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Canada Revenue Agency seeks back taxes from aboriginal employees

The Canada Revenue Agency has been aggressively collecting back taxes from a group of mostly low-income aboriginal women who lost a long-running legal battle to be exempt from paying personal income taxes because their employer was situated on a reserve.

Native Leasing Services, an employee outsourcing company that has its headquarters on Six Nations of the Grand River, a reserve near Brantford, Ont., is seeking a remission order from National Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier — who would have to recommend it to cabinet for approval — on behalf of 3,916 former employees.

“Most of the applicants live on or near the poverty line … A large portion of these employees will never be able to pay the tax assessments that have been made against them,” Jim Fyshe, a lawyer working pro-bono for Native Leasing Services, wrote in the application for a remission order filed in June 2013.

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