The Difference Between a CRA Request for Information and an Audit

As soon as the yearly tax returns are dropped into the mail, or more commonly now completed online, many people breathe a big sigh of relief. Then for many they sit back and wait for their refund. When after weeks or even months after there is an envelope that arrives from the CRA there is a moment of panic. Is the CRA demanding an audit?

Once you have gained enough courage to open the envelope you may find that the tax department is asking you for some papers that you didn’t send with your tax return. Now you are a little confused by this because you were sure that your tax guide said you didn’t have to send them. First thing to remember here is that this is not a tax audit. It is a request for information. Yes, you were probably right in what you read in your tax guide that you didn’t initially have to send this documentation, but if you remember correctly it probably also said that you could be asked to produce it in the future, and that is what is happening now.


Even though this is not a tax audit you may be concerned as to why the CRA has singled you out to produce this information. There could be a few reasons for this. It simply could be a random check, or they saw something that didn’t appear right to them and they want to clarify it. Or you may have claimed something that really is not allowed. This is why a lot of people are now choosing to use a good quality Toronto accountant to do their taxes for them. It doesn’t mean that by doing so it will ensure that there is no request for information, but it will cut down on the potential errors in your return that could trigger this. Although it is not a big deal in most cases to have a CRA request for information it is a little perplexing thinking that the tax department may be scrutinizing your return.


Now let’s talk about the CRA audit. This one is a whole lot more scary. Even if you have been totally honest in your return just the fact that you are now faced with an audit makes you believe that the CRA thinks you are hiding something. This means that the tax guys want to review your records for a specific year. Or they could decide to audit for several years. They may ask you to bring all of the records to their office, or they may send an auditor out to yours. You may not have an idea what has triggered the audit, and perhaps it also was just random, but more than likely there was something about your return that grabbed their attention and they want to check it out.


Don’t use guesswork to complete your tax returns. Bring your tax matters to us here at Toronto accountant and let us do them for you. This way you won’t fear those potential requests for information or audits based on inaccurate tax returns because we will do your taxes right.


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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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