Lazlo v. R. – TCC: GST Appeal Unsuccessful Due to Lack of Evidence

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Lazlo v. The Queen[1] (October 25, 2013) was an appeal involving unremitted GST for reporting periods from 2003 to 2011.  The appellant was an audio technician who had registered for GST but had not filed returns.  There was some confusion in the evidence as to whether he worked alone or as part of a partnership.  In any event the court found he had not met the burden of rebutting the Minister’s assumptions and was in part the author of his own misfortune:

[20]        The appellant did file GST returns after he was assessed, and the Minister accepted about ten of these returns and reassessed them as filed. Some returns were not accepted because the dates did not coincide with the appellant’s reporting periods. The appellant was invited by letter dated June 22, 2012 to correct the dates and resubmit them to the CRA. For unknown reasons, the appellant did not resubmit them. He thus did not leave the CRA with much choice.

[21]        In this appeal, the burden of proof is on the appellant to refute the assumptions of fact on which the respondent relied to assess. The appellant has not met this burden. He has not provided any evidence to show that the amount of GST collectible as assessed by the Minister is incorrect. The assessments were based on the appellant’s net business income instead of his gross business income, and this for all intents and purposes benefited the appellant.

[22]        The appeal is allowed and the assessments are referred back to the Minister for the sole purpose of reassessing for the three reporting periods with respect to which concessions were made by the Minister.

[1] 2013 TCC 316.