International Hi Tech Industries Inc. v. The Queen (May 31, 2018 – 2018 TCC 107, Russell J.).
Précis: This decision concerned a claim by the taxpayer for ITCs on expenses incurred in 2008 and 2009 (and a small claim based on a reconciliation error). The taxpayer’s parent corporation, Garmeco Canada International Consulting Engineers Ltd. (Garmeco) had advanced funds to it to pay the expenses in question. Garmeco had then filed a claim for the same ITCs. Garmeco filed an appeal in the Tax Court when its ITC claim was rejected by the Minister. That appeal was dismissed by the Tax Court in 2015. It was only then that the taxpayer made its claim for the same ITCs. The Tax Court dismissed the appeal on the basis that subsection 225(4) of the Excise Tax Act (ETA) barred the claim as statute-barred after 4 years. The taxpayer’s claim that a CRA officer had advised that Garmeco should make the claim for ITCs did not entitle the taxpayer to an extension of the statutory 4 year limitation period. There was no order as to costs.
Decision: The Tax Court rejected the taxpayer’s argument that it would have made the ITC claim in time but a CRA officer had advised that Garmeco should claim the ITCs rather than the taxpayer, which it did.
 IHI’s argument is that the subject ITCs had been claimed on a timely basis by its related company Garmeco, and this was because a CRA officer had advised (possibly because of the general security agreement) that Garmeco rather than IHI should claim these ITCs. There is no suggestion that Garmeco had not claimed these ITCs within the applicable four year period provided by paragraph 225(4)(b). However, for other reasons the Minister had denied Garmeco’s claim for the subject ITCs as well as for other claimed ITCs. The entire matter ended up in this Court, pursuant to an appeal brought by Garmeco, resulting ultimately in the judgment and reasons for judgment styled, Garmeco Canada International Consulting Engineers Ltd. v. The Queen, 2015 TCC 194.
 In that matter my colleague Justice V. Miller concluded that all the ITCs there at issue, including the subject ITCs herein, were not validly claimable by Garmeco. IHI asserts that that Court found that the subject ITCs were instead IHI’s, and in this regard refers to items 1, 2 [sic 4] and 7 of paragraph 47 of the Garmeco reasons for judgment. It appears that the Court in Garmeco denied Garmeco’s claim for the subject ITCs on the bases that the underlying $481.18 was “for services provided to the Garmeco Companies so they could enforce the security they held against the assets of IHI” and the claimed ITCs for the underlying GST amount of $4,760.90 were denied as the GST had been paid, “for legal services provided to IHI in its action against CNRL”.
 The Garmeco judgment was rendered August 12, 2015. Within 30 days, on September 10, 2015 as noted above, IHI submitted its claim for the subject ITCs.
 While these statements from Garmeco do not explicitly express that IHI would have been the proper claimant of the subject ITCs, that would appear to be the only plausible alternative. And, who could validly claim these ITCs was not the question before the Court in any event. However, even on the basis that Garmeco did unequivocally state that IHI would have been the proper claimant, that would not mean that IHI now can point to the Garmeco decision and require the Minister to credit it with the claimed ITCs.
 Rather, no provision of the Act excuses IHI from having to meet all requirements for entitlement to the subject ITCs, thus including the four year limitation on claiming these ITCs specified in paragraph 225(4)(b). In fact IHI as shown above is well outside this four year limitation in respect of the entirety of the subject ITCs herein sought.
 Similarly, in respect of the assertion (unchallenged by the Respondent) that a CRA officer several years ago advised IHI and Garmeco that the subject ITCs should be claimed by Garmeco (as was in fact done, as discussed), does not assist IHI in this appeal. Jurisprudence has well established that estoppel cannot override the law. “The doctrine [of estoppel in pais] had no application where a particular interpretation of a statute had been communicated to a subject by an official of the government, relied upon by that subject to his or her detriment and then withdrawn or changed by the government.” (Goldstein v. Her Majesty, 96 DTC 1029 (TCC) at 1034.) Thus, a taxpayer claiming reliance on errant advice by a CRA official does not help IHI. The law must be applied, notwithstanding that an official responsible for administering the law misinterpreted it in communicating to a taxpayer.
Thus the appeal was dismissed. There was no order as to costs.