Canadian Tax Law

Alberta CRA & Small Business Issues

Is there an official government website for aspiring entrepreneurs, small business owners and self-employed professionals that provides useful information about opening or operating a business in Alberta?

Yes, the government of Alberta has a website available for those individuals wanting to open a small business or are currently operating a business in the province of Alberta: http://www.programs.alberta.ca/Business/IndexB.aspx?N=772

In addition to Alberta tax information, it contains information about starting a business as well as closing a business in Alberta, small business grants, business registration and licenses, business forms and more.

Another interesting web page sponsored by the Alberta government is http://alis.alberta.ca/ec/wo/small-bus.html . It provides useful information and tips on self-employment and small business, including resources on starting a business and growing your existing business.

The information provided above does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such, since it has been written with a limited picture of the situation. In order to obtain proper legal advice, a lawyer must be aware of all of the details of your particular case. If in doubt, please obtain the advice of a lawyer. You may be eligible to receive a free telephone consultation with a tax lawyer at Barrett Tax Law. For details, call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today or click here.

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)

What is the contact information and office hours for the Canada Revenue Agency tax service offices and tax centres in all of the provinces and territories of Canada?

ALBERTA:

The office and mailing address for the Calgary Tax Services Office is as follows:

220 4th Avenue South East
Calgary, Alberta
T2G 0L1, Canada

The  fax number is 403-264-5843.

The office address for the Edmonton Tax Services Office is as follows:

Enquiries Office, Main Floor
9700 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta
T5J 4C8, Canada

The mailing address for the Edmonton Tax Services Office is as follows:

Suite 10, 9700 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta
T5J 4C8, Canada

The fax number is 780-495-3533.

The office address for the Lethbridge Tax Services Office is as follows:

200-419 7th Street South
Lethbridge, Alberta
T1J 4A9, Canada

The mailing address for the Lethbridge Tax Services Office is as follows:

Post Office Box 3009 Station Main
Lethbridge, Alberta
T1J 4A9, Canada

The fax number is 403-382-4765.

The office and mailing address for the Red Deer Tax Services Office is as follows:

4996 49th Avenue
Red Deer, Alberta
T4N 6X2, Canada

The fax number is 403-341-7053.

The hours of operation for all of the Alberta Tax Services Offices are from 8:15am to 4:30pm, and the telephone numbers are as follows:

– Small businesses and self-employed: 1-800-959-5525
– Individuals: 1-800-959-8281
– Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-800-665-0354
 

BRITISH COLUMBIA:

The office address for the Burnaby-Fraser Tax Services Office is as follows:

9737 King George Boulevard
Surrey, British Columbia 
V3T 5W6, Canada

The mailing address for the Burnaby-Fraser Tax Services Office is as follows:

9737 King George Boulevard
Post Office Box 9070, Station Main
Surrey, British Columbia 
V3T 5W6, Canada

The fax number is 604-587-2010.

The office address for the Northern B.C. and Yukon Tax Services Office is as follows:

280 Victoria Street
Prince George, British Columbia 
V2L 4X3, Canada

The mailing address for the Northern B.C. and Yukon Tax Services Office is as follows:

9755 King George Boulevard
Surrey, British Columbia 
V3T 5E1, Canada

The fax number is 250-561-7869.

The office address for the Southern Interior B.C. Tax Services Office is as follows:

277 Winnipeg Street
Penticton, British Columbia
V2A 1N6, Canada

and

100 – 1620 Dickson Avenue
Kelowna, British Columbia
V1Y 9Y2, Canada

The mailing address for the Southern Interior B.C. Tax Services Office:

9755 King George Boulevard
Surrey, British Columbia
V3T 5E1, Canada

The fax number is 250-492-8346.

The office and mailing address for the Vancouver Tax Services Office is as follows:

1166 West Pender Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
V6E 3H8, Canada

The fax number is 604-689-7536.

The office and mailing address for the Vancouver Island Tax Services Office is as follows:

1415 Vancouver Street
Victoria, British Columbia
V8V 3W4, Canada

The fax number is 250-363-8188.

The hours of operation for the British Columbia CRA Tax Services Offices is from 8:15am to 4:30pm and the telephone numbers are as follows:

Businesses and Self-Employed: 1-800-959-5525
Individuals: 1-800-959-8281
Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-800-665-0354
 

MANITOBA:

The office and mailing address for the Brandon Tax Services Office is as follows:

1039 Princess Avenue
Brandon, Manitoba
R7A 4J5, Canada

The fax number is 204-726-7868. The office hours are from 8:30am to 4:30pm.

The office and mailing address for the Winnipeg Tax Services Office is as follows:

325 Broadway
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3C 4T4, Canada

The fax number is 204-984-5164. The office hours are from 8:15am to 4:30pm.

The telephone numbers for all of the Manitoba Tax Services Offices are as follows:

– Small businesses and self-employed: 1-800-959-5525
– Individuals: 1-800-959-8281
– Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-800-665-0354
 

NEW BRUNSWICK:

The office address for the Bathurst Tax Services Office is as follows:

201 St. George Street
Bathurst, New Brunswick
E2A 4L8, Canada

The mailing address for the Bathurst Tax Services Office is as follows:

Post Office Box 8888
Bathurst, New Brunswick
E2A 4L8, Canada

The fax number is 506-548-7176. The office hours are from 10:00am to 2:00pm.

The office address for the Moncton Tax Services Office is as follows:

50 King Street
Moncton, New Brunswick 
E1C 4M2, Canada

The mailing address for the Moncton Tax Services Office is as follows:

Post Office Box 1070
Moncton, New Brunswick 
E1C 8P2, Canada

The fax number is 506-851-7018. The office hours  are from 8:15am to 4:30pm.

The office and mailing address for the Saint John Tax Services Office is as follows:

126 Prince William Street
Saint John, New Brunswick 
E2L 4H9, Canada

The fax number is 506-636-5200. The office hours are from 8:15am to 4:30pm.

The telephone numbers for all of the New Brunswick Tax Services Offices are as follows:

– Small businesses and self-employed: 1-800-959-5525
– Individuals: 1-800-959-8281
– Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-800-665-0354
 

NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR:

The office and mailing address for the Newfoundland and Labrador Tax Services Office is as follows:

Sir Humphrey Gilbert Building
165 Duckworth Street
Post Office Box 12075
St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador 
A1B 4R5, Canada

The fax number is 709-754-5928. The hours of operation for the Newfoundland and Labrador Tax Services Office is from 8:15am to 4:30pm. The telephone numbers are as follows:

– Small businesses and self-employed: 1-800-959-5525
– Individuals: 1-800-959-8281
– Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-800-665-0354
 

NORTHWEST TERRITORIES:

The office address for the Northwest Territories Tax Services Office is as follows:

Enquiries Office
Main Floor
9700 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta
T5J 4C8, Canada

The mailing address for the Northwest Territories Tax Services Office is as follows:

Suite 10, 9700 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta
T5J 4C8, Canada

The fax number is 780-495-3533. The hours of operation for the Northwest Territories Tax Services Office are from 8:15am to 4:30pm. The telephone numbers are as follows:

– Small businesses and self-employed: 1-800-959-5525
– Individuals: 1-800-959-8281
– Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-800-665-0354
 

NOVA SCOTIA:

The office and mailing address for the Halifax Tax Services Office is as follows:

Ralston Building
1557 Hollis Street
Post Office Box 638
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3J 2T5, Canada

The fax number is 902-426-7170.

The office and mailing address for the Sydney Tax Services Office is as follows:

47 Dorchester Street
Post Office Box 1300
Sydney, Nova Scotia
B1P 6K3, Canada

The fax number is 902-564-3095.

The hours of operation for all of the Nova Scotia Tax Services Offices is from 8:15am to 4:30pm. The telephone numbers are as follows:

Businesses and Self-Employed: 1-800-959-5525
Individuals: 1-800-959-8281
Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-800-665-0354
 

NUNAVUT:

The office and mailing address for the Nunavut Tax Services Office is as follows:

Ottawa Tax Services Office
333 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0L9, Canada

The fax number is 613-238-7125. The hours of operation for the Nunavut Tax Services Office are from 8:15am to 4:30pm. The telephone numbers are as follows:

– Small businesses and self-employed: 1-800-959-5525
– Individuals: 1-800-959-8281
– Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-800-665-0354
 

ONTARIO:

The office and mailing address for the Barrie Tax Services Office is as follows:

81 Mulcaster Street
Barrie, Ontario 
L4M 6T7, Canada

The fax number is 705-721-0056. The hours of operation are from 8:15am to 4:30pm.

The office and mailing address for the Belleville East Central Ontario Tax Services Office is as follows:

11 Station Street
Belleville, Ontario
K8N 2S3, Canada

The fax number is 613-969-7845. The hours of operation are from 8:15am to 4:30pm.

The office and mailing address for the Hamilton Tax Services Office is as follows:

55 Bay Street North
Post Office Box 2220
Hamilton, Ontario
L8N 3E1, Canada

The fax number is 905-546-1615. The hours of operation are from 8:30am to 4:30pm.

The office and mailing address for the Kingston East Central Ontario Tax Services Office is as follows:

31 Hyperion Court
Post Office Box 2600
Kingston, Ontario 
K7L 5P3, Canada

The fax number is 613-545-3272. The hours of operation are from 8:15am to 4:30pm.

The office and mailing address for the Kitchener/Waterloo Tax Services Office is as follows:

166 Frederick Street
Kitchener, Ontario
N2G 4N1, Canada

The fax number is 519-579-4532. The hours of operation are from 8:15am to 4:30pm.

The office and mailing address for the London Tax Services Office is as follows:

451 Talbot Street
London, Ontario
N6A 5E5, Canada

The fax number is 519-645-4029. The hours of operation are from 8:15am to 4:30pm.

The office and mailing address for the Ottawa Tax Services Office is as follows:

Ottawa Tax Services Office
333 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0L9, Canada

The fax number is 613-238-7125. The hours of operation are from 8:15am to 4:30pm.

The office and mailing address for the Peterborough Tax Services Office is as follows:

185 King Street West
Peterborough, Ontario
K9J 8M3, Canada

The fax number is 705-876-6422. The hours of operation are from 8:15am to 4:30pm.

The office and mailing address for the St. Catharines Tax Services Office is as follows:

32 Church Street
Post Office Box 3038
St. Catharines, Ontario
L2R 3B9, Canada

The fax number is 905-688-5996. The hours of operation are from 8:15am to 4:30pm.

The office and mailing address for the Sudbury Tax Services Office is as follows:

1050 Notre Dame Avenue
Sudbury, Ontario
P3A 5C1, Canada

The fax number is 705-671-3994. The hours of operation are from 8:15am to 4:30pm.

The office and mailing address for the Thunder Bay Tax Services Office is as follows:

130 South Syndicate Avenue
Thunder Bay, Ontario
P7E 1C7, Canada

The fax number is 807-622-8512. The hours of operation are from 8:15am to 4:30pm.

The office and mailing address for the Toronto Centre Tax Services Office is as follows:

1 Front Street West
Toronto, Ontario
M5J 2X6, Canada

The fax number is 416-360-8908. The fax number for non-resident tax issues, Regulation 105 and 102 Waivers Section is 416-954-8528. The hours of operation are from 8:15am to 4:30pm.

The office and mailing address for the Toronto East Tax Services Office is as follows:

Room 427, 200 Town Centre Court
Toronto, Ontario
M1P 4Y3, Canada

The fax number is 416-973-5126. The hours of operation are from 8:15am to 4:30pm.

The office and mailing address for the Toronto North Tax Services Office is as follows:

5001 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario
M2N 6R9, Canada

The fax number is 416-512-2558. The hours of operation are from 8:15am to 4:30pm.

The office and mailing address for the Toronto West Tax Services Office is as follows:

5800 Hurontario Street
Mississauga, Ontario
L5R 4B4, Canada

The fax number is 905-566-6182. The hours of operation are from 8:15am to 4:30pm.

The office and mailing address for the Windsor Tax Services Office is as follows:

185 Ouellette Avenue
Windsor, Ontario
N9A 5S8, Canada

The fax number is 519-257-6558. The hours of operation are from 8:15am to 4:30pm.

The telephone numbers for all of the Ontario Tax Services Offices are as follows:

– Small businesses and self-employed: 1-800-959-5525
– Individuals: 1-800-959-8281
– Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-800-665-0354
 

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND:

The office and mailing address for the Prince Edward Island Tax Services Office is as follows:

161 St. Peters Road
Post Office Box 8500
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
C1A 8L3, Canada

The fax number is 902-566-7197. The hours of operation for the Prince Edward Island Tax Services Office is from 8:15am to 4:30pm. The telephone numbers are as follows:

– Small businesses and self-employed: 1-800-959-5525
– Individuals: 1-800-959-8281
– Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-800-665-0354
 

QUEBEC:

The office address for the Chicoutimi (Eastern Quebec) Tax Services Office is as follows:

100 La Fontaine Street
Chicoutimi, Quebec
G7H 6X2, Canada

The mailing address for the Chicoutimi (Eastern Quebec) Tax Services Office is as follows:

Post Office Box 1660, Station Bureau-chef
Jonquière, Quebec
G7S 4L3, Canada

The fax number is 418-698-6387.

The office and mailing address for the Laval Tax Services Office is as follows:

3400 Jean-Béraud Avenue
Laval, Quebec
H7T 2Z2, Canada

The fax number is 514-956-7071.

The office and mailing address for the Montérégie-Rive-Sud Tax Services Office is as follows:

3250 Lapinière Boulevard
Brossard, Quebec
J4Z 3T8, Canada

The fax number is 450-926-7100.

The office and mailing address for the Montreal Tax Services Office is as follows:

305 René-Lévesque Boulevard West
Montréal, Quebec
H2Z 1A6, Canada

The fax number is 514-496-1309.

The office and mailing address for the Outaouais (Outaouais and Rouyn-Noranda) Tax Services Office is as follows:

1100 Maloney Boulevard West
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 1L4, Canada

The fax number is 819-994-1103

The office and mailing address for the Quebec (Eastern Quebec) Tax Services Office is as follows:

165 de la Pointe-aux-Lièvres Street
Québec, Quebec
G1K 7L3, Canada

The fax number is 418-649-6478.

The office and mailing address for the Rimouski (Eastern Quebec) Tax Services Office is as follows:

Suite 101, 180 de la Cathédrale Avenue
Rimouski, Quebec
G5L 5H9, Canada

The fax number is 418-722-3027.

The office and mailing address for the Rouyn-Noranda (Outaouais and Rouyn-Noranda) Tax Services Office is as follows:

44 du Lac Avenue
Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec
J9X 6Z9, Canada

The fax number is 819-797-8366.

The office and mailing address for the Sherbrooke (Estrie-Mauricie) Tax Services Office is as follows:

50 Place de la Cité
Post Office Box 1300
Sherbrooke, Quebec
J1H 5L8, Canada

The fax number is 819-821-8582.

The office and mailing address for the Trois-Rivières (Estrie-Mauricie) Tax Services Office is as follows:

111 – 25 des Forges Street
Trois-Rivières, Quebec
G9A 2G4, Canada

The fax number is 819-371-2744.

The hours of operation for all of the tax services offices in Quebec is from 8:15am to 4:30pm, and the telephone numbers are as follows:

– Small businesses and self-employed: 1-800-959-5525
– Individuals: 1-800-959-8281
– Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-800-665-0354
 

SASKATCHEWAN:

The office and mailing address for the Regina Tax Services Office is as follows:

Suite 260, 1783 Hamilton Street
Regina, Saskatchewan 
S4P 2B6, Canada

The fax number is 306-757-1412. The hours of operation are from 8:30am to 4:30pm.

The office and mailing address for the Saskatoon Tax Services Office is as follows:

340 3rd Avenue North
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan 
S7K 0A8, Canada

The fax number is 306-652-3211. The hours of operation are from 8:15am to 4:30pm.

The telephone numbers for all of the Saskatchewan Tax Services Offices are as follows:

– Small businesses and self-employed: 1-800-959-5525
– Individuals: 1-800-959-8281
– Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-800-665-0354
 

YUKON:

The office address for the Yukon Tax Services Office is as follows:

280 Victoria Street
Prince George, British Columbia 
V2L 4X3, Canada

The mailing address for the Yukon Tax Services Office is as follows:

9755 King George Boulevard
Surrey, British Columbia 
V3T 5E1, Canada

The fax number is 250-561-7869. The hours of operation are from 8:15am to 4:30pm. The telephone numbers are as follows:

– Small businesses and self-employed: 1-800-959-5525
– Individuals: 1-800-959-8281
– Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-800-665-0354
 
The information provided above does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such, since it has been written with a limited picture of the situation. In order to obtain proper legal advice, a lawyer must be aware of all of the details of your particular case. If in doubt, please obtain the advice of a lawyer. You may be eligible to receive a free telephone consultation with a tax lawyer at Barrett Tax Law. For details, call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today or click here
What is the website address (URL) for the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)?

The Canada Revenue Agency has two website URL’s with the same content: www.cra.gc.ca/  and www.cra-arc.gc.ca/ . The website is available in both English and French.

What is the telephone number for TIPS (Tax Information Phone Service), the automated general tax information line?

The toll-free telephone line for TIPS is 1-800-267-6999 and is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

What is the telephone number and hours of operation to speak with a representative of the Canada Revenue Agency for inquiries about personal GST / HST credit?

The toll-free telephone line for questions about personal GST / HST credit is 1-800-959-1953. The hours of operation are Monday through Friday, with the exception of holidays, from 8:15am to 5:00pm Eastern time.

What is the telephone number and hours of operation to speak with a representative of the Canada Revenue Agency regarding questions about the Universal Child Care Benefit program and the Canada Child Tax Benefit program?

The toll-free telephone number for inquiries about the Universal Child Care Benefit program and the Canada Child Tax Benefit program is 1-800-387-1193. The hours of operation are Monday through Friday, with the exception of holidays, from 8:15am to 5:00pm Eastern time.

What is the telephone number and hours of operation to speak with a representative of the Canada Revenue Agency regarding questions about businesses and self-employed individuals?

The toll-free telephone number for business and self-employed related inquiries at the CRA is 1-800-959-5525. The hours of operation are Monday through Friday, with the exception of holidays, from 8:15am to 8:00pm Eastern time.

What is the telephone number at the Canada Revenue Agency to inquire about my income tax refund?

The automated toll-free telephone line at the CRA to find out about your income tax refund is 1-800-959-1956 and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

What is the telephone number and hours of operation to speak with a representative of the Canada Revenue Agency regarding questions about personal income taxes?

The toll-free telephone number for personal income tax inquiries at the CRA is 1-800-959-8281. The hours of operation are Monday through Friday, with the exception of holidays, from 8:15am to 5:00pm Eastern time.

What is the general contact information for the Canada Revenue Agency?

For additional information about the CRA and its programs, the Canada Revenue Agency can be contacted at the following mailing address and telephone number:

Canada Revenue Agency
Public Affairs Branch
Office of the Asssistant Commissioner
Connaught Building
555 MacKenzie Avenue, 4th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0L5

What Canadian department or agency may I complain to, other than to the Canada Revenue Agency, if I feel that my legislated right to be served in one of Canada’s official languages has not been respected by the CRA?

You may contact the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages at the following mailing address and telephone numbers:

Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages
3rd Floor, 344 Slater Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0T8

Ottawa-Gatineau Telephone: 613-996-6368
Canada Toll-Free Line: 1-877-996-6368

The website address (URL) is www.ocol-clo.gc.ca

What is the Taxpayer Bill of Rights?

The Canada Revenue Agency has developed a list of rights they claim Canadians are entitled to when dealing with the CRA. However, this Taxpayer Bill of Rights in and of itself is not actually a Bill or law at all. As such, the Taxpayer Bill of Rights can be changed at any time since it does not have to go through the normal legislative process laws normally have to undergo when being modified. It does not have the force of law behind it and therefore does not offer any kind of guarantee that the Canada Revenue Agency will themselves apply and follow this so-called Taxpayer Bill of Rights. However, it is important to note that seven out of the fifteen items listed in this so-called Bill of Rights are legislated rights implemented by the Canadian government and can therefore be legally upheld using the process outlined in the legislation, and those are items #1, #2, #3, #4, #7, #8, and #12 listed below in bold text. The “Taxpayer Bill of Rights” reads as follows:

1. You have the right to receive entitlements and to pay no more and no less than what is required by law.
2. You have the right to service in both official languages.
3. You have the right to privacy and confidentiality.
4. You have the right to a formal review and a subsequent appeal.
5. You have the right to be treated professionally, courteously, and fairly.
6. You have the right to complete, accurate, clear, and timely information.
7. You have the right, as an individual, not to pay income tax amounts in dispute before you have had an impartial review.
8. You have the right to have the law applied consistently.
9. You have the right to lodge a service complaint and to be provided with an explanation of our findings.
10. You have the right to have the costs of compliance taken into account when administering tax legislation.
11. You have the right to expect us to be accountable.
12. You have the right to relief from penalties and interest under tax legislation because of extraordinary circumstances.
13. You have the right to expect us to publish our service standards and report annually.
14. You have the right to expect us to warn you about questionable tax schemes in a timely manner.
15. You have the right to be represented by a person of your choice.

The “Taxpayer Bill of Rights” then continues to state their alleged “Commitment to Small Business,” which states in verbatim:

1. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is committed to administering the tax system in a way that minimizes the costs of compliance for small businesses.
2. The CRA is committed to working with all governments to streamline service, minimize cost, and reduce the compliance burden.
3. The CRA is committed to providing service offerings that meet the needs of small businesses.
4. The CRA is committed to conducting outreach activities that help small businesses comply with the legislation we administer.
5. The CRA is committed to explaining how we conduct our business with small businesses.

How can I make a formal complaint about the quality of service I have received from a CRA agent or representative?

Formal complaints must be done in writing via Form RC193 available at www.cra.gc.ca/complaints or by calling toll-free 1-800-959-2221. The form has to be filled out and mailed or faxed separately from any other forms you may have for the CRA:

CRA – Service Complaints
National Intake Centre
P.O. Box 8000
Shawinigan-Sud, Quebec

G9N 0A6, Canada
Fax: 1-866-388-7371

If you are not satisfied with the resolution offered by the Service Complaints office of the CRA, then you may contact the Taxpayers’ Ombudsman office to have them reassess the complaint and resolution made at the Service Complaints office. A complaint form, found at www.taxpayersrights.gc.ca/frm-fll-eng.pdf , must be filled out and mailed or faxed, along with other supporting documents to the following mailing address or fax number:

Mailing Address:
Taxpayers’ Ombudsman
Suite 724, 50 O’Connor Street
Ottawa, Ontario

K1P 6L2, Canada

Toll-Free Fax Number: 1-866-586-3855

You can also call toll-free 1-866-586-3839 to have a form mailed to you or to speak with a representative of the Taxpayers’ Ombudsman office.

What are the branches and departments of the Canada Revenue Agency?

The CRA is comprised of several branches and departments:

1) Appeals Branch:

The Appeals Branch deals with and resolves tax disputes between the Canada Revenue Agency and the taxpayers by formally reviewing the decisions made by CRA agents. They are also responsible for the CRA Service Complaints Program, a program implemented in 2007 to address the complaints of both individual and corporate taxpayers. It is a way for taxpayers to lodge formal complaints regarding the quality of service they have received from representatives or agents of the Canada Revenue Agency.

2) Assessment and Benefit Services Branch:

The main responsibility of the Assessment and Benefit Services Branch is to process all of the tax returns and collect all of the taxes and other monies due from other Canadian tax programs.

3) Board of Management:

The Board of Management oversees and manages the Canada Revenue Agency. It has 15 members, all of whom are appointed by the Governor in Council, are nominated in large part by the provincial governments of Canada, and all report to the Minister of National Revenue, the Honourable Gail Shea. They do not, however, have any authority over the implementation and administration of tax laws, such as the Income Tax Act, nor do they have access to private taxpayer’s information or have any involvement in the daily business activities of the Canada Revenue Agency. They basically oversee the overall administration of the CRA, such as human resources, financial and contract management.

4) Compliance Programs Branch:

The Compliance Programs Branch is there to ensure compliance with Canadian tax laws. It is basically the branch that performs tax audits and other related investigations and is the department that will recommend cases for criminal prosecution.

5) Corporate Audit and Evaluation Branch:

The Corporate Audit and Evaluation Branch is the Canada Revenue Agency’s own auditing department. It is there to evaluate and ensure that the CRA is being effectively and efficiently managed.

6) Corporate Strategies and Business Development Branch:

The main responsibility of the Corporate Strategies and Business Development Branch is to formulate and implement corporate policy for the Canada Revenue Agency as well as manage inter-governmental relationships with the provinces and territories of Canada.

7) Finance and Administration Branch:

The Finance and Administration Branch manages the finances of the Canada Revenue Agency.

.8) Human Resources Branch:

The Human Resources Branch manages the human resources policies and initiatives of the CRA, including training, employee relations, and performance evaluations.

9) Information Technology Branch:

The Information Technology Branch is the IT department of the Canada Revenue Agency. It supplies and maintains the various technology applications used by the CRA to help execute its tax programs.

10) Legal Services:

The Legal Services department is there to help ensure the Canada Revenue Agency makes legally correct decisions and acts according to the laws of Canada.

11) Legislative Policy and Regulatory Affairs Branch:

The main responsibility of the LPRAB is to interpret and rule upon affairs related to various tax laws such as the Excise Tax Act and the Income Tax Act.

12) Public Affairs Branch:

The Public Affairs Branch provides various services and products related to management, parliamentary, communications and access to information issues. It also handles the public relations aspect of the Canada Revenue Agency, informing Canadians and news outlets about the various activities of the CRA.

13) Regional Operations:

Regional Operations consists of five Assistant Commissioners whose main responsibility is the provision of tax services to the Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, Prairie and Pacific regions of Canada.

14) Taxpayer Services and Debt Management Branch:

The main responsibility of the TSDMB is to collect the personal and business taxes due to the government of Canada as well as to advance corporate compliance to Canadian tax laws.

 

How can I contact the Minister of National Revenue?

The Minister of National Revenue, the Honourable Gail Shea, can be contacted at the following mailing address:

The Honourable Gail Shea
Minister of National Revenue
7th Floor
555 Mackenzie Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0L5
Canada

Comments can also be sent via their online form by visiting the following web page on the CRA web site:

https://apps.cra-arc.gc.ca/ebci/cjid/md/cmnts.do?actn=ld&lang=en

Who is responsible for the Canada Revenue Agency?

The Canada Revenue Agency is headed by the Minister of National Revenue, who is appointed by the Prime Minister of Canada. Currently, the Minister of National Revenue is the Honourable Gail Shea, who was appointed by the Canadian Prime Minister, Right Honourable Stephen Harper, on May 18, 2011. She is ultimately the person responsible for the Canada Revenue Agency and all of its functions, including their stated duty to treat its clients with fairness and integrity.

What is the official mission statement of the Canada Revenue Agency?

The official mission statement of the CRA is “to administer tax, benefits, and related programs, and to ensure compliance on behalf of governments across Canada, thereby contributing to the ongoing economic and social well-being of Canadians.” For the CRA, compliance means filing tax returns by the deadline, ensuring the declaration is complete and true, and paying the Canadian government what the CRA has determined is due in a timely fashion.

What is Revenu Quebec, their contact information and website address (URL)?

The province of Quebec has its own tax agency called Revenu Quebec that administers its personal income tax laws as well as the system that governs businesses or legal persons. The toll-free telephone number for Revenu Quebec is 1-800-267-6299 and the local telephone number is 418-659-6299. The toll-free telephone line for businesses, employers and agents for consumption taxes is 1-800-567-4692 and the local telephone line is 418-659-4692. The mailing address for Revenu Quebec is the following:

Direction Principale des Services a la Clientele des Particuliers
Revenu Quebec
3800 rue de Marly
Quebec, Quebec
G1X 4A5
Canada

The mailing address for businesses, employers and agents for consumption taxes is as follows:

Revenu Quebec
3800 rue de Marly
Quebec, Quebec
G1X 4A5
Canada

The website address (URL) for Revenu Quebec is http://www.revenuquebec.ca/ and is available in both English and French.

What is the Canada Revenue Agency?

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), formally known as Revenue Canada, is a federal agency that has as its main function the administration of Canadian tax laws for most of the provinces and territories of Canada. In addition, the CRA manages several social and economic tax programs such as the Canada Child Tax Benefit program and the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) credit program.

Corporate Bankruptcy / Personal Bankruptcy

How will a bankruptcy affect my GST/HST accounts?

This depends on what type of business you have. If it is a partnership with multiple partners, then the business will continue as normal after an arrangement is worked out with the partner going bankrupt – meaning the GST/HST accounts will not be affected.

However, if you have a sole proprietorship or corporation that will cease to exist after bankruptcy, you must put up to date your tax returns and any due payments, then you can file Form RC145, Request to close business number accounts (BN) with your tax services office or by calling 1-800-959-5525.

The information provided above does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such, since it has been written with a limited picture of the situation. In order to obtain proper legal advice, a lawyer must be aware of all of the details of your particular case. If in doubt, please obtain the advice of a lawyer. You may be eligible to receive a free telephone consultation with a tax lawyer at Barrett Tax Law. For details, call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today or click here.
How will a bankruptcy affect my business?

Depending on what type of business structure you have, bankruptcy will affect you differently.

If you have a sole proprietorship and file for bankruptcy, the business will be seen as a separate venture from the day the bankruptcy goes into effect, and you will have to get a new business number and set up new accounts with the Canada Revenue Agency.

When you are part of a Partnership with only two people and either one of the two members file for bankruptcy, the original partnership ceases to exist. In the case that there are multiple members, the business continues but some sort of deal must be reached to handle the bankruptcy.

Corporations are considered a separate entity and, if the corporation declares bankruptcy, it can no longer exist.  A corporation can only keep running if it pays all of its debts when in the process of declaring bankruptcy.

The information provided above does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such, since it has been written with a limited picture of the situation. In order to obtain proper legal advice, a lawyer must be aware of all of the details of your particular case. If in doubt, please obtain the advice of a lawyer. You may be eligible to receive a free telephone consultation with a tax lawyer at Barrett Tax Law. For details, call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today or click here.
What is the contact information for the Saskatchewan Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada (OSB)?

The mailing address and local telephone and fax number for the Saskatchewan office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada (OSB) is as follows:

1945 Hamilton Street, Suite 600
Regina, Saskatchewan
S4P 2C7, Canada

Toll-Free Number: 1-877-376-9902
Fax: 306-780-6947

123 Second Avenue S, 7thFloor
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
S7K 7E6, Canada

Toll-Free Number: 1-877-376-9902
Fax: 306-975-5317

The information provided above does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such, since it has been written with a limited picture of the situation. In order to obtain proper legal advice, a lawyer must be aware of all of the details of your particular case. If in doubt, please obtain the advice of a lawyer. You may be eligible to receive a free telephone consultation with a tax lawyer at Barrett Tax Law. For details, call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today or click here.
What is the contact information for the Quebec Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada (OSB)?

The mailing address and local telephone and fax number for the Saskatchewan office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada (OSB) is as follows:

1945 Hamilton Street, Suite 600
Regina, Saskatchewan
S4P 2C7, Canada

Toll-Free Number: 1-877-376-9902
Fax: 306-780-6947

123 Second Avenue S, 7thFloor
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
S7K 7E6, Canada

Toll-Free Number: 1-877-376-9902
Fax: 306-975-5317

The information provided above does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such, since it has been written with a limited picture of the situation. In order to obtain proper legal advice, a lawyer must be aware of all of the details of your particular case. If in doubt, please obtain the advice of a lawyer. You may be eligible to receive a free telephone consultation with a tax lawyer at Barrett Tax Law. For details, call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today or click here.
What is the contact information for the Ontario Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada (OSB)?

The mailing address and local telephone and fax number for the Ontario office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada (OSB) is as follows:

Place Bell Building
160 Elgin Street, 11thFloor, Suite B-100
Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 2P7
Canada

Toll-Free Number: 1-877-376-9902
Fax: 613-996-0949

25 St. Clair Avenue E, 6th Floor
Toronto, Ontario, M4T 1M2
Canada

Toll-Free Number: 1-877-376-9902
Fax: 416-973-7440

Federal Building
55 Bay Street N, 9thFloor
Hamilton, Ontario, L8R 3P7
Canada

Toll-Free Number: 1-877-376-9902
Fax: 905-572-4066

Federal Building
451 Talbot Street, Suite 303
London, Ontario, N6A 5C9
Canada

Toll-Free Number: 1-877-376-9902
Fax: 519-645-5139

The information provided above does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such, since it has been written with a limited picture of the situation. In order to obtain proper legal advice, a lawyer must be aware of all of the details of your particular case. If in doubt, please obtain the advice of a lawyer. You may be eligible to receive a free telephone consultation with a tax lawyer at Barrett Tax Law. For details, call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today or click here.
What is the contact information for the Nova Scotia Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada (OSB)?

The mailing address and local telephone and fax number for the Nova Scotia office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada (OSB) is as follows:

Maritime Centre
1505 Barrington Street, 16th Floor
Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3J 3K5
Canada

Toll-Free Number: 1-877-376-9902
Fax: 902-426-7275

The information provided above does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such, since it has been written with a limited picture of the situation. In order to obtain proper legal advice, a lawyer must be aware of all of the details of your particular case. If in doubt, please obtain the advice of a lawyer. You may be eligible to receive a free telephone consultation with a tax lawyer at Barrett Tax Law. For details, call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today or click here.
What is the contact information for the Manitoba Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada (OSB)?

The mailing address and local telephone and fax number for the Manitoba office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada (OSB) is as follows:

400 St. Mary Avenue, 4th Floor
Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3C 4K5
Canada

Toll-Free Number: 1-877-376-9902
Fax: 204-983-8904

The information provided above does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such, since it has been written with a limited picture of the situation. In order to obtain proper legal advice, a lawyer must be aware of all of the details of your particular case. If in doubt, please obtain the advice of a lawyer. You may be eligible to receive a free telephone consultation with a tax lawyer at Barrett Tax Law. For details, call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today or click here.
What is the contact information for the British Columbia Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada (OSB)?

The mailing address and local telephone and fax number for the British Columbia office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada (OSB) is as follows:

300 Georgia Street W, Suite 2000
Vancouver, British Columbia
V6B 6E1, Canada

Toll-Free Number: 1-877-376-9902
Fax: 604-666-4610

The information provided above does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such, since it has been written with a limited picture of the situation. In order to obtain proper legal advice, a lawyer must be aware of all of the details of your particular case. If in doubt, please obtain the advice of a lawyer. You may be eligible to receive a free telephone consultation with a tax lawyer at Barrett Tax Law. For details, call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today or click here.
What is the contact information for the Alberta Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada (OSB)?

The mailing address and local telephone and fax number for the Alberta office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada (OSB) is as follows:

Standard Life Tower
639 Fifth Avenue SW, Suite 510
Calgary, Alberta
T2P 0M9, Canada

Toll-Free Number: 1-877-376-9902
Fax: 403-292-5188

Canada Place Building
9700 Jasper Avenue, Suite 725
Edmonton, Alberta
T5J 4C3, Canada

Toll-Free Number: 1-877-376-9902
Fax: 780-495-2466

The information provided above does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such, since it has been written with a limited picture of the situation. In order to obtain proper legal advice, a lawyer must be aware of all of the details of your particular case. If in doubt, please obtain the advice of a lawyer. You may be eligible to receive a free telephone consultation with a tax lawyer at Barrett Tax Law. For details, call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today or click here.
What is the main telephone number, mailing address and website address for the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada (OSB)?

The main toll-free telephone number for the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada (OSB) is 1-877-376-9902 and an OSB representative can be reached from Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm.

The mailing address and local telephone and fax number for the national headquarters for the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada (OSB) is as follows:

Heritage Place
155 Queen Street, 4th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0H5
Canada

Telephone: 613-941-1000
Fax: 613-941-2862

URL: www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/bsf-osb.nsf/Intro

The information provided above does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such, since it has been written with a limited picture of the situation. In order to obtain proper legal advice, a lawyer must be aware of all of the details of your particular case. If in doubt, please obtain the advice of a lawyer. You may be eligible to receive a free telephone consultation with a tax lawyer at Barrett Tax Law. For details, call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today or click here.
How does one declare personal or corporate bankruptcy?

There are various phases someone declaring bankruptcy must go through. It involves the following:

–       Find a licensed trustee (licensed by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy, OSB) to talk over your possibilities.

–       Fill out the proper forms with the trustee so they can file them for you with the OSB.

–       Any property, investments or assets will be sold by the trustee. In addition, you will have to pay the trustee a determined amount depending on your particular financial situation.

–       All institutions with which you have a debt will be notified about the bankruptcy claim by your trustee.

–       In some cases, it is necessary to meet with creditors so that they may determine how they could receive payment for the debt owed to them.

–       You may be requested to go to the OSB for questioning about your actions that lead to extensive debt and therefore bankruptcy.

–       There will also be two sessions with a counselor to go over the actions that lead you into debt with the intention of preventing future financial problems of this nature.

–       The trustee must also put together a summary of actions you took during the bankruptcy process and submit this to the OSB.

–       There may be an official hearing to make the bankruptcy official.

Lastly, the debt you owe that qualifies to be wiped away with bankruptcy will be legally discharged.

The information provided above does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such, since it has been written with a limited picture of the situation. In order to obtain proper legal advice, a lawyer must be aware of all of the details of your particular case. If in doubt, please obtain the advice of a lawyer. You may be eligible to receive a free telephone consultation with a tax lawyer at Barrett Tax Law. For details, call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today or click here.
What is bankruptcy?

In the simplest of terms, bankruptcy is a way for someone owing money to legally avoid paying those debts under certain circumstances.

The information provided above does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such, since it has been written with a limited picture of the situation. In order to obtain proper legal advice, a lawyer must be aware of all of the details of your particular case. If in doubt, please obtain the advice of a lawyer. You may be eligible to receive a free telephone consultation with a tax lawyer at Barrett Tax Law. For details, call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today or click here.

CRA Collections Actions

How can I stop wage garnishment or prevent the Canada Revenue Agency from garnishing my wages or seizing my bank account or placing a lien on my home or other personal property?

The most obvious answer is paying your taxes in full and on time. However, if you find yourself experiencing financial hardship where you cannot pay the taxes the CRA has determined is owed to the Canadian government, then you do have options:

1. Contact a tax lawyer who will negotiate with the Canada Revenue Agency on your behalf for a payment plan that is fair and within your capabilities. Yes, you can call the CRA and attempt to do this yourself, but it makes more sense to invest a little now for a good tax lawyer, who has extensive experience negotiating with CRA agents, and save money in the long run since a tax lawyer will, in many cases, obtain a payment arrangement with lower monthly payments and little or no interest charges and even no additional penalties.

Free consultations with a tax lawyer are offered by Barrett Tax law, a Canadian tax law firm mainly serving self-employed individuals, small business owners and individuals involved with non-profit and charitable organizations across Canada, at 1-877-8-TAX-TAX.

2. If you decide to do this yourself without the assistance of a tax lawyer or other tax professional, then you should contact the Canada Revenue Agency to show your intent to pay the outstanding tax debt and attempt to make a payment arrangement with the CRA. Here, the authorized agent will look at your individual case and require details about your income and living expenses in order to gauge whether or not you could indeed pay your tax bill in full. They will need to see that you explored all possible avenues to pay the taxes owed to the Canadian government, such as mortgaging your home or obtaining a bank or personal loan. Only after the CRA is satisfied that you indeed cannot pay your tax bill in full will they consider a tax debt payment plan, which will effectively end any other collections actions the CRA may have been considering, such as freezing your bank account or placing a lien on your home – as long as the taxpayer follows through with the agreement and actually makes the payments to the CRA in a timely manner.

The information provided above does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such, since it has been written with a limited picture of the situation. In order to obtain proper legal advice, a lawyer must be aware of all of the details of your particular case. If in doubt, please obtain the advice of a lawyer. You may be eligible to receive a free telephone consultation with a tax lawyer at Barrett Tax Law. For details, call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today or click here.
What is a tax lien?

A tax lien can be described as a claim imposed by law against the private property of an individual owing tax to CRA. It is important to note that a tax lien can be implemented if a person owes taxes on personal property, real property, income or any other type of taxes.

If the CRA has placed a lien on your home or other personal property, call Canadian tax law firm, Barrett Tax Law, for a free legal consultation to get your questions answered at 1-877-8-TAX-TAX Canada-wide.

The information provided above does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such, since it has been written with a limited picture of the situation. In order to obtain proper legal advice, a lawyer must be aware of all of the details of your particular case. If in doubt, please obtain the advice of a lawyer. You may be eligible to receive a free telephone consultation with a tax lawyer at Barrett Tax Law. For details, call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today or click here.
Does the Canada Revenue Agency need a court order in order to garnish my wages?

The CRA does not need a court order to legally garnish wages from a taxpayer who owes unpaid taxes. They may notify your employer directly and require wage garnishments to begin immediately.

The information provided above does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such, since it has been written with a limited picture of the situation. In order to obtain proper legal advice, a lawyer must be aware of all of the details of your particular case. If in doubt, please obtain the advice of a lawyer. You may be eligible to receive a free telephone consultation with a tax lawyer at Barrett Tax Law. For details, call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today or click here.
Could my employer legally terminate my employment for having my wages garnished?

Title III of the Consumer Credit Protection Act states that if an employee’s wages are being garnished for the first time, then by law the employer may not fire that individual. An employer can only legally terminate the contract of an employee if said employee has had their wages garnished more than once.

The information provided above does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such, since it has been written with a limited picture of the situation. In order to obtain proper legal advice, a lawyer must be aware of all of the details of your particular case. If in doubt, please obtain the advice of a lawyer. You may be eligible to receive a free telephone consultation with a tax lawyer at Barrett Tax Law. For details, call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today or click here.
Will my employer know that my wages are being garnished by the CRA?

Yes, your employer will know that your wages are being garnished because he or she must receive notice directly by the Canada Revenue Agency before they become legally obligated to garnish your wages.

The information provided above does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such, since it has been written with a limited picture of the situation. In order to obtain proper legal advice, a lawyer must be aware of all of the details of your particular case. If in doubt, please obtain the advice of a lawyer. You may be eligible to receive a free telephone consultation with a tax lawyer at Barrett Tax Law. For details, call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today or click here.
What percentage of my wages can the CRA garnish?

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What is salary garnishment or wage garnishment?

Wage garnishment or salary garnishment is the act of a creditor obtaining a court order to have the debtor’s employer turn over a portion of the debtor’s wages to said creditor. Except for two specific cases, this can only happen once a judge rules in favour of the creditor and determines what percentage of your wages should be handed over to the creditor by your employer. Salary garnishment occurs if an individual has extensive debt and is thought to be unwilling or unable to pay the creditor.

The two cases in which a court order is not required for a creditor to garnish wages is: 1) when an individual turns in an assignment of wages to a credit union 2) when an individual owes unpaid taxes to the Canada Revenue Agency.

If you feel that your wages have been unfairly garnished, then call Barrett Tax Law today for a free consultation with a tax lawyer to find out your options at 1-877-8-TAX-TAX.

The information provided above does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such, since it has been written with a limited picture of the situation. In order to obtain proper legal advice, a lawyer must be aware of all of the details of your particular case. If in doubt, please obtain the advice of a lawyer. You may be eligible to receive a free telephone consultation with a tax lawyer at Barrett Tax Law. For details, call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today or click here.
What is the CRA tax deadline to file one’s tax return?

According to the Income Tax Act, the deadline to file your taxes and pay any outstanding tax debt owed to the Canadian government is April 30th. Self-employed individuals have until June 15th to file their taxes, but any outstanding tax debt must still be paid by the April 30th deadline. Interest will be charged on a daily basis for unpaid tax debts not paid to the government of Canada by the prescribed deadline.

The information provided above does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such, since it has been written with a limited picture of the situation. In order to obtain proper legal advice, a lawyer must be aware of all of the details of your particular case. If in doubt, please obtain the advice of a lawyer. You may be eligible to receive a free telephone consultation with a tax lawyer at Barrett Tax Law. For details, call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today or click here.
What is the CRA’s policy towards taxpayers who have not paid their taxes owed to the government by the tax deadline?

According to the Canada Revenue Agency:

“…to reinforce the fairness and equity of the self-assessment system for those tax debtors who pay their taxes on time, the CRA will take a firm and efficient approach when collecting outstanding accounts from tax debtors who do not pay their taxes.”

In most instances, the CRA will send out an initial assessment of the taxes owed to the Canadian government. After thirty days, if the amount has not been paid in full, the CRA will communicate with the debtor via telephone or mail asking for full payment of the outstanding tax debt. In addition, interest charges will be applied on a daily basis. Afterwards, if payment in full has not been made nor has an attempt been made by the tax debtor to make a payment arrangement with the CRA, then a final letter requesting for payment will be sent. In this letter, the individual will be informed that he or she has ninety days to pay the outstanding tax debt or arrange a payment plan with an authorized representative of the Canada Revenue Agency. Otherwise, the CRA will initiate legal collections actions, which could include salary garnishment, bank account seizure, and/or home or other personal property liens, which can then be sold by the sheriff’s office in order to pay for the outstanding tax debt.

If you have been sent a notice by the Canada Revenue Agency and fear the CRA may proceed with collections actions against you, then feel free to call Canadian tax law firm, Barrett Tax Law, for a free legal consultation at 1-877-8-TAX-TAX to find out your options against the often heavy-handed CRA.

The information provided above does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such, since it has been written with a limited picture of the situation. In order to obtain proper legal advice, a lawyer must be aware of all of the details of your particular case. If in doubt, please obtain the advice of a lawyer. You may be eligible to receive a free telephone consultation with a tax lawyer at Barrett Tax Law. For details, call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today or click here.

CRA Tax Audit

What is a notice of assessment (NOA) or notice of reassessment?

A notice of assessment is a statement sent by the Canada Revenue Agency to the taxpayer indicating the amount of taxes that is owed to the Government of Canada. This statement will also include, if applicable, the tax refund that the taxpayer will receive as well as any tax credits or tax payments already made to the Canadian government. Lastly, the NOA will state the contribution that a taxpayer can make to his or her RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan).

A notice of reassessment, on the other hand, is a notice given by the Canada Revenue Agency to the taxpayer indicating a modification to the taxpayer’s original NOA, either due to the taxpayer’s specific request or the CRA’s own initiative.

 

Barrett Tax Law: we’ve got you covered. Call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today to schedule your free consultation* with a tax lawyer.

Can a CRA tax audit lead to criminal prosecution for tax fraud, tax evasion or other tax-related criminal charge?

Yes, yes and YES! Although it is not the norm, the Canada Revenue Agency can and does refer cases to the courts for criminal prosecution. During the 2008/2009 tax year, 164 cases were sent to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada and 58 GST audits to the Ministere de la Justice du Quebec for criminal prosecution. A total of 257 cases resulted in criminal convictions for tax evasion or tax fraud, as a result of previous years. referrals. If you fear you may be in danger of being criminally prosecuted for tax evasion, fraud or any other tax related charge, then it is imperative you stop reading this and consult with a tax lawyer now. Barrett Tax Law is pleased to offer small business owners and self-employed individuals across Canada a free legal consultation with an experienced tax lawyer at 1-877-8-TAX-TAX or consultations@fightthecra.ca . All legal consultations, regardless of whether Barrett Tax Law is hired to represent the client, are protected by lawyer-client privilege and is thus completely confidential.

 

Barrett Tax Law: we’ve got you covered. Call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today to schedule your free consultation* with a tax lawyer.

Do you have any tax audit tips for taxpayers, corporations or organizations currently undergoing a CRA tax audit?

1. Consult a tax lawyer. It goes without saying that due to the complicated nature of a tax audit, it is highly recommended to find a good tax lawyer to represent you during the tax audit. Tax auditors are trained to look through your financial records with a critical eye to find errors and omissions that could lead to a reassessment where you could end up paying more in taxes, interest charges, additional penalties, and not to mention possible criminal charges. Given all that is at stake (your financial welfare, your business’ survival, your mental wellbeing) it simply makes sense to have a trained legal professional on your side. If anything, seek a free legal consultation with a tax lawyer if only to find out what you can expect, the options you have at your disposal and to have your questions answered by an experienced legal professional who is trained to defend your interests at all possible legal means.

2. Do not volunteer any information to the tax auditor. The auditor will have a lot of questions for you and many specific requests. There is no need to volunteer any more information than you need to since you never know how that information can be used against you. It is best to stay quiet and only answer the specific questions asked of you and only hand over financial records specifically requested. Do not make conversation. Do not get drawn into what may only seem as harmless chit chat with the auditor.

3. When in doubt, remain silent. If you’re in doubt about answering a specific question or handing over some information because you fear that it could be incriminating, then consult a tax lawyer immediately. It is better to take note of the question or request and let the auditor know that you will be getting back to him or her with the reply shortly. It is a good idea to have a standard reply ready for such questions: “I am going to take note of the specific question you are asking me, just to make sure I understand it correctly, and I will get back to you shortly with the answer.” If they insist on getting a reply right away, simply restate what you have said with a little variation: “I understand that you would like to get your work done quickly, and believe me I want you to get it done as quickly as possible too, so I will take note of your question and get back to you just as soon as I possibly can.” If they keep insisting, keep repeating your answer. The CRA agent will realize sooner or later that you will not budge on your position. Afterwards, call a tax lawyer immediately to find out what potential risks there are in answering the question or handing over the information to the auditor.

4. Don’t let your guard down. Tax auditors are not your friends. They may try to speak casually to you, to make small talk, but do not for a moment let your guard down. Always remember that they are there for one thing and one thing only, to find mistakes in your tax return.

5. You have rights, learn them. The Canada Revenue Agency has published the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, and although some of these rights are not legal rights that have the force of law behind it, it is still a good idea to know the principals behind which the CRA hopes to conduct their tax audits. See the section on Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights found here.

6. Do not be afraid to appeal the results of the audit. If you believe that the audit was done unfairly or the CRA agent made a mistake in his or her assessment, then speak with the auditor to try to reach a compromise. If this doesn’t help, speak with the auditor’s manager. If the result is still not to your liking, then go through the appeals process outlined here.

7. Be organized. It is your legal duty to keep and maintain the financial records that would serve to prove the amount of taxes you should be contributing. Keeping those financial records in an organized format lends credibility to you as a responsible citizen and taxpayer. Making it harder for the auditor to go through financial information because the information is kept in a disorganized fashion will only lead the auditor to assume that a mistake was committed by you or that you are trying to hide something from the auditor and are thus attempting to make it hard for the auditor to find that mistake. If anything, this will only encourage the auditor to work even harder to find an error or omission in your tax return.

8. Make copies of all of the financial records being asked of you and keep all of the originals. Do not assume that the CRA agent will care for your financial records in the same way you would. These records could still get lost or misplaced and you will nevertheless be held responsible for those missing financial records.

9. Be polite. Yes, you are likely feeling very stresses out about the whole ordeal and perhaps are frustrated or even angry that you were chosen to be audited. However, taking it out on the CRA agent will get you absolutely nowhere. Tax auditors get yelled at all of the time and it would likely be very refreshing to encounter a taxpayer who is polite and refrains from rude or confrontational conduct. Behaving civilly will definitely not work against you, but rude or outright abusive behavior is very likely going to play against your favour. This in no way means that you need to be friends with the auditor and take him out for a cup of coffee afterwards, but you could consider offering him a cup of coffee and a muffin when he arrives in the morning. It couldn’t hurt.

 

Barrett Tax Law: we’ve got you covered. Call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today to schedule your free consultation* with a tax lawyer.

How many audits were performed in Canada by the Canada Revenue Agency during the 2008/2009 tax year?

According to the Canada Revenue Agency,

There were over 370,360 audit and review actions performed by the Canada Revenue Agency during the 2008/2009 tax year. Of this amount, 12,800 dealt with acts involved in the underground economy, or what many refer to as “paying under the table.” Internationally, 1,439 audits were conducted. There were also 34,111 tax shelter audits. Of all of these tax audits, 164 cases were sent to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada and 58 GST audits to the Ministere de la Justice du Quebec for criminal prosecution.

 

Barrett Tax Law: we’ve got you covered. Call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today to schedule your free consultation* with a tax lawyer.

Do you have any tips or preventative strategies I can use to help avoid a tax audit by the Canada Revenue Agency?

Barrett Tax Law is pleased to offer the following tax audit tips to help prevent the likelihood of an audit. Of course, these audit tips do not serve as a guarantee that a tax audit will not occur, but are simply helpful preventative strategies to help reduce the possibility of CRA tax audit:

1. File on time! Tax returns filed after the prescribed deadlines are more likely to be red flagged and selected for a tax audit.

2. Do not file your tax return before obtaining all of the necessary financial documents you need to make an accurate tax filing. Filing too early will increase the likelihood of an inaccurate tax filing and thus the chances of having to make a tax readjustment, which then alerts the CRA and increases the chances for a tax audit.

3. Double-check, triple-check, quadruple-check your tax return. Any mathematical error may increase the likelihood of a CRA tax audit. Use a tax software program or the expertise of a tax professional to minimize mistakes.

4. Be honest. Exaggerating expenses or deductions and/or underreporting your income will increase your chances of being audited. The CRA has industry-specific information and will match the information you provide with the information they have, and if there is a major discrepancy, you may be selected for a tax audit. They may, for instance, see if your lifestyle matches the income you are reporting by doing a simple postal code check and assessing whether the neighbourhood you reside in fits your income level or even check vehicle registrations to see if the car you drive matches your declared income. Another common occurrence is unusually large home office deductions, where taxpayers working from home attempt to deduct a very large portion of their mortgage interest or maintenance expenses. If you are running your business from home, make sure that you deduct a reasonable amount for your home office or you may be targeted for an audit. Lastly, if your business expenses are enormous compared with your earnings, then that will act as an indicator that that you are overstating your expenses and will increase the chances for a tax audit.

5. Choose your partners wisely. If you are considering investing, partnering, merging or associating yourself with an individual or business, investigate whether they have ever had problems with the Canada Revenue Agency or are engaged in shady business practices, since the CRA will likely audit you if they choose to audit this business or individual, simply because of your association with the business or individual. The same holds true for charities to which you are considering contributing. If the charity offers to give you a receipt that is higher than the amount you are donating, then be aware that this charitable organization may be audited, which means you may come under investigation and be required to pay back your tax refund along with interest and possibly penalties.

6. Try to avoid major changes in income levels, expenses and/or tax deductions from one year to the next. Anything out of the norm will be red flagged and will increase the likelihood of a tax audit.

7. Avoid continuously declaring business losses. There is a reasonable amount of business losses that the CRA will accept, but after a few years of continuous business losses, the CRA will likely get suspicious and consequently select your tax return for auditing.

 

Barrett Tax Law: we’ve got you covered. Call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today to schedule your free consultation* with a tax lawyer.

What is an audit trail?

According to the Canada Revenue Agency, an audit trail is “the information that is required to recreate a sequence of events related to a business transaction.” You are legally required to keep any financial information that would be needed to create an audit trail, such as paper receipts and stock inventories. For e-commerce businesses, this includes emails or web logs that are used to confirm the sales transaction and even recorded voice confirmation, if that is what is used to confirm a sales transaction.

 

Barrett Tax Law: we’ve got you covered. Call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today to schedule your free consultation* with a tax lawyer.

What do I do if the financial records that were being kept in an electronic format were accidently damaged, destroyed or lost?

If the financial records being kept electronically were damaged, destroyed or lost, then the CRA requires that they be contacted at 1-800-959-5525 to report the incident. It is also the responsibility of the taxpayer to recreate the financial files within a reasonable amount of time.

 

Barrett Tax Law: we’ve got you covered. Call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today to schedule your free consultation* with a tax lawyer.

Is there a way that I can legally destroy financial records earlier than the time allowed by the CRA?

The only way you can legally destroy financial records prior to the time prescribed by the Canada Revenue Agency is to receive expressed permission from the CRA. To request such permission, Form T137, Request for Destruction of Books and Records, must be filled out and sent to the tax services office. The form can be found at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/t137/README.html . Those individuals who destroy financial records prior to the time allowed by the CRA run the risk of being criminally prosecuted.

 

Barrett Tax Law: we’ve got you covered. Call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today to schedule your free consultation* with a tax lawyer.

Does the legal representative of a person who has died have to keep the financial records of the deceased?

In order to legally throw out or otherwise destroy the financial records of a deceased taxpayer, you must obtain a clearance certificate from the Canada Revenue Agency. To receive a clearance certificate, you must fill out Form TX19, Asking for a Clearance Certificate, located at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/tx19/README.html and then send the form to a tax services office in your area.

 

Barrett Tax Law: we’ve got you covered. Call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today to schedule your free consultation* with a tax lawyer.

Are there additional financial record keeping requirements for taxpayers who are employing others and deducting contributions for the Canada Pension Plan, Employment Insurance, and other income tax payments?

Taxpayers employing others and deducting contributions for the Canada Pension Plan, Employment Insurance, and other income tax payments must also retain records that indicate the time worked by each worker and any financial record that would support the payments made by each employee to the Canada Pension Plan, Employment Insurance and other income taxes. In addition, Form TD1, Personal Tax Credits Return, a form that must be filled out by all employees, must be kept as well as any CRA letters of authority that permits the employer to decrease the tax contributions made by some employees for certain years. Information slips and all tax returns that were filed must also be kept as well as registered pension information for each employee. If an outside company is being used to manage the business’ payroll tasks, the employer is still legally responsible for ensuring this information is kept for the period required by the Canada Revenue Agency, which is generally six years. NOTE: Those taxpayers employing individuals working in Quebec must also keep Form TP1015.3-V, Source Deductions Return, a form that must be filled out by all employees living in Quebec and available on the Revenu Quebec web site: www.revenu.gouv.qc.ca . For more information about financial record keeping for employers, you may also read the CRA’s guide, “Employers’ Guide: Payroll Deductions and Remittances” at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/tg/t4001/README.html or for other useful information about the responsibilities of taxpayers employing others, visit www.cra-arc.gc.ca/payroll

 

Barrett Tax Law: we’ve got you covered. Call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today to schedule your free consultation* with a tax lawyer.

Are there additional financial record keeping requirements for an e-commerce business?

The CRA requires that e-commerce businesses with internet-based or telephone-based sales transactions keep whatever information would be necessary to help substantiate claims made by the taxpayer regarding their sales activities, for instance, emails and web logs confirming sales transactions. If a third party is responsible for the e-commerce transactions of a business, like a separate online billing software, then it is still the responsibility of the taxpayer to retain this information. Plus, third parties may keep such financial records for a limited amount of time and likely less than the time required by the Canada Revenue Agency. It is important to note that financial records stored in a computer or server outside of Canada is NOT in compliance with the CRA’s requirement to have such information stored in Canada, regardless of whether you can access such information from within Canada. Permission may be requested to have financial records kept outside of Canada at the taxpayer’s local tax services office.

 

Barrett Tax Law: we’ve got you covered. Call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today to schedule your free consultation* with a tax lawyer.

I’ve hired a bookkeeper or accountant or other third party to keep my financial records, am I still legally responsible for my financial records?

According to the Canada Revenue Agency, taxpayers are legally responsible for their own financial records, regardless of whether they have hired a third party to maintain their financial records. If, for example, the bookkeeper loses or misplaces your financial records, the CRA will still hold the taxpayer responsible. As such, it is always a good idea to personally have a copy of all of your financial records.

 

Barrett Tax Law: we’ve got you covered. Call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today to schedule your free consultation* with a tax lawyer.

Where can I find more information about the requirements of keeping financial records in an electronic or computerized format?

You can find more information about keeping electronic records at the Canada Revenue Agency web page: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/gm/15-2/README.html or by calling the Canada Revenue Agency toll-free telephone line for electronic record keeping at 1-800-959-5525.

 

Barrett Tax Law: we’ve got you covered. Call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today to schedule your free consultation* with a tax lawyer.

In what format are financial records recognized by the Canada Revenue Agency?

Financial records along with any supporting documents may be kept in paper format. Also, it is acceptable to take financial records originally generated in paper format and change and keep it in an electronic, readable and accessible format. For example, scanning receipts and invoices and storing it in your computer is allowed by the CRA. Moreover, electronic and readable financial records originally produced electronically are acceptable. It is important to note that you are obligated to keep any electronic records in its electronic format regardless of whether you have print-outs of these records. Individuals who have more than one business are legally required to keep separate financial records for each business.

 

Barrett Tax Law: we’ve got you covered. Call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today to schedule your free consultation* with a tax lawyer.

How long must I keep my financial records?

Generally, you must keep all of the records and supporting documents that are required to determine your tax obligations and entitlements for a period of six years from the end of the last tax year to which they relate. The six-year retention period begins at the end of the tax year to which the records relate, keeping in mind that if the taxpayer filed their taxes late that the six-year period begins as of the date in which the taxes were filed. The tax year is the fiscal period for corporations and the calendar year for all other taxpayers.

Financial records having to do with long-term acquisitions and disposal of property, the share registry, and other information relating to the sale or liquidation of a business, however, must be kept indefinitely. Corporations are required to keep all important documentation (all records and supporting documents to verify the tax obligations and entitlements; share registry, acquisitions, disposal of property, etc.) until two years after the dissolution of the corporation. The CRA may also explicitly require in writing via registered mail or delivered in person by a CRA representative for certain financial records to be kept for a longer period of time.

 

Barrett Tax Law: we’ve got you covered. Call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today to schedule your free consultation* with a tax lawyer.

Where must I keep my financial records?

Unless specifically permitted by the Canada Revenue Agency, financial records must be kept in the place of business in Canada or residence of the taxpayer in Canada. Electronic records kept on servers outside of Canada but accessed from Canada are NOT in compliance with this requirement. Permission may be requested to have financial records be kept elsewhere, including outside of Canada, at the taxpayer’s respective tax services office. Registered charities and registered Canadian amateur athletic associations, however, are obligated to keep their financial records in Canada.

 

Barrett Tax Law: we’ve got you covered. Call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today to schedule your free consultation* with a tax lawyer.

Who is legally required to keep their financial records?

Basically, any individual who has a business or is involved in any commercial activity is required by law to keep adequate financial records. The Canada Revenue Agency defines “adequate” as those records that would be sufficient to determine the amount of taxes owed to the government of Canada. In addition, partnerships, corporations and trusts are also obligated to keep adequate financial records, including those who have to pay or collect taxes on behalf of the Canadian government, such as payroll deductions and GST/HST. And, of course, those individuals who have to file income tax returns and/or GST/HST returns, those who request GST/HST rebates or refunds, payroll service providers, non-profit organizations, registered charities, holding companies, inactive corporations, registered agents of registered political parties, official agents for federal election candidates, universities, colleges, municipal corporations, hospitals and school authorities are required to keep adequate financial records. Individuals who have more than one business are legally required to keep separate financial records for each business.

 

Barrett Tax Law: we’ve got you covered. Call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today to schedule your free consultation* with a tax lawyer.

What are financial records?

According to the Canada Revenue Agency, records are “accounting and other financial documents that should be kept in an organized way.” Financial records include bank statements, sales invoices, ledgers, journals, expense account statements and income tax records, among others. All financial records must be complete and be accompanied by supporting documents that would allow the auditor to verify that your financial records are reliable and true, like bank deposit slips, sales receipts and even emails that would support a particular financial record.

Taxpayers who have more than one business are legally required to keep separate financial records for each business.

Corporations are required to keep additional financial records, specifically: 1) Minutes of shareholder meetings 2) Minutes of meetings of the directors 3) Any financial information pertaining to the ownership or transfer of shares of the corporation 4) The general ledger or other books of final entry that includes summations of the corporation’s yearly transactions 5) Specific agreements or contracts that give any additional insight to the general ledger or books of final entry 6) Supporting documents to any transactions made by the corporation.

 

Barrett Tax Law: we’ve got you covered. Call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today to schedule your free consultation* with a tax lawyer.

Am I legally required to give my personal financial records to a CRA agent?

Yes, according to the Income Tax Act, taxpayers are legally required to make their financial records available to authorized agents of the Canada Revenue Agency – but only those records specifically pertaining to the establishment of the amount of taxes that would be owed to the government. Also, the CRA may request to inspect the records of others, like your clients, to verify that your records are accurate. This information, however, does not have to come directly from you. You can, for instance, be represented by a tax lawyer and have an experienced tax lawyer help determine which financial records are absolutely necessary to comply with the tax law while at the same time ensuring your rights and interests are protected.

 

Barrett Tax Law: we’ve got you covered. Call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today to schedule your free consultation* with a tax lawyer.

How can I lodge a formal complaint about the quality of service I have received from a CRA auditor or agent?

Formal complaints must be done in writing via Form RC193 available at www.cra.gc.ca/complaints or by calling the toll-free line at 1-800-959-2221. The form has to be filled out and mailed or faxed separately from any other forms you may have for the CRA:

– Mailing Address:
CRA . Service Complaints
National Intake Centre
P.O. Box 8000
Shawinigan-Sud, Quebec
G9N 0A6, Canada

Fax: 1-866-388-7371

If you are not satisfied with the resolution offered by the Service Complaints office of the CRA, then you may contact the Taxpayers’ Ombudsman office to have them reassess the complaint and resolution made at the Service Complaints office. A complaint form, found at www.taxpayersrights.gc.ca/frm-fll-eng.pdf , must be filled out and mailed or faxed, along with other supporting documents to the following mailing address or fax number:

– Mailing Address:
Taxpayers’ Ombudsman
Suite 724, 50 O’Connor Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1P 6L2, Canada

Toll-Free Fax Number: 1-866-586-3855

You can also call toll-free 1-866-586-3839 to have a complaint form mailed to you or to speak with a representative of the Taxpayers’ Ombudsman office.

 

Barrett Tax Law: we’ve got you covered. Call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today to schedule your free consultation* with a tax lawyer.

How long does a tax audit take?

According to the Canada Revenue Agency, the field audit itself can take anywhere from several hours to several weeks to complete, depending on the case under investigation. The time it takes to complete the entire tax auditing process is relative to complexities of the individual case, the size of the business (if applicable), and the organization and availability of the individual or company’s financial records. In Barrett Tax Law’s experience, it can take anywhere up to a couple years in extreme cases. Usually it is a matter of months or weeks.

 

Barrett Tax Law: we’ve got you covered. Call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today to schedule your free consultation* with a tax lawyer.

What is the auditing process? (i.e. how is a tax audit performed?)

The most common type of tax audit is a field audit, where one or more CRA agents inspect and scrutinize the financial records of the taxpayer, typically in his or her own place of business or residence. The CRA agent will contact the individual undergoing the tax audit to set-up a date and time for the audit. Prior to the meeting, the CRA auditor will examine the taxpayer’s file to familiarize him or herself with the case. The file will include the current tax filing under scrutiny and may include such information as past tax audits and financial statements. Based on this preparation, the auditor will go into the meeting with a list of questions for the taxpayer. The expert advice of a tax lawyer in this case is particularly important to advise you on the specific questions you should or should not answer or are legally required to answer to prevent damaging or self-incriminating statements from being made as well as to prevent any infringement of your rights by the CRA agent.

Upon commencement of the meeting, the CRA auditor will identify him or herself with the official CRA identification card. The tax auditor may then attempt to speak with the taxpayer rather informally to get more information about the taxpayer and/or the business or industry he or she is in. The auditor may also want to take a tour of the place of business. Again, the assistance of a tax lawyer is crucial to help assess whether or not these requests are legally required or to the best interest of the taxpayer.

The auditor will then begin with the analysis of the taxpayer’s financial records. How deep the auditor will dig into the taxpayer’s financial records is essentially up to the auditor and his or her supervisor. The CRA auditor may ask to examine bank account statements, invoices, journals, expense accounts, product inventory, sales contracts, appointment books, meeting minutes, shipping and receiving records, investments, etc. The tax auditor may also ask to speak with employees of the taxpayer. It is important to reiterate the benefits of legal representation at this stage of the auditing process, since a tax lawyer will defend your rights and represent your interests, unlike the auditor who is there solely to represent the interests of the Canadian government.

If the CRA agent decides that the information provided is inadequate or does not sufficiently explain the standard of living of the taxpayer, he or she may then have net worth statements drawn-up to establish or confirm the taxpayer’s income. According to the Canada Revenue Agency, this is done “in a small minority of cases.”

The CRA agent will normally save his or her queries for the end of the examination and will not question each individual item one by one. At the tax audit’s conclusion, the auditor will then decide whether a readjustment to your tax return is necessary. If it is so determined, then the taxpayer may request the proposed adjustments be put in writing for the taxpayer or his or her tax lawyer’s evaluation of these proposed changes, unless the taxpayer agrees with the auditor, in which case no proposal is drawn up and the CRA agent continues with the reassessment, where he or she issues a notice of assessment or notice of reassessment. If the auditor determines that the tax filing was accurate and there is no need for a readjustment, then the taxpayer or his/her representative will be informed.

Another way the Canada Revenue Agency may perform an audit is by way of an office audit, which is a tax audit that takes place in the CRA office. Here, the CRA agent will contact the individual or business being audited to request that the taxpayer send the information that the auditor needs in order to conduct the audit to the office of the Canada Revenue Agency.

 

Barrett Tax Law: we’ve got you covered. Call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today to schedule your free consultation* with a tax lawyer.

Who decides which tax returns will be audited?

A computer program generates a list of potential tax returns that may be audited, and the supervisor from each district office then decides which of those tax filings will undergo a tax audit. This selection is based on his or her own judgment and criteria.

 

Barrett Tax Law: we’ve got you covered. Call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today to schedule your free consultation* with a tax lawyer.

How does the Canada Revenue Agency select who will be undergoing a tax audit?

The CRA divides and categorizes taxpayers by groups, and these groups will either have a low tax compliance rating or a high tax compliance rating (based on past tax audits and other evaluations). Tax groups may be established using different criteria, including profession, type of business, and income levels. To maximize efficiency, the Canada Revenue Agency will thus focus their efforts on the groups that are least likely to be filing accurate tax returns with the objective that the auditing process will result in an improvement of that group’s tax compliance. The CRA, however, does state that each group should receive a minimal amount of tax audit investigations regardless of their tax compliance rating. Depending on the quantity of tax filings there were in each group and the amount of resources available at the Canada Revenue Agency, the CRA will then determine the tax audits that will be performed in each tax group.

In addition, there are three other ways in which taxpayers may be selected for the auditing process: 1) A tax group may be chosen for the CRA’s own testing purposes simply to obtain more information on a specific group 2) The CRA may have been given a lead on a specific individual or corporation from another file, tax audit or informer 3) The CRA may select a taxpayer that is somehow associated with another taxpayer already being audited. For example, if the individual being audited has a business partnership with another, then the CRA may then choose to audit both individuals.

 

Barrett Tax Law: we’ve got you covered. Call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today to schedule your free consultation* with a tax lawyer.

Who does the Canada Revenue Agency target when selecting who to audit?

According to the CRA, the tax audit program focuses mainly on small business owners, self-employed individuals, corporations and trusts.

 

Barrett Tax Law: we’ve got you covered. Call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today to schedule your free consultation* with a tax lawyer.

Is there a time limit for the Canada Revenue Agency to perform a tax audit for any given tax year?

There is a time limit of up to four years as of the date that the tax return was filed. However, the exception to this time limit exists in matters where it has been established that a fraud may have occurred, or a waiver was filed by the CRA agent prior to the deadline detailing the circumstances in which a tax audit may be performed. Here, the advice of a tax lawyer is crucial to determine whether the Canada Revenue Agency acted lawfully in even performing a tax audit in the first place.

 

Barrett Tax Law: we’ve got you covered. Call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today to schedule your free consultation* with a tax lawyer.

Why is a tax audit performed?

The Canada Revenue Agency performs tax audits to help ensure a “self-assessment tax system” where taxpayers are compelled to accurately and honestly declare their taxes under the risk of being audited by the CRA and having various penalties, including criminal prosecution, applied for inaccurate tax filings. The Canada Revenue Agency maintains that an effective self-assessment tax system where Canadians voluntarily follow the tax laws can only be achieved via a “vigilant and continuous inspection of returns.” In other words, the CRA asserts that without the threat of the Canadian government auditing the tax filings made by taxpayers, the tax system would be rendered ineffective. The CRA also states that the one-on-one contact with an agent of the Canada Revenue Agency affords the opportunity for Canadians to get a more personalized view of the tax system and helps to create an environment where taxpayers conclude that it is the responsibility of every Canadian to contribute their share to the Canadian tax system.

 

Barrett Tax Law: we’ve got you covered. Call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today to schedule your free consultation* with a tax lawyer.

What is a tax audit?

According to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), a tax audit is the “examination of taxpayers’ books and records to determine accurately the taxes, interest and penalties payable under the law.” In other words, a tax audit is the government’s way of double checking the tax filings made by Canadians to make sure the taxes were reported accurately and honestly. The CRA can audit GST/HST tax returns, income tax returns, excise taxes, and payroll documentation.

 

Barrett Tax Law: we’ve got you covered. Call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today to schedule your free consultation* with a tax lawyer.

 

CRA Tax Forms

Where can I find the taxpayer relief CRA tax form?

Form RC4288, Request for Taxpayer Relief, can be found at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/rc4288/README.html .

The information provided above does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such, since it has been written with a limited picture of the situation. In order to obtain proper legal advice, a lawyer must be aware of all of the details of your particular case. If in doubt, please obtain the advice of a lawyer. You may be eligible to receive a free telephone consultation with a tax lawyer at Barrett Tax Law. For details, call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today or click here.
Where can I access the tax form the Canada Revenue Agency requires I fill out for the First Nations Tax (FNT)?

The CRA’s First Nations Tax (FNT) Schedule can be accessed HERE.

The information provided above does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such, since it has been written with a limited picture of the situation. In order to obtain proper legal advice, a lawyer must be aware of all of the details of your particular case. If in doubt, please obtain the advice of a lawyer. You may be eligible to receive a free telephone consultation with a tax lawyer at Barrett Tax Law. For details, call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today or click here.
Where can I find the CRA tax form that I must fill out to close my Business Number account (BN)?

The tax form that the Canada Revenue Agency requires you to fill out in order to close your Business Number account (BN) is located at the following CRA web page: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/gf/rc145/rc145-10e.pdf . Once you fill out the tax form, then you must send it to your local tax services office. If you wish to speak with someone at the Canada Revenue Agency regarding this tax form or any other issue relating to the closing of your Business Number account (BN), then you may reach a CRA representative at the following toll-free telephone number: 1-800-959-5525.

The information provided above does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such, since it has been written with a limited picture of the situation. In order to obtain proper legal advice, a lawyer must be aware of all of the details of your particular case. If in doubt, please obtain the advice of a lawyer. You may be eligible to receive a free telephone consultation with a tax lawyer at Barrett Tax Law. For details, call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today or click here.

First Nations Tax Issues

What is the general contact information for the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (DIAND)?

The website address for the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development is www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/

The mailing addresses and general telephone numbers for the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (DIAND) are as follows:

Alberta:

630 Canada Place
9700 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4G2
Telephone: (780) 495-2773

Atlantic Region:

40 Havelock Street
P.O. Box 160
Amherst, Nova Scotia B4H 3Z3
Telephone: (902) 661-6200

British Columbia:

1138 Melville Street, Suite 600
Vancouver, British Columbia
V6E 4S3
Telephone: (604) 775-5100

Manitoba:

365 Hargrave Street
Room 200
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Telephone: (204) 983-2842

Northwest Territories:

P.O. Box 1500
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories P.O. Box 2200
X1A 2R3
Telephone: (867) 669-2500

Nunavut:

1084 Aeroplex Building
Iqaluit, Nunavut X0A 0H0
Telephone: (867) 979-1605

Ontario:

25 St. Clair Avenue East
9th Floor
Toronto, Ontario M4T 1M2
Telephone: (416) 973-6234

Quebec:

320 St-Joseph Street East
P.O. Box 51127, Postal Outlet G. Roy
Québec, Quebec G1K 8Z7
Telephone: (418) 648-7551 or toll-free 1-800-263-5592

Saskatchewan:

2221 Cornwall Street
Regina, Saskatchewan S4P 4M2
Telephone: (306) 780-5945

Yukon:

300 Main Street
Room 345
Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 2B5
Telephone: (867) 667-3100

The information provided above does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such, since it has been written with a limited picture of the situation. In order to obtain proper legal advice, a lawyer must be aware of all of the details of your particular case. If in doubt, please obtain the advice of a lawyer. You may be eligible to receive a free telephone consultation with a tax lawyer at Barrett Tax Law. For details, call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today or click here.
How can I be given tax benefits as an “Indian” as defined by the Canada Revenue Agency?

According to the Indian Act, the CRA recognizes an “Indian” as anyone registered or able to be registered as an Indian in the Indian Register. Consequently, in order to be given these tax benefits, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada must confirm said identity.

The information provided above does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such, since it has been written with a limited picture of the situation. In order to obtain proper legal advice, a lawyer must be aware of all of the details of your particular case. If in doubt, please obtain the advice of a lawyer. You may be eligible to receive a free telephone consultation with a tax lawyer at Barrett Tax Law. For details, call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today or click here.
Are members of the First Nations people subject to the same tax obligations as other Canadian taxpayers?

In some cases, members of the First Nations people are not obliged to pay the same amount of taxes as other Canadian taxpayers.  The major determining factor is whether or not earnings were made ON a First Nations reserve.

According to section 87 of the Indian Act and paragraph 81(1)(a) of the Income Tax Act, earnings made on a reserve do not need to be reported on your annual income tax return, in addition to products purchased on or delivered to a reserve.

It is important to note that some First Nations groups have a unique tax agreement with the government of Canada or have a self-governing agreement with the government of Canada whereby the information listed above may not apply to your particular circumstance. Contact your First Nations government in order to find out if this applies to you or call the Canada Revenue Agency at 1-800-959-8281.

In addition, personal property and income located on a reserve are also tax exempt according to section 87 of the Indian Act.

For more information about tax obligations by the First Nations people, the CRA has published a web page called, Information for Indians, which can be accessed HERE. Also, there is another web page on the Canada Revenue Agency website that may be helpful: Indian Act Exemption for Employment Income Guidelines

The information provided above does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such, since it has been written with a limited picture of the situation. In order to obtain proper legal advice, a lawyer must be aware of all of the details of your particular case. If in doubt, please obtain the advice of a lawyer. You may be eligible to receive a free telephone consultation with a tax lawyer at Barrett Tax Law. For details, call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today or click here.
How and when do I have to report the First Nations Tax (FNT) to the Canada Revenue Agency?

The FNT must be reported to the CRA along with the GST/HST.  So instead of just listing the GST/HST amount, you will need to add the FNT amount to the total.

The Canada Revenue Agency requires the form, GST499-1 First Nations Tax (FNT) Schedule,  to be filled out for every reporting period along with the GST/HST tax return, if the reserve where you sell the listed items imposes the First Nations Tax.

The information provided above does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such, since it has been written with a limited picture of the situation. In order to obtain proper legal advice, a lawyer must be aware of all of the details of your particular case. If in doubt, please obtain the advice of a lawyer. You may be eligible to receive a free telephone consultation with a tax lawyer at Barrett Tax Law. For details, call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today or click here.
What products are subject to the First Nations Tax (FNT)?

Items that are subject to FNT are alcohol, fuel and/or tobacco products.  Each band council has the option to vote into their bylaws the First Nations Tax and it does not need to impose this tax on all of the above outlined products.

The Canada Revenue Agency has published a guide to the First Nations Tax, which can be found HERE.

The information provided above does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such, since it has been written with a limited picture of the situation. In order to obtain proper legal advice, a lawyer must be aware of all of the details of your particular case. If in doubt, please obtain the advice of a lawyer. You may be eligible to receive a free telephone consultation with a tax lawyer at Barrett Tax Law. For details, call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today or click here.
What is the First Nations Tax (FNT)?

The Canada Revenue Agency defines the First Nations Tax (FNT), sometimes referred by some as a “community improvement fee”,  as a tax imposed on a specific selection of items  on various First Nations reserves.  This tax has not been enacted on all reserves and it only applies to listed alcohol, tobacco and fuel products that are set by each separate band council. The tax rate is 5% and the CRA is responsible for executing this tax for the First Nations

The First Nations band councils that have imposed the FNT are as follows:

  • Westbank, British Columbia
  • Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc (used to be known as Kamloops), British Columbia
  • Sliammon, British Columbia
  • Stz’uminus First Nation (used to be known as Chemainus), British Columbia
  • Adams Lake, British Columbia
  • Tzeachten, British Columbia
  • Cowichan, British Columbia
  • Little Shuswap Lake, British Columbia

It is important to note that although the Buffalo Point band council in Manitoba used to impose the First Nations Tax, they no longer apply it (as of October 3, 2011).

The above band councils impose the FNT on alcoholic beverages, fuel and tobacco products with the exception of Sliammon, which only taxes fuel and tobacco products and not alcohol.

The Canada Revenue Agency has published a guide to the First Nations Tax (FNT) which can be accessed HERE.

The information provided above does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such, since it has been written with a limited picture of the situation. In order to obtain proper legal advice, a lawyer must be aware of all of the details of your particular case. If in doubt, please obtain the advice of a lawyer. You may be eligible to receive a free telephone consultation with a tax lawyer at Barrett Tax Law. For details, call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today or click here.

Late or Unfiled Tax Returns / Back Taxes

What is “taxpayer relief” and how can I qualify?

The Canada Revenue Agency’s Taxpayer Relief Provisions gives the Minister of National Revenue the ability to eliminate or reduce interest and penalty charges to a tax bill as well as to return or decrease the amount owed on ones tax bill (beyond the typical three-year time period one normally has to make such an adjustment). In addition, the Minister has the power to accept late income tax elections as well as to approve a taxpayer’s request to change certain elections taxpayers have chosen to use when preparing their income tax return.

For the cancelation or reduction of interest and/or penalty charges, the Minister of National Revenue will consider such requests if the taxpayer has found him/herself unable to comply with his/her normal tax responsibilities due to A) a specific action taken by the Canada Revenue Agency, such as delays or errors in processing the tax return, B) extraordinary circumstances beyond the taxpayer’s control, like a death or illness in the immediate family or a natural disaster, C) inability to settle the tax debt and/or serious financial burdens, such as unemployment, or the fact that additional interest and penalty charges would lead to the taxpayer being unable to pay for certain basic necessities, and/or D) other situations not specifically outlined above.

It is important to note that the Minister can only consider requests for taxpayer relief in respect of the previous ten calendar years. In other words, the taxpayer has ten years to make a request to the minister to eliminate or reduce interest and/or penalty charges as well as ten years to request a refund or change to the income tax assessment beyond the typical three year period that one has to request such changes, as well as ten years to ask for an acceptance or change in a tax election used by the taxpayer in the preparation of his/her income tax return.

A request for taxpayer relief must be made in writing and sent via mail to the correct CRA Tax Services Centre. Although it is not a requirement to use a specific tax form to make a taxpayer relief request, the Canada Revenue Agency recommends that tax form RC4288, Request for Taxpayer Relief, be used. In order to make a taxpayer relief request without the use of CRA tax form RC4288, the written request must be titled, “Taxpayer Relief” and all relevant documentation should be sent to one of the following tax services centres which applies to the taxpayer:

  • British Columbia and Yukon
    Burnaby-Fraser Tax Services Office
    9737 King George Boulevard
    P.O. Box 9070, Station Main
    Surrey, British Columbia
    V3T 5W6, Canada
  • Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Northwest Territories
    Winnipeg Tax Centre
    2nd Floor
    66 Stapon Road
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    R3C 3M2, Canada
  • Ontario and Nunavut
    Summerside Tax Centre
    275 Pope Road
    Summerside, Prince Edward Island
    C1N 5Z7, Canada

(*Although the above address may seem incorrect since it is an address in Prince Edward Island for requests specific to Ontario and Nunavut, the above address is posted on the Canada Revenue Agency website, http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/gncy/cmplntsdspts/sbmtrqst-eng.html )

  • Quebec
    Shawinigan-Sud Tax Centre
    4695, 12th Avenue
    Shawinigan-Sud, Quebec
    G9N 7S6, Canada
  • New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador
    Summerside Tax Centre
    275 Pope Road
    Summerside, Prince Edward Island
    C1N 5Z7, Canada

Non-resident or international taxpayers
(for individuals, corporations, trusts, and part XIII and non-resident withholding accounts only)

International Tax Services Office
P.O. Box 9769, Station T
Ottawa, Ontario, K1G 3Y4
CANADA

Could I pay my CRA tax bill online?

Yes, as of October 2009, the Canada Revenue Agency allows taxpayers to make payments from accounts at select financial institutions using the new My Payment service provided online. It is important to note that no banking information or tax sensitive details are exchanged between the CRA and the bank or financial institution. Currently, only financial institutions that have Interac Online payment service can allow their clients this direct online payment option. The following banks offer this payment option: BMO Bank of Montreal, Scotiabank, TD Canada Trust and RBC Royal Bank.

In order to access My Payment, visit www.cra.gc.ca/mypayment and follow the instructions. Make sure you have your account information from the CRA. Once you select “Pay Now”, choose your financial institution and follow the instructions to make your payment. Once the transaction has been completed, you will have access to a receipt with a confirmation number for your financial records.

Please note that you must be registered for online banking with your bank to access this service.  There is no additional fee imposed by the CRA to use this service.

Could I avoid a large tax bill at the end of the tax year by paying in installments over the course of the year?

Yes, the Canada Revenue Agency does allow for income taxes to be paid throughout the year in installments when it would otherwise be due as a lump sum at the end of the tax year on April 30th. These installments are not paid in advance of income you receive but rather while you are receive the taxable income. These installments usually are set up when not enough tax is being withheld at the source of the income; for example, rental properties, investments, self-employment or having more than one job.

Are tax debts treated differently from other debts one may owe to a creditor?

Tax debts owed to the Canada Revenue Agency are slightly different from other debts owed to a creditor. The CRA has a special set of laws and rules that only apply to tax debt, and they have more options and power when it comes to collecting tax debts; for example, wage garnishing, bank account freezes and tax liens. The key difference is that the Canada Revenue Agency does not need a court order to garnish wages but a regular creditor does. For more on wage garnishing and tax liens by the CRA, see “What is salary garnishment or wage garnishment?” and “What is a tax lien?” Apart from the CRA’s collection power and special rules, tax debt is otherwise seen as equal to other debts one owes to a creditor. This means that consumer proposals and personal bankruptcy erases debt owed to the Canada Revenue Agency similarly to personal credit card debts, loans and other unsecured debts.

Where do I send form RC4288, Request for Taxpayer Relief?

Form RC4288, Request for Taxpayer Relief, must be sent to a Canada Revenue Agency Tax Centre, and the exact tax services office depends on where the taxpayer resides.

For taxpayers serviced by a tax services office in British Columbia, the Yukon, and Regina, the mailing address where Form RC4288 must be sent to is as follows:

Canada Revenue Agency Tax Centre
9755 King George Boulevard
Surrey, British Columbia
V3T 5E6, Canada
 

For taxpayers serviced by a tax services office in Alberta, Manitoba, the Northwest Territories, London, Saskatoon, Thunder Bay and Windsor, the mailing address where Form RC4288 must be sent to is as follows:

Canada Revenue Agency Tax Centre
Post Office Box 14001, Station Main
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3C 3M3, Canada
 

For taxpayers serviced by a tax services office in Toronto Centre, Toronto East, Toronto North, Toronto West, Barrie, and Sudbury (the area of Sudbury/Nickel Belt only), the mailing address where Form RC4288 must be sent to is as follows:

Canada Revenue Agency Tax Centre
1050 Notre Dame Avenue
Sudbury, Ontario 
P3A 5C2, Canada

 

For taxpayers serviced by a tax services office in Laval, Montréal, Nunavut, Ottawa, Rouyn-Noranda, Sherbrooke, and Sudbury (other than the area of Sudbury/Nickel Belt), the mailing address where Form RC4288 must be sent to is as follows:

Canada Revenue Agency Tax Centre
Post Office Box 4000, Station Bureau-chef
Shawinigan, Quebec
G9N 7V9, Canada

 

For taxpayers serviced by a tax services office in Chicoutimi, Montérégie-Rive-Sud, Outaouais, Québec, Rimouski, and Trois-Rivières, the mailing address where Form RC4288 must be sent to is as follows:

Canada Revenue Agency Tax Centre
2251 René-Lévesque Boulevard
Jonquière, Quebec
G7S 5J2, Canada

 

For taxpayers serviced by a tax services office in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Kingston, Peterborough, and St. Catharines, the mailing address where Form RC4288 must be sent to is as follows:

Canada Revenue Agency Tax Centre
Post Office Box 12072, Station A
St. John’s, Newfoundland 
A1B 3Z2, Canada

 

For taxpayers serviced by a tax services office in Prince Edward Island, Belleville, Hamilton, and Kitchener/Waterloo, the mailing address where Form RC4288 must be sent to is as follows:

Canada Revenue Agency Tax Centre
105 – 275 Pope Road
Summerside, Prince Edward Island 
C1N 6E8, Canada

 

For non-resident taxpayers, the mailing address where Form RC4288 must
be sent to is as follows:

International Tax Services
102A – 2204 Walkley Road
Ottawa, Ontario 
K1A 1A8, Canada
Is there a penalty for a late tax filing – i.e. filing after the tax deadline?

The Canada Revenue Agency does apply a penalty for filing your tax return after the deadline if you owe taxes. The penalty is equivalent to 5% of the total balance owing in addition to 1% of the total balance owing for each month that the tax return is late up to a limit of 12 months. If within the past three tax years the CRA imposed a penalty for late tax filing and you once again file your tax return after the deadline, the penalty can rise to 10% of the total balance plus 2% of the total balance per full month that the tax return is late up to a maximum of 20 months.

The CRA can waive or reduce penalties for late filing if circumstances beyond the taxpayer’s control lead to filing after the deadline.  In order to request a tax waiver or a tax reduction, you must complete form RC4288, Request for Taxpayer Relief, and send it to the tax centre that corresponds to you. See “Where do I send my RC4288, Request for Taxpayer Relief?” for details.

What can I do if I simply can’t pay my tax bill due to financial hardship?

The CRA has the power to accept a payment plan that will allow you to pay off your tax debt over a set period of time. However, they will only accept a plan once you have sufficiently tried to borrow money or rearrange your financial affairs in order to pay the tax debt in full.

Although tax lawyers are trained to negotiate with the Canada Revenue Agency on your behalf to obtain the best possible deal, you can set up a payment plan with the CRA on your own by calling 1-866-256-1147, which is the CRA’s Telearrangement service line. You will need to provide your social insurance number, birth date and the amount entered on line 150 of the return for which you have been assessed by the Canada Revenue Agency. The hours of operation for the Telearrangement service line are Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time.

You can also speak personally with a CRA agent about payment plans at toll-free 1-888-863-8657. Agents are available Monday through Friday, with the exception of holidays, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. local time.

Please note that the CRA continues charging compound daily interest on any outstanding balance of owed taxes even though you are on a payment plan.  For more information about the interest you pay on owed taxes and how the CRA can waive or reduce that interest, see “How much interest am I paying on my overdue CRA tax debt?” and “What are the circumstances in which the CRA may waive or reduce penalties and interest charges on a tax debt?”

Will the CRA accept a payment plan for an overdue tax debt?

The Canada Revenue Agency may accept a payment plan for an overdue tax debt under certain circumstances. The taxpayer must prove that he or she is not in a financial position to pay in full the amount owing but could do so over the course of two years or less. In order to prove this, the CRA will need complete financial disclosure from the taxpayer, meaning details about your place of employment, assets, investments and bank accounts.

Please note that negotiation with the CRA over payment plans can be difficult and any information you disclose in the hopes of coming to an agreement can then be used by the CRA to obtain taxes owing if they deny your request. To find out more about how the CRA can go after you for taxes owing, see “What are some of the more common collections methods used by the CRA to collect unpaid tax debt?”

It is best to discuss your options with a qualified tax lawyer and avoid disclosing such sensitive details until after the Canada Revenue Agency accepts a payment plan. Barrett Tax Law is proud to offer hardworking Canadian taxpayers a free legal consultation with an experienced tax lawyer to have your questions and concerns answered. Call toll-free 1-877-8-TAX-TAX Canada-wide or book your consultation in real-time by clicking here.

What are some of the more common CRA collections methods to collect unpaid tax debt?

The Canada Revenue Agency has a variety of methods they use to collect unpaid tax debt from an individual or business. The most common methods include wage garnishment, imposing property liens, freezing and/or seizing bank accounts, intercepting monies payable to you and seizing and selling your assets.

For more information on these tactics, see “What is salary garnishment or wage garnishment?” and “What is a tax lien?” located in this FAQ section.

If you fear that the CRA may start collections actions on you or your company, do not hesitate to call Canadian tax law firm, Barrett Tax Law, for a free consultation with an experienced tax lawyer at 1-877-8-TAX-TAX. You may also reserve a date and time for your free legal consultation by clicking here.

How much interest am I paying on my overdue CRA tax debt?

The Canada Revenue Agency charges compound daily interest on any overdue taxes or balance owing starting May 1st for the preceding tax year. Interest is charged on tax penalties from the day after your tax return is due.

The exact amount of interest charged can change every quarter and the CRA maintains an updated list which can be found at the following Canada Revenue Agency web page: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/fq/ntrst_rts/menu-eng.html .

The CRA continues to charge compound daily interest on any owed balance from previous years until repaid even if there are new tax penalties or owed balances with interest accruing from more recent years. Remember that the Canada Revenue Agency has the ability to waive or reduce interest and penalties that you owe. For more information, see “What are the circumstances in which the CRA may waive or reduce penalties and interest charges on a tax debt?” or call Barrett Tax Law for a free legal consultation with an experienced tax lawyer at 1-877-8-TAX-TAX. You may also book your free consultation with a Barrett Tax Law lawyer in real-time by clicking here.

What are the circumstances in which the CRA may waive or reduce penalties and interest charges on a tax debt?

The CRA may waive or reduce penalties and interest charges on a tax debt at the discretion of the Minister of National Revenue under Taxpayer Relief Provisions. These tax waivers or tax reductions come as a result of an unforeseen situation that affects a taxpayer, which can include a natural disaster, personal hardship, service disruptions or an error by the Canada Revenue Agency. A request made by a taxpayer to waive tax payment or reduce the tax payment amount must happen within ten calendar years after the end of the tax year in question.

Some examples of such circumstances are natural disasters like a flood and man-made disasters, such as a fire, a postal strike that leads to service disruptions, emotional distress caused by death in the family, and serious illness or accidents. Another situation that may lead to waivers or reductions in taxes due is when the CRA is the cause of late payments or extra payments, due to lack of information provided, which lead to payments resulting from incorrect information. Additionally, the Canada Revenue Agency may waive interest or penalties or reduce interest or penalties when a taxpayer faces financial hardship due to loss of employment or loss of income or when the interest represents a significant portion of payments due. The interest may be waived as long as payments are made on time by the taxpayer.

Taxpayers may submit their request to have interest or penalties waived or cancelled in writing with the tax center or tax services office where the tax return was filed or by filling out Form RC4288, Request for Taxpayer Relief, which can be found at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/formspubs/menu-eng.html or requested at toll-free 1-800-959-2221. Any written request must explain the situation and circumstances surrounding the taxpayer’s inability to pay and this claim must be backed up with supporting documents.

An experienced tax lawyer may be able to negotiate a better tax settlement on your behalf. Feel free to call Barrett Tax Law, a Canadian tax law firm representing taxpayers across Canada, for a free consultation to see if you may qualify for tax relief and/or interest relief and/or penalty relief by the CRA: 1-877-8-TAX-TAX or consultations@fightthecra.ca

Ontario Tax & Small Business Issues

What are some local Ontario companies whose objective is to help my small business succeed?

Barrett Tax Law has found some local Ontario businesses who serve small businesses and medium-sized businesses  with the aim of helping them grow and prosper. The following is a listing of these Ontario companies:

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RK Fischer & Associates: Small Business Consultant and Advisor

“RK Fischer & Associates provides small business consulting, coaching and advisory services to help  Canadian small businesses grow, obtain financing, and obtain top dollar for the business when they sell. For more information on how we can help you, contact us toll free at (855)460-7500, or locally in Toronto at (647)302-1563 or visit http://www.asmallbusinessconsultant.ca/ .”

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 The information provided above does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such, since it has been written with a limited picture of the situation. In order to obtain proper legal advice, a lawyer must be aware of all of the details of your particular case. If in doubt, please obtain the advice of a lawyer. You may be eligible to receive a free telephone consultation with a tax lawyer at Barrett Tax Law. For details, call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today or click here.

Small Business & Self-Employment

With regards to the Canada Revenue Agency, is there anything I need to do in order to close or shut-down my business?

Yes, the CRA requires a few steps to close a business.  The first thing you need to do is file any GST/HST tax returns that have not been filed. This means paying any outstanding balance up to the same day your business closes.

The second step is closing your GST/HST account. In order to close it, you must fill out Form RC145, Request to close business number accounts (BN) and mail it to the  tax services office that serves you.  Alternatively you may call the Canada Revenue Agency Business Window at 1-800-959-5525.

In the case that you have property owned by the business, the CRA will assume at the time of closure that the property was sold and priced according to its basic tax content and that GST/HST was obtained. Please note that the final GST/HST return must include this amount.

The information provided above does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such, since it has been written with a limited picture of the situation. In order to obtain proper legal advice, a lawyer must be aware of all of the details of your particular case. If in doubt, please obtain the advice of a lawyer. You may be eligible to receive a free telephone consultation with a tax lawyer at Barrett Tax Law. For details, call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX today or click here.

Tax Fraud / Tax Scams

What is the contact information and hours of operation for the Pacific Region Informant Leads Centre?

The Pacific Region Informant Leads Centre can be reached at the following telephone and mailing address:

Toll-Free: 1-866-846-3535
Fax Line: 250-470-5060

Mailing Address:

Pacific Region Informant Leads Centre
Southern Interior Tax Services Office
c/o Surrey Tax Centre
9755 King George Boulevard
Surrey, British Columbia
V3T 5E1, Canada

The hours of operation are from Monday through Friday from 8:15am to 4:30pm local time.

What is the contact information and hours of operation for the Prairie Region Informant Leads Centre?

The Prairie Region Informant Leads Centre can be reached at the following telephone and mailing address:

Toll-Free Line: 1-866-453-0450
Fax Line: 204-984-6721

Mailing Address:

Prairie Region Informant Leads Centre
Winnipeg Tax Services Office
325 Broadway, 5th Floor
Post Office Box 1022
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3C 2W2, Canada

The hours of operation are from Monday through Friday from 8:15am to 5:00pm local time.

What is the contact information and hours of operation for the Informant Leads Centre in Ontario?

The Ontario Region Informant Leads Centre can be reached at the following telephone and mailing address:

Toll-Free: 1-866-809-6841
Local Telephone: 905-984-4830
Fax Line: 905-984-4829

Mailing Address:

Ontario Region Informant Leads Centre
St. Catharines Tax Services Office
32 Church Street
Post Office Box 3038
St. Catharines, Ontario
L2R 3B9, Canada

The hours of operation are from Monday through Friday from 8:15am to 4:30pm local time.

What is the contact information and hours of operation for the Informant Leads Centre in Quebec?

The Quebec Region Informant Leads Centre can be reached at the following telephone and mailing address:

Toll-Free: 1-866-896-6317
Fax Line: 450-926-7006

Mailing Address:

Quebec Region Informant Leads Centre
Monteregie-Rive-Sud Tax Services Office
3250 Lapiniere Boulevard
Brossard, Quebec
J4Z 3T8, Canada

The hours of operation are from Monday through Friday from 8:15am to 4:30pm local time.

What is the contact information and hours of operation for the Informant Leads Centre in the Atlantic region?

The Atlantic Region Informant Leads Centre can be reached at the following telephone and mailing address:

Toll-Free Line: 1-888-674-1699
Local Telephone: 506-636-4657
Fax Line: 506-636-5316

Mailing Address:

Atlantic Region Informant Leads Centre
Saint John Tax Services Office
126 Prince William Street
Saint John, New Brunswick
E2L 4H9, Canada

The hours of operation are from Monday through Friday from 8:15am to 4:30pm local time.

What is the Canada Revenue Agency’s Informant Leads Program?

The Informant Leads Program is the organized effort by the CRA to gather all leads concerning non-compliance with tax legislation by individuals or businesses. The goal is to coordinate all information received and take any warranted enforcement action. There are five centers throughout Canada which allow informants the opportunity to share information. This can be done anonymously if desired; however, the CRA states they do not share any of the informant’s information.

What is the Canada Revenue Agency’s Criminal Investigation Program (CIP)?

The CRA’s Criminal Investigation Program (CIP) examines serious violations of tax laws such as tax evasion and tax fraud. These criminal investigations often lead to convictions which can result in fines and even imprisonment. Not only are convicted individuals required to pay fines required by the judicial system (up to 200% of unpaid taxes), they also must pay all of the taxes owed in addition to penalties and interest charges as enforced by the CRA.

What is the Canada Revenue Agency’s Special Enforcement Program (SEP)?

The CRA’s Special Enforcement Program (SEP) focuses on individuals who are suspected of acquiring income illegally. Such individuals can be subjected to fines, penalties or jail time depending on the severity of illegal activities. Tax audits and investigations of suspected persons can also lead to the seizure of goods if the individual does not pay the required fines imposed by the CRA. The goal is to reduce the monetary profits and incentives that often lead to criminal activity.

Are there additional penalties for lying on my tax return?

There may be additional penalties if an individual has purposefully or with gross negligence made untruthful statements or exclusions. The penalty is equal to $100 plus 50% of the unstated tax or the false additional deductions claimed by the taxpayer.

Are there additional penalties charged by the CRA for continuously underreporting income?

The Canada Revenue Agency does impose penalties for repeated misrepresentation on tax returns if it occurs twice within a four year period. For example, if a tax return filed for 2007 was reassessed by the CRA to include unreported income and the same situation occurs in 2010, a fine will be imposed. The federal and provincial fines are both equal to 10% of the unreported income for the current year.

However, the Canada Revenue Agency does encourage individuals to voluntarily disclose the amount of misrepresentations. The CRA states that the above penalties may be waived if an individual voluntarily provides this information. More information can be found in the Voluntary Disclosure Program FAQ page.

It is important to note that for Quebec residents only the federal fee is assessed. The provincial tax is dealt with by Revenu Quebec. Canadian non-residents and deemed residents are only subject to the provincial penalty if the provincial tax is payable.

What is the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion?

The major difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion is that tax avoidance is legal while tax evasion is not. The definition of tax avoidance is using tax law or code legally to the benefit of oneself in order to pay less tax. This can include, for example, moving to a different country, state or region solely because income taxes are lower. Tax evasion, on the other hand, is the illegal act of misrepresenting or misleading tax authorities in order to pay fewer taxes. This is mostly done through improper and untruthful tax returns; for example, failure to report income received in cash.

Could I go to jail if I am found guilty of tax evasion or tax fraud?

Yes, incarceration is a possibility if found guilty of tax evasion or tax fraud. Under the Income Tax Act and the Excise Tax Act, the Canada Revenue Agency has various civil and criminal actions it can take which can lead to monetary fines, penalties and even prison time.

In 2005-2006, the CRA prosecuted a number of cases and 94% of those resulted in convictions. However, not all convictions resulted in jail time. These court cases are publicized through the media in order to help deter future acts of tax evasion or tax fraud.

An extensive list of CRA convictions organized by region can be found here: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/nwsrm/cnvctns/menu-eng.html

See Question 2:”What are the penalties for tax evasion?” for more details on the penalties that could be applied for tax evasion conviction.

If you are concerned that you may be found guilty and possibly serve a prison sentence for tax evasion, then consult a tax lawyer right away. Free legal consultations are provided by Barrett Tax Law, a Canadian tax law firm, to small business owners, self-employed persons and individuals involved with non-profit or charitable organizations. Call 1-877-8-TAX-TAX or email consultation@fightthecra.ca to book your free consultation with a tax lawyer.

Can a CRA tax audit lead to criminal prosecution for tax fraud, tax evasion or other tax-related criminal charge?

Yes, yes and YES! Although it is not the norm, the Canada Revenue Agency can and does refer cases to the courts for criminal prosecution. During the 2008/2009 tax year, 164 cases were sent to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada and 58 GST audits to the Ministere de la Justice du Quebec for criminal prosecution. A total of 257 cases resulted in criminal convictions for tax evasion or tax fraud, as a result of previous years. referrals. If you fear you may be in danger of being criminally prosecuted for tax evasion, tax fraud or any other tax related criminal charge, then it is imperative you stop reading this and consult a tax lawyer now.

Barrett Tax Law, a Canadian tax law firm serving throughout Canada, is pleased to offer the self-employed, small business owners, and individuals involved with a non-profit or charitable organization a free consultation with an experienced tax lawyer at 1-877-8-TAX-TAX or consultation@fightthecra.ca . All legal consultations, regardless of whether Barrett Tax Law is hired to represent the client, is protected by lawyer-client privilege and is thus completely confidential.

What is the underground economy?

The underground economy consists of any commercial activity that is not recorded and reported to the Canadian government for tax purposes. This only applies to income that would be taxable if it were reported. Cash payments and transactions often result in the non-reporting of income which is prevalent in areas like construction and hospitality. According to the Canada Revenue Agency, income received in cash does not make one exempt from paying due taxes and is considered tax evasion, which could result in convictions, penalties, fines and even incarceration. For further information on the penalties and consequences of tax evasion please see Question 2: “What are the penalties for tax evasion?”

What is tax fraud?

Tax fraud is the illegal offense of purposefully trying to evade paying taxes that are owed to the government of Canada by law.

If you are being criminally prosecuted or fear you will be prosecuted by the CRA for tax fraud, it is imperative that you speak with a tax lawyer as soon as possible to find out all of your options and ask any questions you may have. Canadian tax law firm, Barrett Tax Law, is pleased to offer free consultations with a tax lawyer to self-employed individuals, small business owners and those involved with a non-profit or charitable organization at toll-free 1-877-8-TAX-TAX throughout Canada or consultation@fightthecra.ca .

What are the penalties for tax evasion?

According to Section 238 of the Income Tax Act, if an annual tax return is not completed and filed, then an individual is guilty of a summary offense and can face a fine between $1,000 and $25,000. A judge may also sentence the offender to up to twelve months of incarceration.

In addition to not completing an annual income tax return, an individual can also be found guilty of a summary offense if they misrepresent or mislead the Canada Revenue Agency with false statements intended to assist the individual in evading taxes. Section 239 of the Income Tax Act states that for this specific type of tax evasion fines of at least 50% but no more than 200% of the total amount of taxes evaded must be paid. In these cases, a judge may also sentence the offender to a maximum of two years of jail time as well as additional monetary fines.

If the CRA has charged you or is threatening to charge you with tax evasion, then it is important that you consult a tax lawyer today to find out where you stand and answer any questions or concerns you are likely having during this stressful time. Barrett Tax Law, a Canadian tax law firm operating throughout Canada, offers free consultations with a tax lawyer to small business owners, self-employed individuals, and those involved with non-profit organizations and charities. Call today for a no obligation and confidential legal consultation at toll-free 1-877-8-TAX-TAX Canada-wide or email consultation@fightthecra.ca .

What is tax evasion?

Simply put, tax evasion is the act by any person, business or entity to illegally evade paying taxes. Tactics used in tax evasion include the misrepresentation of income and profit by reporting less than actually earned and taking additional deductions that are not allowed by law.

An example of tax evasion would be an individual who earns income in cash and does not report it to the Canada Revenue Agency in order to pay less tax. Businesses also can be found guilty of tax evasion if they purposefully report fewer sales than actually made to avoid taxes on any additional sales transactions.

Another lesser known type of tax evasion is the evasion of VAT (value added taxes) and sales taxes due to purchases outside of the tax jurisdiction where an individual resides. In simple terms, if you purchase an item in a region that charges less sales tax or VAT than where you reside, you must report such purchases and pay the corresponding tax to avoid breaking the law. Consumers that purposefully purchase in lower tax areas with the intent to pay less tax are also committing tax evasion.

Tax Lawyers & Tax Law Firms

What is lawyer-client privilege (or attorney-client privilege or solicitor-client privilege, as it is sometimes referred?)

Lawyer-client privilege or attorney-client privilege is a constitutionally protected, legal concept safeguarding all communication between a lawyer and his or her potential or actual client. The client is therefore free to consult a lawyer without fear that what is said can be communicated to others and can potentially be used against him or her in a legal proceeding. All communication between a lawyer and the person seeking advice from the lawyer, whether it is in in verbal or written format, is completely confidential, regardless of whether the individual hires the lawyer to represent him or her. Lawyer-client privilege also applies to former clients of said lawyers. In other words, any and all communication made to a lawyer for the purposes of seeking advice from the lawyer is permanently protected under lawyer-client privilege and can never be divulged without permission from the former, current or potential client, regardless of how much time has passed.

Can a tax lawyer who holds a law license in one Canadian province practice law in another Canadian province?

Tax law in Canada falls under federal jurisdiction, with the exception of Quebec, which means that tax lawyers who hold at least one law license from a Canadian province may practice law in all provinces regardless of whether they hold a law license in that particular province.

How may I lodge a formal complaint against a tax lawyer?
What is the difference between a tax lawyer and a tax consultant or other tax professional?

Similar to the response given for the difference between a tax lawyer and a chartered accountant (C.A.), the difference between a tax lawyer and a tax consultant or other tax professional lies in the training and depth of knowledge that is required of a tax lawyer to defend the rights and interests of their clients in legal, tax-related issues. With a tax lawyer, one is assured that they have the education and training needed to handle all issues relating to tax law, whereby one does not know the background or education level of a tax consultant. They may or may not have a degree in accounting. They may or may not have a university degree at all! There is no authoritative body in place to ensure that those individuals calling themselves tax consultants or tax professionals have the specialized knowledge needed to help those individuals or businesses dealing with a tax problem or tax dispute with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Tax lawyers, on the other hand, have to answer to their law society, an independent, governing body that has been formed via provincial legislation that gives the law society the authority to issue and revoke law licenses.

In addition, there is no such thing as a .tax consultant-client privilege,. so that anything communicated to tax consultants may be used against the client in a legal proceeding or legal investigation, and tax consultants can even be called to testify against their own clients. Tax lawyers, on the other hand, can offer complete confidentiality to anyone who consults them on a legal matter as this communication is protected by lawyer-client privilege or attorney-client privilege, as it is sometimes referred, and tax lawyers cannot be compelled to testify against those who have consulted them.

What is the difference between a tax lawyer and a chartered accountant (C.A.)?

The main difference between a tax lawyer and a chartered accountant or C.A. relates to their training and knowledge. Tax lawyers are specifically trained in the area of tax law. Since their area of expertise is tax law, they will not only have specialized knowledge of the legal system as it pertains to taxes, but tax lawyers will also be up-to-date on all of the newest tax laws and regulations as well as the latest court decisions and rulings . knowledge that is crucial for the adequate defence of their clients. interests and rights. Chartered accountants, on the other hand, are mostly trained to count, analyze, record and report on the financial matters of a business or individual. They obviously possess general knowledge of tax law but not to the same extent as a tax lawyer especially as it pertains to the adequate defence of clients. rights in the face of a tax dispute with the Canada Revenue Agency. Moreover, and perhaps most importantly, everything that is communicated to a tax lawyer, whether in a written or verbal form, is protected by lawyer-client privilege (or attorney-client privilege as it is sometimes referred) and cannot be used against the client in a court of a law. Tax lawyers cannot be compelled to testify against anyone who has consulted them on a legal matter, regardless of whether or not they are or have ever been an actual client of said tax lawyers. Chartered accountants and other tax professionals are not afforded this protection and can be called to divulge information about their clients and even testify against their current or former clients in a court of law.

Whereas chartered accountants for the most part are trained to count and analyze the numbers, tax lawyers, and all lawyers for that matter, are trained to present legal arguments in their clients. favour and fight to the end to defend the interests of their clients.

What is the difference between a lawyer and a notary public?

Lawyers are all university educated individuals who have gone through a rigorous selection, training and examination process to eventually earn their law license to practice law. All provinces with the exception of Quebec require that students obtain an undergraduate university degree before being allowed to even apply to law school. There are relatively few law schools in Canada, so the application and entry to law schools is quite competitive relative to the number of people who apply. So, it is safe to say that most lawyers have studied for at least 7 years in an accredited university institution before being permitted to write the very difficult bar exam, which must be passed in order to obtain a license to practice law. In addition, a student-at-law is also required to complete a competitive articling program before the law society will even consider issuing him or her a law license. In fact, it is interesting to note that lawyers are all automatically notary publics, something that cannot be said for notaries.

Notary publics, on the other hand, are not necessarily university educated. Notaries all must have a high school diploma, but the training given to individuals who want to be notaries can be anywhere from a six-month to a two-year course. Once the course is completed, an exam must be taken and passed in order to earn a notary public license. There are no articling requirements in order to obtain the notary license. Some notaries may have already earned a university degree, but it is not a requirement, with the exception of the province of Quebec where it is a requirement to hold an undergraduate degree in Civil Law, where afterwards a one year Master.s degree must be earned in notarial law.

Notaries are limited in terms of the legal services they may offer to the public. Notary publics can assist their clients with the notarizing or certifying of documents, swearing affidavits, preparing wills and contracts, assisting with certain real estate transactions, and other related legal services. Lawyers, on the other hand, are not limited in terms of the legal services they may offer and are permitted to offer legal services in all aspects of the legal system. See question .What can tax lawyer do for me?. for a detailed account of the legal services a tax lawyer can provide.

Last but certainly not least, tax lawyers, and any other lawyer for that matter, can offer complete confidentiality since whatever is said or written to a tax lawyer is protected by lawyer-client privilege or attorney-client privilege, as it is also referred, even if the client simply consulted with the lawyer and never actually hired said lawyer to represent him or her. This confidentiality is crucial if the taxpayer believes he or she may have committed an unlawful act and needs to find out what their options are without fear of incriminating him or herself. A lawyer cannot be forced to divulge confidential information to the Canada Revenue Agency or any other governmental body, and of course, a lawyer cannot be compelled to testify against anyone who has consulted him or her in a legal capacity.

Can I find out if a lawyer is undergoing disciplinary action by the law society or has had disciplinary actions taken against them by their law society?

Yes, you can find out if a lawyer is undergoing disciplinary action or has had disciplinary actions taken against them by their law society at the lawyer.s law society. Many of the law societies. web sites will have a specific telephone number or email address where one can make this specific inquiry, or you may simply contact them by calling their general telephone number or email address:
Barreau du Quebec (the law society of Quebec): www.barreau.qc.ca
Law Society of Alberta: www.lawsociety.ab.ca
Law Society of British Columbia: www.lawsociety.bc.ca
Law Society of Manitoba: www.lawsociety.mb.ca
Law Society of New Brunswick: www.lawsociety-barreau.nb.ca
Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador: www.lawsociety.nf.ca
Law Society of Nunavut: www.lawsociety.nu.ca
Law Society of Prince Edward Island: www.lspei.pe.ca
Law Society of Saskatchewan: www.lawsociety.sk.ca
Law Society of the Northwest Territories: www.lawsociety.nt.ca
Law Society of Upper Canada (the law society of Ontario): www.lsuc.on.ca
Law Society of Yukon: www.lawsocietyyukon.com
Nova Scotia Barristers. Society: www.nsbs.org

What is the contact information for the Nova Scotia Barristers. Society?

– Mailing Address:
1101 . 1645 Granville Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3J 1X3, Canada
– Web Site Address (URL): www.nsbs.org
– Local Telephone: 902-422-1491
– Fax: 902-429-4869

What is the contact information for the Law Society of Yukon?

– Mailing Address:
Suite 202 . 302 Steele Street
Whitehorse, Yukon
Y1A 2C5, Canada
– Web Site Address (URL): www.lawsocietyyukon.com
– Email Address: info@lawsocietyyukon.com
– Local Telephone: 867-668-4231
– Fax: 867-667-7556

What is the contact information for the Law Society of the Northwest Territories?

– Mailing Address:
4th Floor, Diamond Plaza
5204 50th Avenue
P.O. Box 1298
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
X1A 1E2, Canada
– Web Site Address (URL): www.lawsociety.nt.ca
– Email Address: info@lawsociety.nt.ca
– Local Telephone: 867-873-3828
– Fax: 867-873-6344

What is the contact information for the Law Society of Saskatchewan?

– Mailing Address:
1100 . 2002 Victoria Avenue
Regina, Saskatchewan
S4P 0R7, Canada
– Web Site Address (URL): www.lawsociety.sk.ca
– Email Address: reception@lawsociety.sk.ca
– Local Telephone: 306-569-8242
– Fax: 306-352-2989

What is the contact information for the Law Society of Prince Edward Island?

– Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 128, 49 Water Street
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
C1A 7K2, Canada
– Web Site Address (URL): www.lspei.pe.ca
– Email Address: lawsociety@lspei.pe.ca
– Local Telephone: 902-566-1666
– Fax: 902-368-7557

What is the contact information for the law society of Ontario?

In Ontario, the law society is called the Law Society of Upper Canada.
– Mailing Address:
Osgood Hall, 130 Queen Street West
Toronto, Ontario
M5H 2N6, Canada
– Web Site Address (URL): www.lsuc.on.ca
– Email Address: lawsociety@lsuc.on.ca
– Local Telephone: 416-947-3300
– Toll-Free Line Phone Line: 1-800-668-7380
– Fax: 416-947-3924
– Toll-Free Fax: 1-877-947-3924
– TTY: 416-644-4886

What is the contact information for the Law Society of Nunavut?

– Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 149
Iqaluit, Nunavut
X0A 0H0
– Web Site Address (URL): www.lawsociety.nu.ca
– Email Address: lawsociety@qiniq.com
– Local Telephone: 867-979-2330
– Fax: 867-979-2333

What is the contact information for the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador?

– Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 1028
St. Johns, Newfoundland
A1C 5M3, Canada
– Web Site Address: www.lawsociety.nf.ca
– Local Telephone: 709-722-4740
– Fax: 709-722-8902

What is the contact information for the Law Society of New Brunswick?

– Mailing Address:
1133 Regent Street, Suite 206
Fredericton, New Brunswick
E3B 3Z2, Canada
– Web Site Address (URL): www.lawsociety-barreau.nb.ca
– Email Address: general@lawsociety-barreau.nb.ca
– Local Telephone: 506-458-8540
– Fax: 506-451-1421

What is the contact information for the Law Society of Manitoba?

– Mailing Address:
219 Kennedy Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3C 1S8, Canada
– Web Site Address (URL): www.lawsociety.mb.ca
– Email Address: admin@lawsociety.mb.ca
– Local Telephone: 204-942-5571
– Fax: 204-956-0624

What is the contact information for the Law Society of British Columbia?

– Mailing Address:
845 Cambie Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
V6B 4Z9, Canada
– Web Site Address (URL): www.lawsociety.bc.ca
– Email Address: information@lsbc.org
– Local Telephone: 604-669-2533
– Toll-Free Line: 1-800-903-5300
– Local Fax Line: 604-669-5232
– TTY: 604-443-5700

What is the contact information for the Law Society of Alberta?

– Mailing Address for the Calgary Office:
Suite 500, 919 11th Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta
T2R 1P3, Canada

– Mailing Address for the Edmonton Office:

201 Scotia Place Tower 2
10060 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta
T5J 3R8, Canada

– Web Site Address (URL): www.lawsociety.ab.ca
– Email via Online Form: www.lawsociety.ab.ca/email/email_feedback.aspx
– Calgary Local Telephone: 403-229-4700
– Edmonton Local Telephone: 780-429-3343
– Toll-Free Line: 1-800-661-9003 or 1-800-272-8839
– Calgary Fax Line: 403-228-1728
– Edmonton Fax Line: 780-424-1620

What is the contact information for the law society of Quebec?

In the province of Quebec, the law society is called Barreau du Quebec:
– Mailing Address:
Maison du Barreau
445 Boulevard Saint-Laurent
Montreal, Quebec
H2Y 3T8, Canada
– Web Site Address (URL): www.barreau.qc.ca
– Email Address: information@barreau.qc.ca
– Local Telephone: 514-954-3400
– Toll-Free Line: 1-800-361-8495

What is a law society?

A law society is an independent governing body for the legal profession for each Canadian province and territory. Law societies are formed by provincial legislation and have the authority to determine the laws, rules and regulations by which legal professionals must abide. All lawyers must be members in good standing of their respective law societies in order to be allowed to practice law. It is the responsibility of law societies to ensure that their members meet the highest of professional standards to safeguard the interest of the Canadian people. When a law school graduate is .called to the bar,. he or she is essentially presenting him or herself to the law society and applying for membership of that governing body. In order to be a member of a province’s or territory.s law society, the law school graduate must comply with the high standards, rules and regulations set out by each law society, including being an individual of .good character and repute,. as stated in the Federation of Law Societies of Canada web site. To find out more information about law societies in Canada, you may visit the Federation of Law Societies of Canada web site at www.flsc.ca or contact them at the following contact information:

– Mailing Address:
Federation of Law Societies of Canada
World Exchange Plaza
45 O.Connor Street, Suite 1810
Ottawa, Ontario
K1P 1A4, Canada
– Local Telephone: 613-236-7272
– Fax: 613-236-7233
– Email: info@flsc.ca

How can I find out if a tax lawyer is an accredited lawyer in “good standing” and allowed to practice in Canada?

The law societies of each Canadian province have a directory of lawyers where the public may perform an online search to see if the tax lawyer is licensed and in good standing. There are thirteen law societies in Canada:

Barreau du Quebec (the law society of Quebec): www.barreau.qc.ca
Law Society of Alberta: www.lawsociety.ab.ca
Law Society of British Columbia: www.lawsociety.bc.ca
Law Society of Manitoba: www.lawsociety.mb.ca
Law Society of New Brunswick: www.lawsociety-barreau.nb.ca
Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador: www.lawsociety.nf.ca
Law Society of Nunavut: www.lawsociety.nu.ca
Law Society of Prince Edward Island: www.lspei.pe.ca
Law Society of Saskatchewan: www.lawsociety.sk.ca
Law Society of the Northwest Territories: www.lawsociety.nt.ca
Law Society of Upper Canada (the law society of Ontario): www.lsuc.on.ca
Law Society of Yukon: www.lawsocietyyukon.com
Nova Scotia Barristers. Society: www.nsbs.org

What does a tax lawyer do and what specific legal services can a tax lawyer or tax law firm provide?

Tax lawyers and tax law firms represent and defend the interests of individuals, businesses and organizations trying to make their way through the intricacies of the Canadian or international taxation system. Tax lawyers can help their clients with preventative solutions, guiding them as to how best to conduct their financial matters in accordance with international or Canadian tax laws to avoid problems with governmental tax agencies like the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), the federal agency responsible for administering Canadian tax laws. Tax lawyers also provide solutions after the fact, when a client has already experienced problems or a dispute with a tax agency like the CRA, defending and representing the interests of their clients against the Canada Revenue Agency.

A tax lawyer or tax law firm can provide legal services relating to all areas of tax law including, but not limited to the following:

– Offer expert tax advice to taxpayers filing their income tax returns, helping to ensure that what the taxpayers are filing is accurate and lawful, especially with regards to tax deductions and tax credits
– Represent the interests and defend the rights of taxpayers faced with a tax audit
– Offer expert tax advice to small business owners and self-employed professionals, who are usually the target of tax audits conducted by the Canada Revenue Agency, to help prevent the likelihood of a tax audit
– Offer expert tax advice and represent the interests of corporations and non-profit organizations, also the target of investigations by the Canada Revenue Agency
– Advise clients doing business abroad with regards to international tax laws
– Counsel taxpayers who have a taxable estate and are filing a tax return on that estate or are in need of advice with regards to their estate planning strategy
– Advise entrepreneurs starting their own business with regards to the financial structure of the company
– Represent taxpayers in a lawsuit against the Canada Revenue Agency
– Represent and defend taxpayers being criminally prosecuted for tax-related charges, like tax fraud and tax evasion
– Negotiate a payment plan with the Canada Revenue Agency for taxpayers unable to pay their tax bill and consequently help prevent bank account seizures, liens on personal property, wage garnishment, CRA agent harassment and any other collections measures taken by the CRA
– Remove bank account seizures, liens on personal property and salary garnishment
– Stop CRA agents from harassing the taxpayer or the clients of said taxpayer
– Represent the interests of taxpayers who have had their charitable contributions denied by the CRA
– Defend the rights of taxpayers who have been caught up in a tax shelter or charitable contribution scheme or are experiencing any other charity or tax shelter problem
– Negotiate a tax settlement with the Canada Revenue Agency where in many cases penalties and interest charges could be decreased or eliminated
– Counsel taxpayers and represent their interests in a CRA objection and appeals process when a notice of assessment or reassessment has been sent by the Canada Revenue Agency
– Negotiate a lawyer-protected, anonymous voluntary disclosure agreement or tax amnesty or tax pardon on behalf of the taxpayer, bringing the client up-to-date with their taxes without penalties or prosecution

If you are self-employed or a small business owner and think you may be in need of the services of a tax lawyer, feel free to contact Barrett Tax Law for a free consultation with a tax lawyer at 1-877-8-TAX-TAX or info@fightthecra.ca .

What is a tax lawyer?

A tax lawyer, or taxation lawyer as it is sometimes referred, falls under the specialization of Corporate and Commercial Law and are individuals who have graduated from an accredited law school, completed the articling program, passed the bar exam, have been issued a law license by their respective law society to practice law and have chosen tax law as their field of specialty. Many law students during their summer internships or articling program had the opportunity to work closely with a tax lawyer or within a law firm.s legal tax department or simply performed well in the required tax law course given in law school to later decide to specialize in tax law upon becoming a practicing lawyer. Although some taxation lawyers have continued with their legal education to further specialize in tax law, many tax lawyers have further obtained their knowledge of the Canadian taxation system on the job working for either a tax law firm or a law firm with an area specializing in taxation laws.

Tax Shelters & Charitable Donations

How can I find out if a charity is registered?

You can search the CRA’s list of registered charities (see Where can I find a list of charities recognized by the Canada Revenue Agency?) or you can contact the charity directly and ask for their registration number, then compare that to the CRA’s list. Additionally, you can call the Canada Revenue Agency at their toll-free telephone line, 1-800-267-2384, to verify a charity.s status.

What is a registered charity information return?

A registered charity information return includes contact information for the charity, general activities the charity performs as well as financial information like assets, liabilities, expenditures and income. The registered charity information return can shed light on how much of its financial resources are actually put towards its charitable works. Returns are available dating back to 2000.

It is important to note that the CRA has not necessarily reviewed or verified a charity’s return. The return is posted online as received from the charity. Additional questions should be directed to the charity.

Where can I find a list of charities recognized by the Canada Revenue Agency?

The CRA has a list of registered charities which can be found at the following Canada Revenue Agency web page: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/lstngs/menu-eng.html

This list allows you to determine if a charity is able to issue tax receipts, review a specific charity’s financial information and returns, learn more about their activities and obtain contact information. You can also see a list of revoked charities, penalized charities, suspended charities and annulled charities as well as a list of currently active charities without penalties.

What are some tax tips I should consider for making donations “in-kind” to a charity?

Always beware of any items (art, books or technological products) that are priced way above market value and are advertised as a way to save money through charitable tax receipts. In any type of arrangement in which you do not see the actual items, or the charity is pre-selected, beware. You can contact the charity (on your own apart from the promoter) to assure they will value any gifts according to fair market price. Remember to always review any details that express possible income tax consequences that could result from the arrangement and always seek independent professional tax advice before signing. Barrett Tax Law offers free legal consultations to taxpayers living throughout Canada at toll-free 1-877-8-TAX-TAX. Make sure the appraiser is working independently from the promoter and review any appraisal documents before actually making the donation. Also, check to assure the tax arrangement has a registered tax shelter number from the Canada Revenue Agency. Ask for any advanced ruling from the CRA on any arrangement, although it is important to note that the Canada Revenue Agency is NOT responsible for making sure the arrangement complies with all aspects of the Income Tax Act and is similarly NOT required to accept the appraised value of items prepared by the promoter or appraiser.

What should I consider if offered an art-donation tax arrangement?

When considering an art-donation tax arrangement, be wary of 1) any deal that does not allow you to actually see the art, 2) involves inflated prices, 3) promises extensive tax savings, and 4) if the charity which will receive the donation has already been pre-selected without your input.

Make sure the appraiser is an independent third party not involved in the tax arrangement. Also, carefully revise or have a tax lawyer review any documents that cover the income-tax consequences of such a scheme. Another option you can consider if being offered an art-donation tax arrangement is asking the promoter for a written statement assuring that the arrangement is entirely legal. Also, ask for any advanced ruling by the CRA and always consult an independent tax professional for advice before signing any arrangement. Barrett Tax Law is pleased to offer free legal consultations at 1-877-8-TAX-TAX or consultation@fightthecra.ca

What are the possible penalties associated with an art-donation scheme?

There are a variety of penalties that can be applied by the Canada Revenue Agency when a taxpayer is involved with an art-donation scheme, and it depends on the role the individual played in the art donation scheme.

The investor purchasing the art and making the charitable donation can have their tax credit claim disallowed or readjusted depending on whether the CRA determines that the donation price is inflated or that it is not an actual gift but rather part of an art-donation scheme. Additional penalties may be assessed by the CRA in such cases.

Third parties involved in this scheme, like promoters and appraisers, also face penalties. As of the year 2000, the CRA has provisions in place to deter third parties from making false statements and claims, like artificially inflating the price of a work of art. Third Party Civil Penalties provide that the amount of these penalties is directly related to the tax amount the false statements allowed the investor to evade. If the charity was aware or could be reasonably expected to have known that false statements and inflated prices were involved, then they too may face these third party penalties, and in some cases may lose their status as a registered charity.

If you are currently suffering the consequences of participating in an art donation scheme, or fear you may be penalized for participating in an art donation or .art flipping. scheme, then call Barrett Tax Law for a free consultation with an experienced tax lawyer and have your questions and concerns addressed at 1-877-8-TAX-TAX or consultation@fightthecra.ca

What is an art-donation scheme or “art flipping”?

An art-donation scheme or .art flipping. consists of an investor purchasing works of art at a significantly lower price than their supposed market value with the help of a promoter. The promoter will then work with a Canadian registered charity in order for the investor to then donate the works of art and receive a tax receipt for a much higher price than the investor actually paid for the art. The tax credits or tax benefits the investor receives for their donation surpasses the original amount used to purchase the art.

What is a leveraged cash donation?

Leveraged cash donations involve an investor specifically applying for a loan in order to make a cash donation to a charity. It is also common for the investor to make a similar cash payment to the promoter of the scheme in the form of an investment and then money earned from that investment is used to repay the original loan. It is common for the investor.s cash payment to be around 30% of the total donation. It is important to note that a scheme like this puts at risk not only the investors own money but the loan as well. The CRA’s 2003 amendments stipulate that any advantages gained by the investor will be deducted from the total donation amount, thereby reducing the tax benefits.

What is a gifting trust arrangement?

In a gifting trust arrangement, the investor does not purchase a property but rather receives the property as a beneficiary of a trust. Many times this property will have a lien attached, but that is not always the case. After receiving the property, the investor then donates the property as well as cash to a charity, paying off the lien as well if there is one attached to the property. The investor then has a donation receipt not only for the cash donated but also for fair market value of the property. The amount of cash donated usually represents only about 30% of the total donation value.

As of December 2003, the CRA amended the tax code to stipulate that the total amount of the donation by which tax benefits are based will be adjusted accordingly and reduced if any advantage comes from a gift (i.e. the property). The Canada Revenue Agency views the property gifted by the trust as an advantage and will lower the tax benefits accordingly.

Can a tax shelter promoter undergo criminal prosecution?

Yes, the Canada Revenue Agency can and will criminally prosecute tax shelter promoters who abuse the law. Out of fourteen criminal convictions of tax shelter promoters, twelve have lead to jail time and about $10.6 million in total penalties and fines. If you are being criminally prosecuted for a tax shelter scheme, it is imperative that you contact a tax lawyer immediately. Confidential, free consultations with a tax lawyer are offered by Barrett Tax Law at 1-877-8-TAX-TAX or consulation@fightthecra.ca

Do tax shelters get audited by the CRA? If so, how many?

The Canada Revenue Agency reviews all tax shelters and audits tax shelters quite often, which can lead to reassessment and penalties imposed on the investors of said tax shelters.

Over the past five years, the CRA has audited and reassessed extra taxes owing in about 1,100 tax shelters, which lead to additional monies owed totaling about $335 million. In addition, the Canada Revenue Agency has about 5,000 current audits that are taking place to investigate and reassess participants in unapproved tax shelters.

Should I get professional tax advice when considering participating in a tax shelter?

The Canada Revenue Agency recommends getting independent, professional tax advice before deciding to participate in a tax shelter proposal. This means a tax professional who is not connected in any way to the tax shelter, which helps ensure an unbiased and honest recommendation. Barrett Tax Law, a Canadian tax law firm serving taxpayers throughout Canada, is pleased to offer free legal consultations at 1-877-8-TAX-TAX or consultation@fightthecra.ca

What is the typical unregistered tax shelter scheme?

The most typical unregistered tax shelter scheme consists of purchasing a tax loss that is extensively higher than the cash investment. Keep in mind that simply purchasing a tax loss does not make one eligible for tax deductions. See .”What should I consider when thinking about taking part in a tax shelter arrangement?” for further information.

What are the potential consequences for participating in a tax shelter scheme that is finally established by the CRA to be invalid?

There are various potential consequences related to tax shelter schemes that are considered invalid by the Canada Revenue Agency. An individual that claims tax deductions based on an investment in a tax shelter scheme that is deemed invalid will have those tax deductions denied by the CRA. Likewise, the taxpayer will be obligated to pay back any monies already received by the Canadian government as a result of said tax shelter scheme. The possibility of additional penalties also exists if a taxpayer willingly participates in an unregistered tax shelter scheme. Penalties can be up to 50% of taxes owed after reassessment. These extra penalties often come into play when the tax payer willfully ignored inflated property value.

For more information on how to avoid unregistered and invalid tax shelter schemes, see .What should I consider when thinking about taking part in a tax shelter arrangement?.

If you are being unfairly penalized for participating in a tax shelter scheme, obtain a free legal consultation at Barrett Tax Law to find out your options: 1-877-8-TAX-TAX Canada-wide or consultation@fightthecra.ca

What should I consider when thinking about taking part in a tax shelter arrangement?

1. Always seek the advice of a tax professional like a tax lawyer before signing tax shelter documents.
2. Make sure you are familiar with all parties involved in the tax shelter and carefully review all documents regarding the arrangement. 4. Have everything in writing and do not go on verbal agreements alone.
5. Request a copy of any CRA advance ruling from the tax shelter promoter and cautiously review the CRA ruling.
In addition, be aware of the following when reviewing tax shelter options:
. Lack of actual commercial activity
. Exaggerated expenses
. Verbal agreements but lack of written details
. Business assets that are exaggerated
. Little expectation for real profits

To get your questions or concerns addressed by a qualified tax professional, contact Barrett Tax Law for a free consultation with a tax lawyer at toll-free 1-877-8-TAX-TAX throughout Canada.

If a tax shelter identification number was issued by the CRA, does this mean that I am automatically eligible to receive the tax benefits associated with it?

The Canada Revenue Agency issues a tax shelter identification number to anyone participating in a tax shelter arrangement whether they are eligible to receive the benefits or not. It is important to note that the CRA uses these identification numbers in an administrative sense ONLY to identify participants and this number does not ensure tax benefits.

What is a tax shelter?

The Income Tax Act states that a tax shelter is an arrangement in which a person purchasing a property or giving a gift receives tax benefits or deductions that will equal or surpass the amount of the initial purchase or gift within four years.

Voluntary Disclosure Program (VDP) - Tax Amnesty FAQ

Can I appeal a decision made by a VDP officer?

Yes, taxpayers do have the option of sending a written request to the Director of the Tax Services Office where the original decision was rendered asking him or her to examine and reconsider the decision. If there is additional information you would like to add about your specific case, then this would be the time to add the relevant information or changes that have occurred since the time the original decision was made. However, if this new information was simply information that was lacking from the first application, and the application was denied due to the incomplete nature of the application, then the CRA will not consider a petition for a second review. The director of the TSO then has the option of selecting an authorized representative of the VDP not initially involved in the making of the first decision to evaluate the decision and decide whether it should be changed.

If at this point the original decision is still upheld, then taxpayers can ask the Federal Court for a judicial review of the decision. This request must be done within thirty days from the date in which the Director of the Tax Services Office denied your request for a reconsideration of the original decision. Form 301, Notice of Application, must be filled out and submitted with the additional fee to the registrar of the Federal Court. Form 301 can be found at the following web page: http://cas-ncr-nter03.cas-satj.gc.ca/portal/page/portal/fc_cf_en/Forms

The Federal Court can also be contacted directly at the following telephone and website address: 613-992-4238 or www.cas-satj.gc.ca
It is important to note that the Federal Court will not generally override the decision made by the Canada Revenue Agency, but will instead refer the case back to the CRA if it feels that it should be given another review by the agency.

What happens if the Canada Revenue Agency denies my disclosure?

The Voluntary Disclosure Program agent would send a notice of denial stating that 1) the disclosure was rejected 2) the information that was disclosed may be sent to another CRA department 3) an assessment or reassessment may occur due to the disclosed information 4) interest charges and penalties may be issued and 5) an investigation and possible criminal charges may be started.

Where can I find the contact information for the Canada Revenue Agency’s Tax Services Office (TSO) in the provinces of Canada responsible for its Voluntary Disclosure Program?

The contact information, including mailing address, telephone number, toll-free number and fax numbers, for the Canada Revenue Agency’s Tax Services Office (TSO) in all of the provinces and territories of Canada responsible for its Voluntary Disclosure Program can be found at the CRA website at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/gncy/nvstgtns/cntcts/menu-eng.html

Is there a time-limit to provide additional documentation or other information required for the disclosure to be considered complete by the Canada Revenue Agency and thus not be rejected by the VDP agent?

Yes, there is a 90-day time limit that is given to the taxpayer that begins as of the Effective Date of Disclosure (EDD), the date in which the CRA receives the completed and signed Form RC199, the “Voluntary Disclosure Program (VDP) Taxpayer Agreement,” or the date that similar information contained in Form RC199 was sent in a letter to the CRA that was signed by the taxpayer or authorized representative. The taxpayer may request an extension in writing to the Assistant Director of the Enforcement Division of the Tax Services Office (TSO) for more time if it is needed.

Is there a time-limit to disclose my identity in a “no-name” or anonymous disclosure to the CRA’s Voluntary Disclosure Program?

Yes, there is a 90-day time limit to disclose your identity from the date in which Form RC199, “Voluntary Disclosure Program (VDP) Taxpayer Agreement,” is submitted to the Canada Revenue Agency. This time limit is strictly adhered to and will not be extended. Please note that if Form RC199 is not submitted but similar information that is asked in this form is provided to the Canada Revenue Agency and is signed either by the taxpayer or his or her authorized representative then the CRA will consider the start-date to be the date in which this information is provided, regardless of whether Form RC199 is later submitted.

Can a taxpayer make more than one disclosure to the Voluntary Disclosure Program?

In most cases, taxpayers can only participate once in the Voluntary Disclosure Program since the Canada Revenue Agency expects that taxpayers will stay compliant after having already reaped the benefits of the VDP. However, it is up to the discretion of the CRA to accept a second application if the applicant can demonstrate strong enough reasons for their non-compliance that were beyond his or her control. In this case, the second application would have to be a named or identified disclosure, and he or she would have to explicitly state that he or she had already participated or applied to the Voluntary Disclosure Program, otherwise the application may be denied if it is discovered that it was the taxpayer’s second disclosure to the VDP. It is important to note that a second application for a disclosure already made and denied due to it being incomplete will automatically be denied the second time around regardless of whether the second application is now complete.

How do I go about making a disclosure to the Canada Revenue Agency’s Voluntary Disclosure Program?

One can make a disclosure to the CRA’s Voluntary Disclosure Program in two ways: 1) by way of a third-party representative, like a tax lawyer or chartered accountant, where appropriate authorization is given (via a specific CRA form) to the tax professional to act on your behalf when dealing with the VDP agent. Given the sensitive nature of the application and the complexities of the Voluntary Disclosure Program, hiring a tax lawyer is recommended for all taxpayers interested in making a disclosure to the CRA’s Voluntary Disclosure Program. If you are a small business owner or are self-employed and would like to find out if you qualify for the Voluntary Disclosure Program, call Barrett Tax Law for a free consultation with a tax lawyer at 1-877-8-TAX-TAX.

2) The taxpayer can also handle the application on his or her own. Although this is not recommended, some nevertheless prefer to deal with it him/herself). If you’ve decided to take this route, you first need to fill out and submit Form RC199, “Voluntary Disclosure Program (VDP) Taxpayer Agreement” found at the Canada Revenue Agency website:

www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/rc199/README.html

This form is used for both a no-name (or anonymous) disclosure and a named (or identified) disclosure. However, the no-name or anonymous disclosure should leave in blank any fields requesting information that would identify the applicant, specifically:

– Name
– Address
– Telephone number
– Social insurance number
– Partnership number
– Trust account number
– Business number
– License number
– GST/HST registration number or any other tax I.D. number issued by the Canada Revenue Agency to the taxpayer

The information that should be included for an anonymous or no-name disclosure is:
– The first three characters of the taxpayer’s postal code
– Taxpayer’s gender
– Taxpayer’s age

Even if you decide to handle the process on your own, it is still recommended that you consult a tax lawyer to have any questions or concerns addressed prior to starting the application process. Barrett Tax Law is pleased to offer a no obligation and confidential free consultation with a tax lawyer at 1-877-8-TAX-TAX.

I submitted an anonymous or “no-name” application to the Voluntary Disclosure Program and the CRA has reviewed it and informed me that the application would qualify for the program. Does this mean that once I submit my identity with the application that the Canada Revenue Agency must accept the validity of the application and accept it into the Voluntary Disclosure Program?

The Canada Revenue Agency has made it clear in all of their print and online publications that any discussion that takes place between the VDP agent and the anonymous taxpayer is .informal, non-binding, and general in nature.. This means that if the VDP officer informs the anonymous taxpayer that the application would indeed qualify for entry into the program, and the applicant submits his or her identification, then there still is a chance, albeit small, that the taxpayer.s application is denied. To reduce the likelihood of this happening, the applicant should consult a tax lawyer to help ensure the application fulfills the four conditions for entry into the VDP and will thus not be denied entry upon identification of the taxpayer. If you are a small business owner or are self-employed and want to find out if you qualify for the CRA.s Voluntary Disclosure Program, call or email Barrett Tax Law to book your free consultation with a tax lawyer at 1-877-8-TAX-TAX or consultations@fightthecra.ca

Do I need a tax lawyer or other tax professional to make a disclosure to the Canada Revenue Agency under the Voluntary Disclosure Program?

Although one can theoretically apply to the Voluntary Disclosure Program without the expert advice of a tax lawyer or assistance of any other tax professional, it is highly recommended that the taxpayer seek the legal guidance of a tax lawyer to ensure that the application to the Voluntary Disclosure Program is 1) the best option for the taxpayer given the circumstances and given all of the potential dangers that one is exposing him or herself to by providing potentially incriminating information to a governmental authority and 2) submitted in the proper format so as to not have the application rejected and consequently be left vulnerable to penalties and/or criminal prosecution.

It is important to remember that once a .named. voluntary disclosure has been made, there are no “take-backs”. The Canada Revenue Agency now has all of the information necessary to apply penalties and even criminal prosecution – all because of information the taxpayer innocently submitted to the Canada Revenue Agency under the pretext that the CRA would not use the information against them to apply said penalties! Even if the taxpayer submits a “no-name” or anonymous application to the VDP, it is still recommended that the taxpayer consult a tax lawyer because 1) if the application is submitted improperly and is subsequently rejected by the CRA, then the taxpayer has effectively lost their only opportunity to submit an anonymous voluntary disclosure to the Canada Revenue Agency since the CRA will not accept duplicate “no-name” applications from the taxpayer for the same information and 2) if the application is submitted and is accepted by the CRA and the taxpayer decides to go ahead without the expert advice of a tax lawyer and identifies him or herself to the CRA, there is still a possibility that the CRA finds something wrong after the fact and declares the application as invalid, leaving the taxpayer vulnerable to penalties, including criminal prosecution!

Remember, the Voluntary Disclosure Program is a program implemented and administered by the Canada Revenue Agency, whose interests lie solely with the government of Canada and whose objective it is to collect taxes on behalf of the Canadian government. They are not your friend. They will not defend or take your personal interests into account. A tax lawyer, on the other hand, is always on your side and will always defend and fight for your rights against the Canada Revenue Agency. If you are a small business owner or are self-employed and have any questions about the Voluntary Disclosure Program or any other tax issue, call or email Barrett Tax Law to book your free consultation with a tax lawyer at 1-877-8-TAX-TAX orconsultations@fightthecra.ca. All consultations made to Barrett Tax Law are protected by lawyer-client privilege and are thus completely confidential, regardless of whether or not the taxpayer hires Barrett Tax Law to represent him or her.

Can I make an anonymous disclosure to the Canada Revenue Agency just to “test the waters” and see if my disclosure would be accepted and deemed valid by the CRA without unnecessarily divulging potentially incriminating information?

An anonymous or “No-Name” disclosure can be made to the Canada Revenue Agency for the purposes of letting a taxpayer know whether or not he or she would qualify under the Voluntary Disclosure Program. If all of the necessary information for a disclosure is provided to the VDP agent with the exception of the name of the taxpayer, then the VDP agent can review the information and advise the anonymous taxpayer on what the tax implications would be for the disclosed information. However, if the taxpayer then decides to go through with the disclosure and submits his or her identity to the CRA and the information provided changes or is not the same as it was when it was given anonymously, then the disclosure could be declared invalid and consequently have any penalties or charges made against the taxpayer. There is a 90 day time-limit to disclose the identity of the taxpayer once a “no-name” disclosure has been made. Also, duplicate “no-name” disclosures for the same information and the same taxpayer cannot be made. If said taxpayer has already made a “no-name” disclosure and let the 90 day time-limit pass for identifying him or herself to the CRA, then the second disclosure would have to be a named disclosure where the taxpayer identifies him or herself to the CRA immediately upon making said disclosure.

What are the requirements or conditions that must be fulfilled in order for the disclosure under the Voluntary Disclosure Program to be deemed eligible and valid by authorized representatives of the Canada Revenue Agency?

There are four conditions that must be met in order for the disclosure to be accepted and deemed eligible under the Voluntary Disclosure Program. These conditions are as follows:

1. The disclosure must be completely voluntary and a) not due to the taxpayer.s knowledge that the CRA was going to investigate or audit him or her over the information being revealed OR b) not due to the CRA or any other governmental authority already having started an investigation or other enforcement action(s) against the taxpayer, such as a .Request to File. form already having been sent to the taxpayer prior to the disclosure, OR c) not due to an investigation or enforcement action having been taken against any entity associated with the taxpayer making the disclosure, like a corporation or spouse or business partner, where that investigation or enforcement act is adequately connected to the information being revealed in the disclosure and these actions would have likely exposed the information being divulged.
2. The disclosure must be complete where all of the information being provided in the disclosure is true and provided in its entirety without any intentional omissions, and all of the documents required for the validity of the disclosure is also submitted or delivered within the specified timeframe made by the VDP agent.
3. The disclosure must involve some sort of penalty that would have been applied if the information provided would have been discovered by the CRA prior to the disclosure. For example, if the taxpayer ends up not owing the CRA any taxes or a tax refund is expected for the taxpayer, then the application for the VDP would be ineligible and would instead be handled via normal processing methods.
4. The disclosure must include information that is at least one year overdue

What happens if an application to the Voluntary Disclosure Program is made and the Canada Revenue Agency rejects the application and deems the disclosure as invalid?

If a voluntary disclosure is made by the taxpayer to the VDP, which means the taxpayer discloses all of the information he or she had omitted or reveals the errors made in their filing(s), and the CRA deems the disclosure as invalid, then the taxpayer would indeed be subject to whatever penalties the CRA thinks should be applied given all of the information that the CRA now knows about the taxpayer.s file. The taxpayer may even be subject to criminal charges brought on by the Canada Revenue Agency.

Are all applications to the Voluntary Disclosure Program (VDP) accepted by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)?

No, not all applications to the CRA.s VDP are accepted. There are certain requirements that must be met in order for the Canada Revenue Agency to accept the disclosure and apply the benefits of such disclosure (i.e. no penalties or criminal charges). It is completely up to the discretion of the authorized VDP agent to decide whether or not the requirements have been met and consequently have the disclosure declared as valid.

What is the Voluntary Disclosure Program (VDP)?

The Voluntary Disclosure Program (VDP) is a program created and administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), which permits taxpayers to amend or correct their previous tax filing or reveal information to the Canada Revenue Agency not previously provided in their tax return. The purpose of the program is to allow taxpayers to come forward out of their own accord to amend their tax return without fear of criminal prosecution and reduce the likelihood of additional penalty charges being applied to the taxes owed to the government of Canada. (NOTE: it is a commonly held belief that additional penalty charges will not be applied upon being accepted into the Voluntary Disclosure Program. This is FALSE. In some cases, additional penalties are still charged even if the application into the program was deemed as valid by the Canada Revenue Agency).

It is important to note that the Canada Revenue Agency publishes contradictory information with regards to penalty relief which may confuse many taxpayers who are considering participating in the Voluntary Disclosure Program. On the one hand, the CRA states:

“If the CRA accepts a disclosure as having met the conditions set out in this policy, it will be considered a valid disclosure and the taxpayer will not be charged penalties or prosecuted with respect to disclosure.. And on the other hand, it states in the same publication that .the Minister does not have to grant relief under the VDP provisions. Each request will be reviewed and decided on it.s own merit. If relief is denied or partly granted, the CRA will provide the taxpayer with an explanation of the reasons and factors for the decision.”

This is where the expert advice of a tax lawyer is crucial. The last thing a taxpayer wants or expects is to be accepted into the Voluntary Disclosure Program only to be told that penalty charges will only be partially waived, or even worse, not waived at all! A tax lawyer will be able to advise the taxpayer as to what he or she can expect from this proceeding, whether it is advisable to participate in the Voluntary Disclosure Program at all, and defend the taxpayer.s rights if the Canada Revenue Agency decides to go back on their agreement. Small business owners and self-employed individuals may call Barrett Tax Law for a free legal consultation with an experience tax lawyer to get all of their questions and concerns addressed at 1-877-8-TAX-TAX orconsultations@fightthecra.ca. All consultations are protected by lawyer-client privilege and are thus completely confidential, regardless of whether the taxpayer hires Barrett Tax Law to represent him or her.

Disclosures under the VDP can be made only for income tax filings, excise taxes, excise duties under the EA 2001, source deductions, GST/HST filings, and ATSCA and SLPECA charges. The taxpayer would still have to make the necessary payments plus any applicable interest charges to the Canada Revenue Agency, but the taxpayer would not be subject to criminal prosecution and may be free from having to pay additional penalty charges. The CRA also may provide partial relief for applicable interest charges, but that is solely under the discretion of the Canada Revenue Agency. All of the benefits that a taxpayer could receive from the Voluntary Disclosure Program are subject to acceptance into the program by an authorized VDP agent.