Sapi v. The Queen (October 24, 2016 – 2016 TCC 239, Visser J.).
Précis: This is a decision in 4 applications to extend the time to file Notices of Appeal. Each of the applicants has been involved in various charitable donation plans (comic books, pens, pencils, etc.). They relied on the promoter of these plans, Mr. Robert Mattacchione (who acted as agent at the hearing), and PAC Protection Corporation (“PAC”), a company affiliated in some way with Mr. Mattacchione, to deal with CRA on objections and appeals. PAC in turn relied upon a lawyer, Mr. Tony De Bartolo, to file appeals to the Tax Court where required. The evidence was that he appears to have failed to file these and other appeals within the time permitted. The Court found that the four applicants were not entitled to an extension of the time to file Notices of Appeal. They put their trust in PAC and did not take any steps to follow up to see that their appeals had been filed. Neither they nor PAC could rely upon the alleged negligence of Mr. De Bartolo (who did not testify). As a result the applications were dismissed. There was no order as to costs.
Decision: Not to put too fine a point on it, the Court did not seem to be impressed by Mr. Mattacchione’s operation or the applicant’s reliance on it:
 Mr. Mattacchione argued, in contrast, that PAC was simply an administrator and that the Applicants relied on both their own advisors and PAC over a long period of time, and that trust built up over time was the reason the Applicants may not have followed up with PAC, as there was no reason for them to follow-up given their past experience with the Notice of Objection process and other issues raised by the CRA during the entire process. He also argued that some of the Applicants admittedly had a limited understanding of the process, so had to rely on PAC or others for advice and assistance. He also argued that PAC had limited resources, namely Ms. DuSomme, to handle a large volume of appeals and applications.
 I agree with the Respondent. In my view, the Applicants and PAC have not adequately established why their appeals were filed outside the 90 day time limit and why they were delayed beyond that time limit.
 Overall, it is my view that each of the Applicants provided their respective Notice of Confirmation to PAC on a timely basis, and then simply trusted PAC to attend to their appeals without adequately following up with PAC to ensure their appeal was so filed. Unfortunately, their trust in PAC was misplaced, as PAC did not ensure their appeals were filed on a timely basis or take adequate steps in doing so. While PAC has attempted to deflect blame to Mr. De Bartolo, who did not testify, it is my view that any neglect or carelessness by either PAC or any counsel it engaged to file the appeals in question is not a just and equitable reason to grant these four Applications.
As a result the applications were dismissed. There was no order as to costs.