Desiree Bekkerus is not a Taxpayer! Or Person!

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Desiree Bekkerus is not a Taxpayer! Or Person!

Postby Burnaby49 » Wed Jun 03, 2015 3:20 am

Sadly for Desiree the Tax Court of Canada found otherwise. And, to be fair, she did not personally owe the tax she was assessed for and filed the appeal in respect to. That was her husband Rick Bekkerus.

First a bit of technical Canadian tax background. Desiree, and her mother-in-law Roseann, were assessed under Section 160 of the Income Tax Act. This section is there to stop taxpayers from transferring their assets to third parties to avoid tax.

This is a common practice by unsophisticated taxpayers to stop the Canada Revenue Agency from seizing their assets. You owe the CRA a pile of money you don't want to pay. So you transfer your half of the house to your wife for, say, $10.00. Make it all legal with a sales agreement. Screw you CRA, I don't own nuthin' no more, try and collect nuthin'! Your half of the house was worth $200,000 so you think you've put that out of the CRA's reach. Not quite. Section 160 allows the CRA to assess your wife and collect your tax off of her to the extent of the fair market value of the property in excess of what she gave you for it. In this case $199,990.

This is a very draconian section, deliberately so. I recall one case where a woman made a large transfer into a friend's bank account. The friend took it out in cash and gave it back to the taxpayer and it disappeared. The CRA assessed the friend for all the taxes owing under section 160 and the assessment was upheld on appeal. The friend argued that it wasn't her money because she never really had it because she had to give it back. However the court concluded that, during the short period that the money was in the account, she legally held ownership and control of it thereby meeting the requirements of Section 160.

So what did our tax expert Rick transfer to his wife and mom?

[3] As mentioned, there are no facts in dispute. Roseann and Desiree Bekkerus are the wife and mother, respectively, of Rick Bekkerus. In 2005, Rick transferred his 2002 Harley-Davidson motorcycle (the “Harley”) to Desiree for no consideration. At that time he owed approximately $206,000 to the Minister for income taxes assessed. In 2011, Rick transferred his 2011 Lexus RX450H (the “Lexus”) to Roseann for no consideration. At that time he owed the Minister in excess of $3,000,000 for income taxes assessed. At the respective time of transfer, the Harley had an assumed fair market value of $19,000 and the Lexus had an assumed fair market value of $51,500. The Minister raised assessments equal to the fair market values of the Harley and the Lexus, respectively, against Desiree and Roseann, again respectively, as transferees under section 160 of the Act.


Note that the judge seemed confused who was the wife and who was the mother because he said, in a prior paragraph;

These two appeals involve the transfer of two items of property by a son and husband to his mother, Roseann, and to his spouse, Desiree, respectively.


So Roseann, wife or mother, owed the CRA $51,500 and Desiree owed $19,000. They filed a joint appeal against the injustice of being forced to pay somebody else's taxes. These were their argument why Section 160 did not apply to them;

[7] The Appellants’ agent raised the following succinct, and to this Court at least, novel legal argument as the basis for the appeal. The Tax Court of Canada is not a Court of inherent jurisdiction, but a statutory Court created by Parliament. The Court has statutory authority to decide the validity of assessments raised by the Minister against taxpayers. Taxpayers, throughout the Act, are never defined or described as persons who “gain their livelihood in the private sector”. The conclusion proffered is that on such basis, the Respondent has failed to prove, “beyond a reasonable doubt”, that Roseann or Desiree are taxpayers and therefore owe the assessed section 160 taxes.

[8] While strictly speaking, submissions contained within a notice of appeal do not constitute per se submissions in Court, in this matter, they do assist in providing some additional needed flesh to the skeletal argument above. The Court notes the following excerpts from the identical legal argument contained in the notice of appeal for both Appellants:

a. To have a liability under the Income Tax Act R.S.C. 1985, 5th Suppl, two essential elements must attach to a person.

b. Resident: One must be a resident within the meaning of the Act i.e. one must reside on the lands that her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada either owns, or has a right to dispose of OR falls within the meaning of section 250(1), (2), (3).

c. Taxable Income: To have taxable income, one must have a taxable profit or gain or be employed within the meaning of section 248, “employed”.

d. If the Income Tax Act R.S.C. 1985, 5th Suppl spoke uniformly to every man, woman and person (i.e. Corporations) there would be no need to identify civil servants and their positions as office or employment.

e. There is no mention of any private man or woman gaining a livelihood in the private sector.

f. The Appellants have no obligation or are compelled to any performance pursuant to the Income Tax Act R.S.C. 1985, 5th Suppl as evidenced in case law and legislation.

g. Canadian custom and convention has only made provisions for the abrogation of private sector human and civil rights in the presence of war. Because of the excessive abuse in the past, the Parliament of Canada repealed the War Measures Act and currently has no legislative instrument to unilaterally compel any performance of the private sector to the Income War Tax Act, 1917 as amended.

[9] The submissions additionally contend, within the above context, that the Appellants have never “resided” on federal lands or been governmental employees and have never performed a function for government or held office or employment for profit.


Sadly for our appellants the court concluded otherwise;

[10] For two different reasons, the appeals cannot succeed and are dismissed: firstly, section 160 does not require Desiree or Roseann to be a taxpayer and, secondly, the Constitution Act, 1867, 1867 (UK) 30 & 31 Victoria, c. 3 ascribes to Parliament clear, broad and enumerated powers of taxation of all Canadians and in conjunction with the Act itself, does not limit the assessment of such taxes to government employees, office holders or residents of federal lands.


The court torpedoed the "I'm not a taxpayer" argument with this;

[12] Contained within section 160 is the notion that the transferor, Rick Bekkerus, must owe the tax in the first instance. The Appellants do not challenge this. Just as the Appellants’ agent said he can detect no reference to a “person who gains their livelihood in the private sector” as a taxpayer, nowhere within subsection 160(1), which creates joint and several liability for the transferees, Roseann and Desiree, is there a reference, requirement or condition that a transferee be a taxpayer or, for that matter, a resident or earner of income from any source. Since the expressed legal and factual criteria for raising the subsection 160(1) assessments have not been challenged by the advanced argument, but have been admitted, the assessments stand on the basis of what the Federal Court of Appeal has called “the clear meaning of the words of subsection 160(1)” defining such criteria”: Livington v R, 2008 FCA 89 (CanLII) at paragraph 17.


Then the court, deciding to rub it in, stomped on the second argument even though it conceded that it was a moot point after the above paragraph;

[14] Subsection 91(3) of the Constitution Act , 1867 provides as follows:

Legislative Authority of Parliament of Canada

91. It shall be lawful for the Queen, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate and House of Commons, to make Laws for the Peace, Order, and good Government of Canada, in relation to all Matters not coming within the Classes of Subjects by this Act assigned exclusively to the Legislatures of the Provinces; and for greater Certainty, but not so as to restrict the Generality of the foregoing Terms of this Section, it is hereby declared that (notwithstanding anything in this Act) the exclusive Legislative Authority of the Parliament of Canada extends to all Matters coming within the Classes of Subjects next hereinafter enumerated; that is to say,

[…]

3. The raising of Money by any Mode or System of Taxation.

[15] These are broad, far-reaching and manifest powers of taxation and include what historically are described as direct and indirect powers to tax.

[16] The Act, itself, is arguably the pre-eminent and paramount taxing legislation in Canada. In direct challenge to the assertion of the agent for the Appellants that neither Desiree nor Roseann are taxpayers stands the very definition of “taxpayer” within the interpretation and definition of subsection 248(1) of the Act. That definition states: “taxpayer includes any person whether or not liable to pay tax” (emphasis added). “Person” is not defined within the Act, is to be given its ordinary meaning and, in any event, it was not contended in argument that the Appellants were not persons.

[17] Therefore, even if subsection 160(1) referred to a “taxpayer” rather than a “transferee”, the argument that the Appellants are not taxpayers because they are not defined as such is untenable. Whatever reasons, exemptions or statutory omissions may exonerate the Appellants from other liability for tax, the constitutional powers afforded by Parliament and the clear and plainly obvious definition of “taxpayer” within the Act (which includes any person irrespective of liability to pay tax) renders the Appellants “taxpayers” under the Act.

[18] As stated, for these reasons, the appeals are dismissed.


http://canlii.ca/t/gf32j
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Re: Desiree Bekkerus is not a Taxpayer! Or Person!

Postby Fmotlgroupie » Wed Jun 03, 2015 3:50 am

An interesting case, and one I'd missed entirely (I don't feel entirely comfortable in the tax sections of CANLII and so don't spend much time there.)

The arguments seem a curious mixture of bizarrely imported American ideas (eg only public servants are taxpayers) with some basic knowledge of Canadian history. Who is this agent, Chris Shannon, who apparently wrote this for the Bekkeruses? The name doesn't ribg a bell and is ungoogleably generic, so I don't have any idea. (Rick Bekkerus is more googleable - ex minor hockey player who is now in the directional drilling business, assuming he doesn't have a namesake here in Canada)

Thanks for the treat!

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Re: Desiree Bekkerus is not a Taxpayer! Or Person!

Postby Burnaby49 » Wed Jun 03, 2015 4:16 am

Fmotlgroupie wrote:An interesting case, and one I'd missed entirely (I don't feel entirely comfortable in the tax sections of CANLII and so don't spend much time there.)

The arguments seem a curious mixture of bizarrely imported American ideas (eg only public servants are taxpayers) with some basic knowledge of Canadian history. Who is this agent, Chris Shannon, who apparently wrote this for the Bekkeruses? The name doesn't ribg a bell and is ungoogleably generic, so I don't have any idea. (Rick Bekkerus is more googleable - ex minor hockey player who is now in the directional drilling business, assuming he doesn't have a namesake here in Canada)

Thanks for the treat!


I tried to figure out who Chris Shannon was. Since the case was heard in Winnipeg I googled ""Chris Shannon" Winnipeg" and ""Chris Shannon" Manitoba" but nothing of interest. Obviously not a tax expert. A tax lawyer or accountant wouldn't take this DOA case to court.

Section 160 is very clear and, as noted in the decision, it covers anyone in Canada who receives the property. As far as I'm aware nobody has ever successfully appealed that aspect of it. Where it is frequently appealed, often with success, is the fair market value of the property transferred, particularly real estate. If the CRA values your half of the house at $200,000 for Section 160 purposes you are free to get an appraiser to testify it was worth far less. But Chris didn't try that argument and conceded the CRA's values were correct.
"Yes Burnaby49, I do in fact believe all process servers are peace officers. I've good reason to believe so." Robert Menard in his May 28, 2015 video "Process Servers".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeI-J2PhdGs

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Re: Desiree Bekkerus is not a Taxpayer! Or Person!

Postby Burnaby49 » Wed Jun 03, 2015 10:02 pm

I've dug up what might be some information on Chris Shannon, Desiree's Tax Court representative.

The Federal Court of Canada has a request for a judicial review on some tax matter involving a Christopher Shannon of

http://cas-ncr-nter03.cas-satj.gc.ca/In ... ?T-1515-12
http://cas-ncr-nter03.cas-satj.gc.ca/In ... =T-1515-12

It's another of those familiar 'filed then struck out' matters, so it's tough to tell what might be below the surface. One odd almost coincidence is this:

12 2012-11-23 Winnipeg Affidavit of service of Jody Travassos sworn on 23-NOV-2012 on behalf of Respondent confirming service of Doc. 10 upon Applicant by remitting it to Trevor Sychrenko who admitted service for the Applicants on 23-NOV-2012 with Exhibits "A" filed on 23-NOV-2012


What is of interest there is the name, Trevor Sychrenko. That's suspiciously close to Trevor Sydorenko, a former buddy of Dean Clifford. Trevor had travelling issues with the government of Manitoba.

http://canlii.ca/t/fqc2d

1] The defendants, Her Majesty the Queen in the Right of the Province of Manitoba (referred to as “Manitoba”), and the City of Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Police Service (referred to as “Winnipeg” and “Winnipeg Police” respectively) move to strike out the plaintiff’s action against them.

[2] The defendant, Dr. Hook Towing Services Ltd. (referred to as “Dr. Hook”) moves for summary judgment dismissing the action against it.

The Action

[3] The plaintiff, who is self-represented, is claiming the sum of $26,000,000 from the defendants. According to the statement of claim, this amount is owing for the breach by the defendants of a contract the plaintiff alleges was made as a result of a formal notice, dated April 15, 2011, he sent to Manitoba’s Attorney General. A copy of the notice is attached to the statement of claim.

[4] The notice, apparently based on the plaintiff’s theory that “corporate governments” cannot licence “a God given right” and/or that individuals may opt out of legislation purporting to licence such rights, advised the Attorney General that the plaintiff was “dissolving any contract between the plaintiff and agents of the government respecting the right to travel and access to public roads.”

[5] The notice also stipulated that any “violations” to the plaintiff’s “rights to travel” would be subject to a fee schedule established by the plaintiff, as follows:

1. If I am arrested in my driving/traveling, by you or any agent/subsidiary while in my private property on the PUBLIC roadways, or my private property that I will be charging Her Majesty in the right of the Province of Manitoba, 50,000 (fifty thousand) CAD per 5 (five) minutes or portion thereof unless you or your agents/subsidiaries immediately provide me with a valid claim made against me by a private individual.

2. If I am forcibly removed from my vehicle by you or any of your agents/subsidiaries without the above mentioned claim of damage from another private individual, I will be charging Her Majesty in the right of the Province of Manitoba 1,000,000$ (one million) CAD every 10 (ten) minutes or portion thereof.

3. Should my private property be unlawfully removed from me by any means other than me or a person/persons I designate, driving or traveling in it. I will be charging Her Majesty in the right of the Province of Manitoba, 5,000,000$ (five million) CAD per day, until it is returned to me in the condition in which it was unlawfully taken from me.
(emphasis added)

[6] On May 15, 2011, the plaintiff was charged under The Highway Traffic Act of Manitoba with two violations: failure to produce a driver’s licence; driving without motor vehicle liability insurance. As a result the plaintiff’s vehicle was picked up and towed to the plaintiff’s residence by Dr. Hook in response to a request from the Winnipeg Police following these violations. This action then ensued.


If this is our Chris Shannon he's clearly running in Freeman company.

The Manitoba Queens' Bench registry has four Christopher Shannon files:

FD00-01-61410 - a Christopher Joseph Shannon gets divorced - looks mundane
CI03-01-34184 - a default judgment and garnishee action against Christopher and Penny Louise Shannons

And then two against the CRA, which I'd say is almost certainly the man in question:

Christopher Joseph Shannon and Carol Lynn Russell v CRA: CI09-01-61499 - but this is strange because it's nothing more than a statement of claim and defense, then abandoned, and Shannon actually has a real lawyer, Sidney Green, QC

CI10-01-67554 - same parties, same lawyer, which is merged with the other action in 2011 - then things go quiet.

I'm going to the Federal Court registry tomorrow to get some files on a Poriskyite charged with tax evasion and I'll see about getting Shannon's file while I'm there.
"Yes Burnaby49, I do in fact believe all process servers are peace officers. I've good reason to believe so." Robert Menard in his May 28, 2015 video "Process Servers".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeI-J2PhdGs

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Re: Desiree Bekkerus is not a Taxpayer! Or Person!

Postby Burnaby49 » Sun Sep 06, 2015 8:49 am

Well, this is awkward. I have an embarrassing confession to make. This discussion had ended on an ambiguous note because Fmotlegroupie had asked an unanswered question about the taxpayer's representative;

Fmotlgroupie wrote:
An interesting case, and one I'd missed entirely (I don't feel entirely comfortable in the tax sections of CANLII and so don't spend much time there.)

The arguments seem a curious mixture of bizarrely imported American ideas (eg only public servants are taxpayers) with some basic knowledge of Canadian history. Who is this agent, Chris Shannon, who apparently wrote this for the Bekkeruses? The name doesn't ribg a bell and is ungoogleably generic, so I don't have any idea. (Rick Bekkerus is more googleable - ex minor hockey player who is now in the directional drilling business, assuming he doesn't have a namesake here in Canada)

Thanks for the treat!


And I had no idea who Christopher Shannon was so I did some research and found this;

I've dug up what might be some information on Chris Shannon, Desiree's Tax Court representative.

The Federal Court of Canada has a request for a judicial review on some tax matter involving a Christopher Shannon of

http://cas-ncr-nter03.cas-satj.gc.ca/In ... ?T-1515-12
http://cas-ncr-nter03.cas-satj.gc.ca/In ... =T-1515-12

It's another of those familiar 'filed then struck out' matters, so it's tough to tell what might be below the surface.

. . . . . . . . . . .

If this is our Chris Shannon he's clearly running in Freeman company.

The Manitoba Queens' Bench registry has four Christopher Shannon files:

FD00-01-61410 - a Christopher Joseph Shannon gets divorced - looks mundane
CI03-01-34184 - a default judgment and garnishee action against Christopher and Penny Louise Shannons

And then two against the CRA, which I'd say is almost certainly the man in question:

Christopher Joseph Shannon and Carol Lynn Russell v CRA: CI09-01-61499 - but this is strange because it's nothing more than a statement of claim and defense, then abandoned, and Shannon actually has a real lawyer, Sidney Green, QC

CI10-01-67554 - same parties, same lawyer, which is merged with the other action in 2011 - then things go quiet.

I'm going to the Federal Court registry tomorrow to get some files on a Poriskyite charged with tax evasion and I'll see about getting Shannon's file while I'm there.


As promised I went to the Federal court registry, ordered the file, had photocopies made, and brought them home. Then I promptly forgot about Shannon and his case.

I just dredged up the photocopies tonight by chance when I was culling the mountain of old business piled by my computer. Christopher Shannon, who the hell is he? I had to google him to figure it out.

So here is a belated report on Christopher. I'm not going to bother turning the documents into PDFs and posting on Media Fire, Christopher isn't worth the effort.

The first is an application to the Federal Court of Canada, dated August 9, 2012, by Christopher and Mr. And Ms. John/Jane Doe. This immediately tells me that Chris is an idiot. The Federal Court of Canada does not accept John Doe applications. Anyhow onward and upward. The application just states that the Applicants have commenced proceedings against the Respondents, the Minister of National Revenue and the Commisioner (sic) of the Canada Revenue Agency. It is an application for a judicial review of the Income Tax Act in respect to the Act's applicability to a "private man or woman gaining a livelihood in the private section" and requesting the court to issue an order prohibiting the Canada Revenue Agency to "collect, administer, enforce, harass, interfere or perform any action pursuant to the Income Tax Act respecting the applicant."

In other words exactly the same argument Desiree made. He made two main two arguments.

1 - You have to be resident in Canada to be taxable in Canada. Our nitwit interprets that to mean that you have to have resided on Crown land, land owned by the federal government of Canada. No explanation why he took that position. He also says that if you don't live on Crown land you are only taxable if you hold a "Federal, Provincial or Municipal office and/or employment." I know where this is going. The old "only civil servants are taxable" argument. Sure enough, it is there in part 2.

2 - The applicant has no taxable income as defined in the Income Tax Act because one must be employed within the meaning of section 248 "employed". Fine, let's check what 248 says. This is a definitions section and it states;

· “employed”
“employed” means performing the duties of an office or employment;


So how is "office" defined in 248?

· “office”
“office” means the position of an individual entitling the individual to a fixed or ascertainable stipend or remuneration and includes a judicial office, the office of a minister of the Crown, the office of a member of the Senate or House of Commons of Canada, a member of a legislative assembly or a member of a legislative or executive council and any other office, the incumbent of which is elected by popular vote or is elected or appointed in a representative capacity and also includes the position of a corporation director, and “officer” means a person holding such an office;


And how is employment defined?

· “employment”
“employment” means the position of an individual in the service of some other person (including Her Majesty or a foreign state or sovereign) and “servant” or “employee” means a person holding such a position


Now the Tax Act wouldn't use the words "includes" or "including" for no good reason. Dimwit has the answer to the conundrum of why they are there;

"If the Income Tax Act . . . spoke uniformly to every man, woman and person (i.e. Corporations) there would be no need to identify Civil Servants and their postions as office or employment. There is no specific mention of any private man or woman gaining a livelihood in the provate sector".

He's quite right! The Income Tax Act doesn't mention the livelihood of Klingons or Romulans either, terms as equally valid as some bullshit claim to be a "private man or woman". So what we have here is the old, old argument, beaten to death innumerable times, that the word "include" really means ""excludes everything except", thereby perverting the clear statutory interpretation of "includes" as a term of expansion and turning it into a term of limitation. I remember reading a case where a Canadian judge asked a proponent of this argument "If I say that a chocolate chip cookie recipe includes flour does that mean that it has only flour in it?" However common sense has never been a prerequisite to being a tax protester.

To add a little zest to the mix Chris also argued that "Canada custom and convention" only intended to tax private men and women in the "presence of war". So now we are apparently taxed on custom and convention rather than the provisions of the Income Tax Act.

The Crown responded to this legal brilliance by requesting that the application be struck without leave to amend. Bastards. If not granted then at least get rid of John and Jane Doe and replace the named respondents with the Attorney General of Canada. In other words the only thing that Christopher got right in his listing of the parties to the action was his own name. The Crown submitted a "Respondent's Written Representation" which, boiled down, just asked the question; why are we wasting time on this crap?

Christopher magnanimously agreed to toss the Doe's overboard and rename the respondents but waxed indignant about the rest. He had a laundry list of Canada Revenue Agency crimes and indignities! Abusive actions! Heinous wrongs to redress!

And, notwithstanding Christopher's generous concessions to the Crown's demands, redress was not given. The Honourable Mr. Justice Manson barely bothered to give our Freeman hero the time of day. Instead of smashing the evil Canada Revenue Agency for its vile mistreatment of poor Chris the judge employed the old judicial trick of passing the buck with some folderol about jurisdiction. A pathetic claim that the Federal Court Act precluded him from doing a judicial review of Christopher's whining. Why are you arguing this garbage here, this crap belongs at the Tax Court of Canada so go and yammer your gibberish there. Which led to this;

On a motion to strike, the Court must determine whether it is plain and obvious that the application for judicial review cannot succeed. While the threshold is higher in judicial review applications, this case is so clearly improper as to bereft of any chance of success.

THIS COURT ORDERS that the Applicants' Application for Judicial Review dated August 9, 2012 is struck, without leave to amend, with costs to the Respondent.


I'm not feeling the love with that one.

Christopher took the judge's advice and marched the same arguments over to the Tax Court of Canada a few years later by arguing them for Desiree rather than himself. And the correct court of jurisdiction crapped on him based on the merits of his arguments.
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeI-J2PhdGs

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Re: Desiree Bekkerus is not a Taxpayer! Or Person!

Postby notorial dissent » Sun Sep 06, 2015 10:09 am

Burnaby49 wrote: And the correct court of jurisdiction crapped on him based on the merits of his arguments.

Don't you just hate it when that happens? :snicker:
The fact that you sincerely and wholeheartedly believe that the “Law of Gravity” is unconstitutional and a violation of your sovereign rights, does not absolve you of adherence to it.

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Re: Desiree Bekkerus is not a Taxpayer! Or Person!

Postby Jeffrey » Sun Sep 06, 2015 10:52 am

At that time he owed the Minister in excess of $3,000,000 for income taxes assessed.


Certainly not a lightweight.

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Re: Desiree Bekkerus is not a Taxpayer! Or Person!

Postby Burnaby49 » Wed Nov 16, 2016 2:52 am

An old acquaintance resurfaces! Chris Shannon, who we last discussed in this thread in September 2015;

http://www.quatloos.com/Q-Forum/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=10615&p=192456

Chris had been arguing a lot of freeman type bullshit on behalf of clients at Tax Court, including the woman named in the title of this discussion. And losing every time. Apparently he's been persistent and the Tax Court has had enough and deemed him (in a way) to be a vexatious litigant. Or more correctly, a vexatious taxpayer's representative at Tax Court.

http://decision.tcc-cci.gc.ca/tcc-cci/decisions/en/item/182067/index.do

[1] Chris Shannon is prohibited from representing any taxpayer as an agent before this Court without first obtaining written permission from the Court.

[2] If Mr. Shannon wishes to obtain permission to act as an agent on a specific matter or on all future matters on which he is retained, he shall apply in writing setting out the reasons why permission should be granted. Any such application shall not be longer than 10 pages. Any application that is longer than 10 pages will not be considered. The Court shall grant permission if it is satisfied that Mr. Shannon's involvement in the matter or matters will not harm the proper administration of justice. A decision of the Court to deny permission shall be final and shall not be subject to appeal.


The court first pointed out who could act as a taxpayer's agent at Tax Court. Essentially, in the informal procedure, pretty much anyone;

[1] A taxpayer appearing before the Tax Court of Canada on a matter under the Informal Procedure may be represented by an agent.1 Such agents are not required to possess any particular qualifications. Agents are often spouses, family members or friends. These people appear without compensation for the simple purpose of helping the taxpayer present his or her case. Other agents are individuals who are paid for their services. They may have accounting designations, may be former CRA employees or, like Chris Shannon, may simply be people who hold themselves out as having knowledge of tax matters.


Generally the court is pretty free and easy about letting whomever the taxpayer wants act as agent, I've seen some real losers, but not in this case;

[2] The Court has the power to control its own process. Part of that control includes controlling those who appear before the Court as agents. In rare circumstances, it may be appropriate for the Court to exercise that power to prohibit an individual from acting as an agent in this Court without permission. This is one of those rare circumstances.

[3] Mr. Shannon has acted as an agent for taxpayers on six different appeals. After reviewing all of the relevant factors, it is clear that Mr. Shannon should be prohibited from acting as an agent without first obtaining permission from the Court.


So what, specifically, had Chris done to arouse the court's ire?

Scandalous, Frivolous or Vexatious Arguments

[53] The organized pseudo-legal commercial arguments discussed below under the heading “No Reasonable Grounds for Appeal” could certainly be characterized as being scandalous, frivolous or vexatious. However, since these are the only arguments that Mr. Shannon ever makes, I think it is better to consider them under that factor rather than this one.

No Reasonable Grounds for Appeal

[54] In each of the appeals in which he has appeared as agent, Mr. Shannon has relied exclusively on what have been described as “organized pseudo-legal commercial arguments”. That term comes from the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench decision in Meads v. Meads.24 That case thoroughly analyzed
and discredited the wide range of such arguments.

[55] Mr. Shannon's organized pseudo-legal commercial arguments were rejected in Bekkerus, Heroux, Chaudhry and Hernandez. Although Ms. Track's and Ms. Mazo's notices of appeal relied exclusively on such arguments, they abandoned these arguments after dismissing Mr. Shannon.

[56] In brief, Mr. Shannon has argued that:

a) the Income Tax Act fails to describe a taxpayer as a person who gains his or her livelihood in the private sector and thus people who do are not subject to tax (Bekkerus; Chaudhry; Heroux; Hernandez);

b) residents of Manitoba or Ontario are not residents of Canada and are thus not subject to tax (Heroux; Track; Hernandez);

c) the taxpayer is not the same person as the “legal name”26 and thus the taxpayer is not subject to tax (Track);

d) the Tax Court does not have jurisdiction to hear appeals of income tax assessments from anyone who does not reside on federal Crown lands (Mazo; Track; Hernandez);

e) the Minister of National Revenue has not produced a certified copy of the Income Tax Act nor has the Respondent's counsel made a request of the Clerk of the Senate for a copy (Chaudhry; Mazo);27

f) the tax collection agreements that the Minister has with the provinces do not apply to the taxpayer and thus the taxpayer does not have to pay tax (Mazo);

g) the government cannot, without enacting the War Measures Act, compel members of the private sector to be subject to the Income Tax Act (Bekkerus; Chaudhry; Heroux);

h) the preamble to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms recognizes the supremacy of God and the tenth commandment in the Bible prohibits taxation thus the Charter prohibits taxation;28 and
i) the Income Tax Act only applies to people who fall into the following categories:

i. civil servants (Bekkerus;Track; Mazo; Hernandez);

ii. people who hold federal, provincial or municipal employment (Bekkerus; Chaudhry; Heroux; Hernandez);

iii. people who “hold an internal affairs office” (Heroux);

iv. people who “hold an internal office” (Bekkerus; Chaudhry);

v. people who hold “employment for profit” (Bekkerus; Chaudhry; Heroux);

vi. people who “perform a function of government” (Bekkerus; Chaudhry; Heroux; Hernandez);

vii. people who hold federal offices (Bekkerus; Track; Mazo; Hernandez);

viii. people who reside on federal Crown lands (Bekkerus; Chaudhry; Heroux; Track; Mazo; Hernandez);
ix. people who contract with the federal government (Track; Hernandez); and

x. people whose employment falls under the Canada Labour Code or who are employed in federal works, undertakings or businesses (Mazo; Hernandez).

[57] None of Mr. Shannon's clients appear to have adopted these arguments when they filed their tax returns. These arguments appear to have been something that was introduced to them after their troubles with the CRA began. Ms. Track and Ms. Mazo both explained that these arguments were introduced to them by Mr. Shannon.

[58] Mr. Shannon continued to raise these arguments in notices of appeal even after his clients had lost in court using the same arguments. The notices of appeal in Bekkerus, Heroux and Chaudhry are virtually identical yet the decision in Bekkerus was issued before the notice of appeal was filed in Heroux and the decision in Heroux was issued before the notice of appeal was filed in Chaudhry. Mr. Shannon does not appear to be dissuaded by losing.

[59] Mr. Shannon's belief in organized pseudo-legal commercial arguments and the fact that, in each case, those arguments have been the sole arguments he raised or proposed to raise at trial are very troubling to me. The fact that these arguments are coming from him rather than his clients is also troubling.

[60] As set out in more detail below, two of Mr. Shannon's clients have demonstrated that they were able to have their reassessments reduced when they abandoned those arguments. A third client would likely have been able to have her reassessments reduced had she abandoned those arguments. I find it very concerning that Mr. Shannon's organized pseudo-legal commercial arguments are preventing his clients from litigating the actual merits of their appeals.

[61] I place significant weight on this factor.

No Jurisdiction

[62] I am not aware of Mr. Shannon acting as agent in any appeals where the Court did not have jurisdiction to hear the appeal. On the contrary, Mr. Shannon frequently argues (with no hint of irony) that this Court lacks jurisdiction to hear whatever appeal he has brought before it.


Apparently Chris has also been less than professional in his dealings with the court but the judge placed little weight on that;

Contempt of Court

[63] In his appearance before me, Mr. Shannon showed little but contempt for the Court. He refused to listen when I spoke, preferring instead to shout over me. He stormed out of the courtroom twice in the middle of the proceedings. He refused to acknowledge that the Court had any jurisdiction over appeals of tax assessments against anyone who did not reside on federal Crown lands. Both leaving in the middle of proceedings and refusing to acknowledge the jurisdiction of the court are common strategies employed by organized pseudo-legal commercial argument litigants.

[64] This Court is not so thin-skinned as to prohibit an agent from acting where the Court's sole concern is that the agent has, on occasion, acted with contempt. I place little weight on this factor.


For some reason the judge was concerned that the taxpayer's were leaving money on the table by retaining Shannon since, in the judge's opinion, they would have done better being totally unrepresented. I like the title given to this part of the decision;

Unacceptable Level of Ignorance

[66] Mr. Shannon's apparent belief that it is a good decision for his clients to not attend their own trials,29 to not give evidence on their own behalf,30 or to not call other evidence31 is very troubling. This approach has the potential to do incredible damage to his clients' chances of success. The fact that the approach is consistent with Mr. Shannon's strategy not to raise any issues other than organized pseudo-legal commercial arguments does not make it any less concerning.

[67] I acknowledge that there are times where a taxpayer might, for strategic reasons, choose not to testify or call evidence. However, those instances are unusual. While such an approach may be common in criminal trials, it would certainly not be the default position in the Tax Court where the Minister has the benefit of assuming the facts that she needs to win.

[68] When Ms. Track dismissed Mr. Shannon and focused on the true issues underlying her reassessments, she was able to negotiate a settlement that provided her with significant savings. Her income was reduced by $35,000 and her gross negligence penalties were dropped. When Ms. Mazo dismissed Mr. Shannon and ultimately placed her evidence before the Court, she too was able to achieve significant savings. Her income was reduced by $33,000.

[69] It is unlikely that these savings would have been achieved in either case had Mr. Shannon continued to represent Ms. Track and Ms. Mazo, continued to pursue his organized pseudo-legal commercial arguments, and continued to follow his strategy of not introducing any evidence. The fact that Mr. Shannon had not told Ms. Mazo and Ms. Track to bring their supporting documents to court may have reduced the amount of savings that they were able to achieve.

[70] My understanding is that Ms. Hernandez was reassessed in respect of the same pyramid scheme as Ms. Track and Ms. Mazo. Given that they both fared better than Ms. Hernandez did after they dismissed Mr. Shannon, it seems likely that she would have fared better too had she represented herself.

[71] An agent may only represent a taxpayer in the Informal Procedure. A taxpayer may elect to have the Informal Procedure apply to his or her appeal if the federal taxes and penalties in dispute for each year are less than $25,000 or the taxpayer is prepared to cap his or her potential savings at $25,000 per year. I am concerned that Mr. Shannon may be causing his clients to elect to use the Informal Procedure in order to ensure that he is allowed to represent them despite the fact that, in making the election, his clients have accepted a cap on their potential savings.

[72] In Bekkerus, one of the two taxpayers was disputing a section 160 assessment of approximately $51,500. Roseann Bekkerus elected to have the Informal Procedure apply to her appeal. This assured that Mr. Shannon could act, but also meant that Ms. Bekkerus was giving up more than half of the amount in dispute. This seems an odd strategy given that Mr. Shannon was convinced that the entire amount was not owing. I acknowledge that there are strategic or financial reasons why a taxpayer may sometimes choose to have the Informal Procedure apply to an appeal where more than $25,000 is at stake, but I am not convinced that such reasons were present in Bekkerus.

[73] I place significant weight on this factor


The judge related his own experience with dealing with Shannon in court. A very interesting story, at least to me.

Taking Undue Advantage

[78] It is clear to me that Mr. Shannon took undue advantage of at least Ms. Track and Ms. Mazo.

[79] Ms. Track and Ms. Mazo both stated that they hired Mr. Shannon on the recommendation of a friend. They explained that they had been reassessed significant amounts of money and that they were desperate. They said he sounded knowledgeable, they believed he could help them, and they trusted him to do so. Ms. Track stated that she believed Mr. Shannon was an expert in the field and that he had always appeared rational and professional.

[80] These illusions came crashing down when Ms. Mazo and Ms. Track appeared in court. Both matters were called on the same day. Ms. Mazo's appeal was called first. Mr. Shannon advised me that the Court did not have any jurisdiction to hear either appeal. I explained that the Court did have jurisdiction and that the cases would be proceeding. I then spoke directly to Ms. Mazo. I explained to her that Mr. Shannon's organized pseudo-legal commercial arguments were nonsense, that he had used them in four previous appeals and had lost each time, that in each of those appeals the taxpayer either had not been present or had not testified, that in each of those appeals the taxpayer might have had an arguable case on the underlying issue but that I could not determine that because they never told their stories, that she did not need an agent, that she could proceed without Mr. Shannon, and that I would be pleased to guide her through the trial process as I would any self-represented taxpayer. At that point Mr. Shannon, his entourage of at least ten supporters, Ms. Mazo and Ms. Track all left the courtroom. The trial continued in Ms. Mazo's absence as it had already commenced and the Crown had the onus of proof in respect of a statute barred year and in respect of gross negligence penalties assessed against Ms. Mazo.

[81] Ms. Track's appeal was eventually called and, because she was no longer present, was dismissed for failure to appear.

[82] Sometime later that afternoon, after Ms. Mazo's trial had finished, Ms. Mazo and Ms. Track both returned to the Registry. Mr. Shannon was not with them. Their matters were both recalled. Ms. Mazo and Ms. Track both explained variously that they had been surprised, stunned, appalled, embarrassed and mortified by Mr. Shannon's conduct and that, on reflection, they had come to realize that they had made a huge mistake in hiring him.

[83] Ms. Track explained that she was unsure what to do and had felt coerced and bullied into leaving the courtroom. This matches the observations of the CRA auditor who was in the courtroom at the time and was watching Ms. Track and the observations of the Registrar who, although she did not know Ms. Track, observed that the last woman to leave the room had appeared to hesitate before leaving.

[84] Ms. Mazo explained that she felt bullied by Mr. Shannon. This matches both the Registrar's and my own observations. Ms. Mazo looked scared: not of me, not of being in court, but rather of Mr. Shannon. I watched as Mr. Shannon repeatedly pressed his fingertips on her shoulder, directed her not to speak to me and then ushered her out of the courtroom.

[85] Ms. Track and Ms. Mazo both stated that Mr. Shannon charged them a percentage of the amount that they had been reassessed. Ms. Mazo believed that Mr. Shannon was entitled to that fee regardless of the success he achieved on her behalf. In other words, he was paid for the problem, not the solution. She had regrettably already paid him in full before she came to court. Ms. Track said that the fee arrangement was vague and she was unsure whether Mr. Shannon was entitled to the full fee if he did not save her any money. She had already paid Mr. Shannon approximately $8,000 of the $19,000 he wanted. In the end, it appears that all that Mr. Shannon did for the money he received from these clients was to show up in court, announce that he and his clients had no need to be there, throw up his hands and leave. He did not even wait around for Ms. Track's appeal to be called.

[86] Both Ms. Track and Ms. Mazo asked to have new trials. The Crown had flown a witness in from Ontario for the trials (for the second time in Ms. Track's case) and I was not prepared to put the Crown to the expense of having to do so again. I agreed to set aside Ms. Track's dismissal on the condition that her trial go ahead the next day. Ms. Track settled her appeal before that trial. I agreed to re-open Ms. Mazo's appeal immediately, summarize the evidence that had been introduced and then give her a chance to testify. The re-opening of Ms. Mazo's appeal unnecessarily required some registry staff and Crown counsel to have to continue working until 7:00 p.m. An appeal that should have taken half a day turned into a full-day appeal.

[87] I note again that Mr. Shannon's choice to have Ms. Track and Ms. Mazo use the Informal Procedure ensured that he could be retained but also capped the amount of savings that he could achieve for them.

[88] Should Ms. Track and Ms. Mazo have realized that Mr. Shannon's promises of never having to pay tax were simply too good to be true and his arguments too nonsensical to believe? Yes. Should Ms. Mazo, who sat through Ms. Hernandez's trial and saw Mr. Shannon in action, have realized that something was wrong? Probably. Should Ms. Track, who, following an earlier adjournment of her trial, received an Order from me that made it abundantly clear that Mr. Shannon's arguments had no merit, have realized that something was wrong? Yes. Should they have questioned his unconventional billing arrangement? Yes. All that said, Ms. Track's and Ms. Mazo's foolish actions do not justify Mr. Shannon's behaviour. What he did to them was wrong no matter how easy they made it for him to do.

[89] I find Mr. Shannon's taking undue advantage of his clients to be a significant aggravating factor. I have serious concerns that, if the Court does not prohibit Mr. Shannon from acting as an agent, he will use his organized pseudo-legal commercial arguments to take advantage of other desperate and naïve taxpayers.


So Chris got the boot;

VI. Decision to Prohibit

[93] Based on all of the foregoing, I conclude that Mr. Shannon should be prohibited from acting as an agent before this Court without first obtaining written permission from the Court. I believe that if Mr. Shannon is not prohibited from acting as an agent he will continue to waste the Court's time by making organized pseudo-legal commercial arguments, will continue to harm his clients by making those arguments, will continue to fail to call evidence or raise legitimate issues thus harming his clients' chances of success, will continue to have clients elect to use the Informal Procedure when it may not be in their interest to do so and will continue to take advantage of his clients' naïveté or desperation for his own financial gain. All of these things will harm the proper administration of justice.


But the judge threw him a crumb or two;

No Restriction on Representing Self

[98] If Mr. Shannon practises what he preaches, he is very likely to end up defending himself in this Court one day. The prohibition against Mr. Shannon acting as agent does not prevent him from appearing on his own behalf in a dispute concerning any matter over which this Court has jurisdiction.

But then rubbed it in how the court was going to give his previous clients grounds to possibly sue him. Not that it matters, he's probably broke;

[99] I believe that all of Mr. Shannon's former clients should receive copies of these Reasons and the Order. If Mr. Shannon has pulled the wool over their eyes, they should be made aware of what has happened. A copy of these Reasons and the Order should also be given to the Crown.
"Yes Burnaby49, I do in fact believe all process servers are peace officers. I've good reason to believe so." Robert Menard in his May 28, 2015 video "Process Servers".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeI-J2PhdGs


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