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Objections and Appeals

Each year we work together to file a timely and accurate income tax return. It is always our hope that Canada Revenue Agency will issue a Notice of Assessment soon after confirming that the return has been assessed as filed. In certain situations, your return may be assessed or reassessed with changes to the original filing. The Taxpayer Bill of Rights ensures all taxpayers receive fair treatment and provides you with the opportunity to request a review of these assessments.

Changes can often be the result of a simple miscommunication of the facts or a misinterpretation of the information provided to support these facts. Before filing a formal objection, it is always advisable to contact CRA by phone or writing a letter to your tax centre. Agents may submit a request to correct your return based on the information provided by you.

If the issue is not resolved after this preliminary step, you have the right to file a formal objection if you think that the facts have been misinterpreted or the law has been applied incorrectly. Objections can be filed in respect of income or excise tax assessments or reassessments that indicate taxes owing or determinations such as the goods and services tax credit and the disability tax credit. It is important to notify us as soon as possible when you receive an assessment as an objection must be filed by the later of one year after the date of the return’s filing deadline or 90 days after the date the notice of assessment was sent. You may be able to request an extension of time to file due to circumstances beyond your control no later than one year after the objection was due.

An objection can be filed by submitting a letter to the Chief of Appeals. This letter must include your personal and contact information, the tax year and date of the assessment, the applicable social insurance number or business number and a detailed explanation of the facts and reasons for the objection along with all supporting documentation. It is important for this letter to be clear and concise with references to the applicable tax law and any relevant case law.

An appeals officer will review your submission and make a decision accordingly. If you do not agree with the decision, you have the right to appeal to the Tax Court of Canada within 90 days of the date of the decision. This appeal is processed under either the informal procedure or the general procedure.

Taxpayers qualify under the informal procedure if the disputed amount of federal tax and penalties is not more than $25,000 per assessment; the disputed loss amount is not more than $50,000 per determination; or interest on federal tax and on penalties is the only matter in dispute. The informal procedure is an expedited process and there is no filing fee associated with this type of appeal. You must submit a request in writing and clearly indicate that you would like the Court to hear your appeal under this procedure. All other appeals will be heard by the Court under the general procedure. A filing fee ranging from $250 to $550 is required at the time of filing and if your appeal is unsuccessful, you could be ordered to pay some of the legal costs of the other party. Appeals under the general procedure could take up to one year to process.

If you disagree with the judgement by the Tax Court of Canada, your appeal can be further escalated to the Federal Court of Appeal and then the Supreme Court of Canada.

During the appeals process, collections on any balances owing with respect to the appealed amounts will be postponed. However, if your appeal is ultimately unsuccessful, interest charges will be accrued during this period. It may be advisable to pay the balance owing to mitigate additional charges. Any amounts that are reduced on appeal will be refunded to you after processing.

Navigating the steps of this process requires a strong understanding of the relevant tax laws and the legal processes. We would be happy to assist you to ensure you receive fair treatment and pay no more than you are legally obligated to.

For more information, please contact or 1 844-GYTD-CPA and Appeals
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