Offshore account explored

The taxpayer in Canaada (National Revenue) v Stankovic, 2018 FC 462, had held a bank account in Switzerland that French authorities disclosed to the CRA under the French treaty. The French authorities, it appears, had obtained the information about the account in contravention of French law.

The taxpayer tried to oppose a compliance order on Charter grounds on the basis that the CRA inquiry related to the taxpayer’s potential criminal liability and that the information from the French authorities had been obtained illegally.

After applying the Jarvis (2002 SCC 73) factors, the Court held that the CRA inquiry was civil in nature so that the Charter did not protect the taxpayer. Moreover, the Court held that the CRA had obtained the information in question legally. That the French authorities might have obtained the information illegally did not violate the Charter because it applies only to Canadian state actors.

Anthony Sylvain, “The CRA’s Win Against Undisclosed Offshore Accounts” 8:4 Cdn Tax Focus (Nov 2018).

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