September 17, 2019

What to do if you have a tax dispute with the government

If you are one of the many Canadians who has received a reassessment notice from the CRA, you need to respond with an objection notice before the 90-day deadline to enter what is known as the objection stage. After a decision to your objection, if you are still being asked to pay, you can file for an appeal in tax court with a good chance of settling before your court date. Another option is to file a Voluntary Disclose before any action by the CRA is taken if you think you made a mistake on your return; however, you may still be subject to a penalty regardless of if the disclosure is valid.

Key Takeaways:

  • When filing an objection, it’s best to include new evidence or documents to support why the reassessment was incorrect, because the taxpayer has the burden to show that it is wrong.
  • Typically, it takes 9 to 12 months for the CRA to assign an appeals officer and review an objection.
  • After the CRA’s decision at the objection stage a person has 90 days before proceeding to the Tax Court stage, which roughly takes 18 months,although it can take longer because of securing a court date for a hearing.

“Tax disputes are evidentiary disputes that require digging to prove a case. They are also legal disputes based on the interpretation of certain tax provisions, and always occur between the government (the Canadian Revenue Agency) and taxpayers.”

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