Income Tax Statements and Inadmissibility

20th Dec 2010 Comments Off on Income Tax Statements and Inadmissibility

On December 8, 2010, the Federal Court released its decision in Masych v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2010 FC 1253 (“Masych“)  The case involved an individual whose temporary work permit application was denied because she did not produce income tax statements from 2002-2006 after an immigration officer (the “Officer”) requested that she do so.  The reason that the Officer wanted copies of her tax statements was not to confirm her employment history for determining whether or not she was qualified for the job that she was applying for, but rather to determine whether or not she was inadmissible for having ever committed tax evasion.

The applicant had never been convicted of a criminal offense.  No evidence was ever presented that she had been charged with a criminal offense.  Finally, it is important to note that the applicant lived in the United Kingdom from 2002-2006, a country with a legal system similar to Canada’s.

The applicant did not produce the income tax statements as requested, and her application was rejected on the grounds that the Officer was unable to determine whether or not she was inadmissible to Canada for having committed an offense abroad that would constitute an indictable offense in Canada (tax evasion). The Federal Court upheld the Officer’s decision.  The Court noted that the Officer had a duty to be satisfied that the applicant was not inadmissible, and that tax evasion could result in an applicant being inadmissible.

A reading of the case suggests that the only argument that the applicant’s counsel made was that the applicant had provided a statement stating that she only worked part time, confirmed by the employer, and that this should have satisfied the visa officer.  The Federal Court quickly punted this decision aside noting that such a response did nothing to alleviate the officer’s concern. 

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