“Duty Of Care” Canadian Victory – Canada Revenue Agency

“Duty Of Care” Canadian Victory – Canada Revenue Agency


A Victory in the fight against Canada Revenue Agency which equates to the Internal Revenue Service of the United States.

We’re happy to report that Irvin Leroux’s latest battle with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has come to a (mostly) successful end.

The historic court ruling from April 2014 that the CRA owes taxpayers a “duty of care” remains intact following the CRA’s attempt to appeal and remove that precedent setting victory.

The exact details of what happened today is a bit convoluted, but the bottom line is that it’s a victory for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and a victory for taxpayers across Canada.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Irvin Leroux saga, this video from a few years ago is a good primer.

The Cole’s Notes version goes like this: Nearly 20 years ago Irvin Leroux owned a RV park in BC. He was audited and told he owed a lot of money to the CRA. He fought them for years in tax court and won, but not before he was bankrupted. He sued the CRA for damages and while he didn’t get compensated the judge ruled that the CRA owed him (and all taxpayers) a “duty of care.” Both Irvin and the CRA appealed the ruling, Irv for damages and the CRA for court costs and to remove “duty of care.” This morning in court an agreement was reached that ends the proceedings, but leaves “duty of care” in place.

The Canadian Constitution Foundation footed a lot of Irvin’s bills for the original trial, but couldn’t continue through the appeal stage. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation stepped up to the plate in 2014 to take on Irvin’s significant legal fees in order to defend the “duty of care” precedent.

Without the donations from many CTF supporters it’s doubtful “duty of care” would have survived.

To be clear, “duty of care” is significant. Until April 2014, the courts had ruled the CRA owed only the minister of revenue a “duty of care,” and not taxpayers. Justice Humphries’ ruling that the CRA owes taxpayers a ”duty of care,” means if the CRA acts improperly in their dealings with any taxpayer, like they did with Irvin Leroux, they can be sued for negligence. Wrote a senior lawyer at Bennett Jones: “it reinforces the CRA’s accountability in issuing assessments, auditing and imposing penalties … the Leroux decision provides an additional check on what can and cannot be done by employees of the CRA in the course of their duties.”

However, not everything is good news. Irvin Leroux still hasn’t been compensated from the government department that bankrupted him nearly two decades ago. He has some cards left to play, but his fight against the CRA is over.

Irv is a Canadian hero that has won and defended a ruling from which all taxpayers in Canada will benefit.

We encourage you to drop Irvin an e-mail and thank him for standing up for taxpayers. His email address is: irvin@lerouxed.com

Thanks for all you do,

  • Scott, Troy, Shannon and the entire CTF team

P.S.: Duty of Care exists because many Canadians chipped in to make it happen. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation doesn’t win every battle we take on, but thanks to the support of people like you, we’re always up for the fight! Please consider making a donation through our secure donation website here: https://www.taxpayer.com/donate/


VANCOUVER, BC: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is declaring victory in the court battle to save the historic ‘duty of care’ court ruling against the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

This morning a panel of three judges in the British Columbia Court of Appeal accepted an agreement between Irvin Leroux and the CRA that ends the proceedings, leaving intact the ‘duty of care’ ruling achieved in the April 2014 court case between Mr. Leroux and the CRA. The CTF has been paying Mr. Leroux’s legal costs during the appeal stage in an effort to protect the ‘duty of care’ ruling.

“We are very pleased with this outcome,” said CTF Federal Director Aaron Wudrick. “Taxpayers across this country will benefit from the court saying the tax-man has to treat people fairly.”

“I’m so grateful that this 19-year battle is over and that there is now an avenue that Canadian taxpayers have to hold the CRA accountable if the CRA causes them harm or loss,” said Irvin Leroux.

Mr. Leroux had appealed a lower court decision to not award him damages, and the CRA appealed the same decision seeking court costs and the overturning of the ‘duty of care’ principle. As a result of the agreement between Mr. Leroux and the CRA, the proceedings have now concluded.

“It’s sad that Irv isn’t getting compensated for his losses, but he’s a real hero for having fought this battle for 19 years,” said CTF B.C. Director Jordan Bateman. “All taxpayers across Canada owe Irv a thank you for sticking it out for so long to get the duty of care ruling.”

That BC Supreme Court Justice Humphries had ruled the CRA owed this ‘duty of care’ to Mr. Leroux was viewed by many tax lawyers as precedent setting, as previous court cases found the CRA only owed a ‘duty of care’ to the minister of revenue. As Alison Gray, a partner with Bennett Jones wrote at the time: “for Canadian taxpayers, Leroux is a winning decision, as it reinforces the CRA’s accountability in issuing assessments, auditing and imposing penalties … the Leroux decision provides an additional check on what can and cannot be done by employees of the CRA in the course of their duties.”

Source: Canadian Taxpayers Federation

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