The government will likely be asking the courts to take up a case filed by a Canadian-born family who is challenging its tax on their foreign-born son, who moved back to Canada as a child and is now 30 years old.
The case is the latest of several that have been filed by American parents of Canadian children in recent years.
It follows another legal challenge filed last month in Ontario, where a judge ordered a change to the federal tax system that would allow Canadian citizens to defer taxes on assets held in their home country.
The federal government has already asked the Supreme Court of Canada to hear the case.
The family’s lawyer, Stephen McLeod, said the government has not yet filed a response to the Supreme, so his client is left with no option but to challenge the government’s actions in court.
“We are looking for an opportunity to go back and revisit the tax law, which is the key question for the government, and if they don’t respond to our application, we’re going to be ready to go to the courts,” McLeod said.
“I’m looking forward to the government making a response in the courts, which they have already indicated they’re not interested in doing.”
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation says the government will not be able to appeal the Supreme’s ruling, but that it will appeal to the Federal Court of Appeal.
“The government has never offered any explanation to us about why they are refusing to accept the Supreme court’s ruling on this,” said Robyn Kates, the president of the Canadian Taxpayer Federation.
“There is no evidence in their public statements or their court filings that the government is prepared to take a case to the highest courts in the country.”
McLeod said the family was initially given the option of filing a joint application with the Canadian government.
The family applied for the tax deferral under the Citizenship Act, but a judge rejected their application because the application was not supported by evidence.
Instead, the government decided to proceed with an application for a tax reduction.
The tax relief is currently available to Canadian citizens in Ontario and New Brunswick, as well as residents of the territories, who have been living in Canada for five years or more.
It’s also available to Canadians who have earned more than $100,000 a year in taxable income in their own country.
A spokesman for Finance Minister Bill Morneau did not respond to a request for comment on the issue.
The family said in a statement that they will appeal the ruling, arguing that it violates their rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
“It is clear that the Conservative government’s decision to take action to increase taxes on American-born Canadian citizens is discriminatory and is contrary to Canadian values and democratic principles,” the family said.
“In light of this, we are appealing the decision to the High Court of Justice of Canada.”
In an emailed statement, a spokesman for the Prime Minister’s Office said the Conservatives believe the tax decision is justified and they look forward to arguing the case before the courts.
“As this matter is before the Court of Appeals, the Government of Canada will not comment further,” he said.
“The government of Canada respects the judicial process and will continue to support the federal court process.”