Legitimate Expectations in Canada: Soft Law and Tax Administration
Sas Ansari and Lorne Sossin, “Legitimate Expectations in Canada: Soft Law and tax Administration”, Legitimate Expectations in the Common Law World, M Groves and G Weeks, Eds (Portland, OR; Heart Publishing, 2017)
28 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2017 Last revised: 5 Feb 2017
Date Written: January 27, 2017
This chapter examines the relationship between legitimate expectations and soft law. In what circumstances can an agency’s guidelines create law — or at least legally enforceable expectations? At first glance, the answer would appear obvious. The key reason for developing soft law is to provide guidance and transparency as to the process (and sometimes the substance) of administrative action. Soft law by its nature gives rise to expectations. Whether those expectations, in turn, give rise to legal effects is decidedly less clear. In fact, this question has vexed Canadian administrative law. Nowhere are questions of soft law 1 and legitimate expectations more salient than in the context of tax administration.
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