Going Through the Steps of CRA Assessment Disagreements

Notice of Assessment

Now that for most of us the tax season is behind us, but for some this will not be the case. You may receive an assessment of your taxes and the first thing you want to do instead of just filing this away is to read it carefully.

It will either agree with what you have filed, or it may have some changes and you want to know what these are and that you agree with them. If you don’t agree then there are some steps you can take to determine who has made the error. Is it you or the CRA?

There can be several reasons why your assessment does not match your tax return filings. It could be that you did not complete the return correctly. You may have made an error in the calculations. Or it may be that the CRA has applied an interpretation of a tax law different to what you understood it to be. Then they may not have understood the facts of your filings. In any case you need to be aware of what the discrepancy is and then if you do not agree then follow through with the proper course of action.

Call the CRA:

You can start by simply calling the CRA and talk to a representative who may be able to explain the changes and why. If this does not satisfy you then you need to take a more formal approach.

Notice of Objection:

This is a formal step in letting the CRA know that you do not agree with your assessment or re-assessment. You can either do this on line through your tax accountant, or by mail to the Chief of Appeals. There is a time limit in which you can file your notice of objection which is within 90 days of the date of your notice. If you need more time then you can apply for an extension.

Tax Courts:

If your issue is still not resolved according to the way that you think it should have been you have an option of taking it to a higher level of authority, which is the tax courts of Canada. If you do this then you will have the option of using the informal procedure or the general procedure. If you are going through the court system you can continue your case on up the legal ladder by appealing an unfavorable decision to the Federal Court of Appeal, then possibly onto the Supreme Court of Canada.

If you are in disagreement with your assessment or re-assessment you may want to discuss this with a quality accountant who can help to advise you as to what is actually taking place in the discrepancy and what your possible options are.

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Sam Seidman, CPA, CA, LPA
629 Sheppard Avenue West
Toronto, Ontario
M3H 2S3

Telephone: (416) 398-1700
Fax: (416) 398-6226

Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Accountant, Licensed Public Accountant


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