The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the 3rd party tax advisor penalties imposed under s. 163.2 of the Income Tax Act on tax planners engaged in “culpable conduct” are not criminal in nature and do not benefit from protections under s. 11 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. These penalties are applicable to accountants and other professional advisors including Canadian income tax lawyers who provide Canadian income tax advice to taxpayers. In the case of Guindon v. The Queen 2015 SCC 41 the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that lawyer Julie Guindon was assessed penalties under s. 163.2(4) of the Canadian Income Tax Act totaling $546,747 in respect of false statements made by her in donation receipts issued by her on behalf of a charity which, it was alleged, she knew or would reasonably be expected to have known could be used by Canadian taxpayers to claim an unwarranted income tax credit as part of a tax shelter. The court upheld the penalties finding that the penalty provision was administrative in nature.
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