What Steps Can The CRA Take To Collect Your Tax Bill?

CRA collection notice overdue amount

If you owe money to the tax department it may be that you are really apprehensive as to what actions they may take against you to collect this debt.   Or you may be the type of person who feels that you just don’t have any money so there is nothing for the tax man to take from you.

No matter what your outlook is on your outstanding tax bill don’t lose sight of the fact that this government has the mandate for collecting what is owed to them.   There is a process that they go through for doing just that.

Keep in mind that as long as you owe them money you will not get any subsequent returns that may be owed to you as this would be applied against your outstanding tax bill.

There are certain collection restrictions that the CRA must abide by.  For example, they cannot start legal action against you until 90 days after the assessment or notice of assessment has been mailed.   However, there are some exceptions to this and these can be quite complex.   For this and other reasons you do not want to let yourself get into a situation when you owe on taxes and are not making any attempts to rectify the situation.

There are appeals and objection processes that you can go through.   The CRA does have authority to take collection action if there are indicators that collections would be in jeopardy if there were a delay in collections, which in some cases would take a court order to carry this out.

Some people who owe money to the tax department and are concerned that the property could be seized in regards to the tax debt will sometimes try and transfer the property to another person to avoid this from taking place.   The CRA has specific rules in place regarding this and you really should be very careful about taking such steps.

If you have a tax debt and are unclear how tonegotiate with the CRA then use the services of a good accountant who can give you the proper direction as to how to go about settling your debt and what your options are or what the repercussions could be if you allow this debt to continue.


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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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