MILLAR KREKLEWETZ LLP is a boutique Canadian law firm with lawyers who have significant expertise in respect of Seizures.
The following is a short introduction to the services we offer in respect of Seizures of Goods Seizures of Records.
Seizures of Goods
Seizures of Records
Seizures of Goods
The Minister has a variety of collection powers under Canadas various taxing statutes.
For instance, section 223 of the Income Tax Act provides a summary procedure for obtaining what is deemed upon its registration in the Federal Court of Canada to be a court judgment against a taxpayer for an amount owing under the Income Tax Act, the Employment Insurance Act, the Unemployment Insurance Act, the Canada Pension Plan, or the tax legislation of a province that has entered into a tax collection agreement with the Minister of Finance. The Canada Revenue Agency (the CRA) can also use the judgment to garnish any debts due to the taxpayer by a third party, or to seize the taxpayer's goods and chattels. A similar provision also exists in the Excise Tax Act. The Minister, also in certain circumstances, has the authority to simply seize a tax debtors goods without prior court approval.
Millar Kreklewetz LLP has significant experience in assisting clients where such collection action has been taken by the CRA.
Section 110 of the Customs Act provides Canada Border Services Agency (the CBSA) officers with the authority to seize goods and conveyances with respect to which the Customs Act has been contravened (e.g., failure to report goods or falsely declaring imported goods). The Customs Act also authorizes officers to seize passenger-carrying conveyances and anything else that may provide evidence of a contravention of the Customs Act. Pursuant to a seizure, the CBSA takes possession of your goods and acquires ownership in accordance with the Customs Act.
If your goods have been seized by the CBSA, Millar Kreklewetz LLP can assist you in making representations to the CBSA to establish that there was no contravention of the Customs Act and to otherwise assist you in the return of your goods. Millar Kreklewetz LLP also has significant expertise in appealing seizures to the CBSA and, where necessary, Millar Kreklewetz also has experience in representing taxpayers in respect of seizures before the Federal Court.
Audit Powers, Inspection and Seizure of Records
Federal and provincial taxing legislation generally require taxpayers keep appropriate books and records to allow the applicable taxing authority to verify compliance. Rules under the Income Tax Act and the Excise Tax Act generally grant the CRA extremely broad powers to audit those books and records and to demand additional information from the taxpayer, including the authority to issue a Requirement for Information, including foreign based information and in certain circumstances, the authority to seize taxpayer documents.
For purposes of an audit, a CRA Auditor is entitled to obtain and inspect documents and other things in determining a taxpayers tax liability. This authority, however, ceases where an audit, which is designed to determine a taxpayers tax liability, subsequently turns into a criminal investigation. Pursuant to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, once a matter has become a criminal investigation, the CRAs audit powers may no longer be used.
There are also provisions that allow the Minister to obtain a warrant to enter into a premises and seize taxpayer documents, with prior judicial authorization.
Where documents have been requested or seized by the CRA, Millar Kreklewetz LLP can assist you in ensuring that your legal rights have been protected including ensuring that, your Charter rights and where applicable, your right to solicitor client privilege is asserted and protected.