Nickel Investments Ltd v. The Queen, 2015 TCC 14 (CanLII) deals with a motion on CRA disclosure and the extent to which CRA is allowed to redact certain information when it discloses the information as part of a court proceeding.   The actual background to  the case is "[14]      According to the appellant, it acquired and then wound up another corporation. As a result, the appellant says that by the operation of section 88 of the Income Tax Act, it became entitled to claim a deduction in respect of a charitable donation of $65 million made to the Banyan Tree Foundation by the corporation it acquired. The deduction was claimed in its 2004 taxation year. The Minister of National Revenue subsequently reassessed to disallow the claimed deduction."

The court notes:

[26]        In section 241 of the Act, Parliament has clearly expressed a strong policy protecting privacy in income tax matters. However, paragraph 241(3)(b) clearly allows for the production of evidence in “any legal proceedings relating to the administration or enforcement of” the Act.

[27]        Accordingly, while the privacy of tax information is, of course, an important consideration, section 241 has no direct application here.

[28]        The general rule is that, where a document is relevant, it will have to be produced in its entirety. However, parts of it may be redacted where the part is “clearly irrelevant”.[6]

It will be interesting to see if CRA is more generous in the future in its disclosure of information.    

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Charity Lawyer Mark Blumberg

Mark Blumberg is a partner at the law firm of Blumberg Segal LLP in Toronto and works almost exclusively in the areas of non-profit and charity law.
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