The quick answer is “no”. The Assessment Act – the key legislation which governs the appeal system – does not allow for your expenses to be reimbursed. At the same time, if you lose your appeal, you are not exposed to paying the expenses of BC Assessment or any other parties.
The appeal system has been set up to have a very low appeal fee ($30.00), such that the majority of the Board’s time and expenses are covered by the general taxpayers. Your personal expenses will depend on whether there is travel involved and whether or not you hire professionals to assist you. Over the last 5 years, the Board has implemented new methods to reduce the cost of appeals – especially to residential homeowners:
Once the Board issues a written decision, it cannot change or re-consider the decision except in very limited situations. The Board can correct typographical or mathematical errors.
In addition, there may be some rare situations when the panel may not have considered all of the evidence provided by the parties (e.g. the Board mistakenly did not send materials to the panel). The Board can then decide whether it should re-open the appeal and reconsider its decision.
The Board, however, has no ability to reconsider if a party wants to enter new evidence or re-argue the appeal. The party’s only option is to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court (see how can I appeal the Board’s decision).
If you disagree with the Board’s decision, you may appeal to the Supreme Court of British Columbia. You can only appeal on a question of law. The Court proceedings are not a complete re-hearing of the appeal. The Board will send to the Court the evidence that was presented to it. There will be no opportunity to present new evidence to the Court and you can only make submissions on whether the Board made an error of law.
You can use the Board’s form to list the questions in law that you want to the Court to answer.
The deadline to send in your request to appeal (called a “Stated Case”), along with your questions in law, is 21 days from when you received the Board’s decision. Refer to Information Sheet #13 – Stated Cases for more information.
The Court may charge a filing fee which must be paid by the party requesting the Stated Case. The Supreme Court has jurisdiction to order that the unsuccessful party pay the costs of the successful party.
The Board strongly suggests that you obtain legal advice if you are considering an appeal to the Supreme Court.