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CRA Audit Appeals

CRA Audits are Scary We Make them Less Scary

CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) reviews and audits can be stressful. When the CRA or other provincial revenue agencies come looking for money they believe you owe it’s easy to start from a place of defense.

Gathering documents, some you have and some you might not, is time consuming and frustrating, but there are ways to make the tax audit process less stressful.

When you file your income tax return, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) reviews the return and sends you a Notice of Assessment. The CRA may, at a later date, go back and reassess your returns. If the agency does this, you will receive a Notice of Reassessment. If you agree with the assessment or reassessment, you can pay the tax owing (if any) and move on. However, if you disagree, you can object to the assessment.

This is done by completing a Notice of Objection. The deadline to file an objection is 90 days from the date on the Notice of Assessment or Reassessment. If you miss this deadline, you will need to request an extension. If you do this, you’ll need to explain why you were unable to file your objection within the 90-day window.

In your objection, you will need to lay out the facts and provide supporting documentation to confirm that your view is correct. The CRA appeals division will notify you when your objection has been received and an appeals officer from the CRA appeals branch will be assigned to your case and will review your objection. It can take quite some time for this to happen. Taxpayers often find themselves waiting many months and, in some cases, over a year to have their objection reviewed by a member of the tax appeal team.

Once reviewed, the CRA appeals branch will contact you to either confirm that your objection is valid, to change the Notice of Assessment or Reassessment, or confirm the original assessment or reassessment. If you agree with this decision, you can pay any taxes that are owed, and the matter will be considered closed. However, if you disagree, it is possible to file a tax appeal.

A Notice of Appeal is a document stating that you have made the decision to challenge the CRA in court. Much like with an objection, there is a time limit for filing a Notice of Appeal. You have 90 days from the date stamped on the response to your objection to file a Notice of Appeal form with the Tax Court of Canada. Again, is it possible to have this deadline extended, but you will need to provide a reason for why you were not able to file on time as well as proof to back up your claims. You must also show that you filed your tax appeal as soon as you could given your situation.

If you are considering filing a Notice of Appeal form and taking your case to tax court, it is critical that you have legal representation. The CRA will certainly have their Department of Justice lawyers present in the Tax Court of Canada (as well as in the Federal Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, if the situation escalates) and it’s vital that taxpayers have the same type of professional representation. The team at Farber is made up of ex-CRA and legal professionals who have in-depth knowledge of Canadian tax law as well as CRA processes. We can represent you in court, ensuring that your case is as strong as possible and presented clearly before the court.

Looking to Appeal a CRA Assessment?

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