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How to Dispute a Tax Decision

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The majority of tax returns, whether business or personal, are typically evaluated as filed by the taxpayer. However, Revenue Canada may occasionally reject the taxpayer’s return and levy further fees. This can be the result of a calculation or administrative mistake. Or there can be disagreement about how to handle a claimed deduction. This is particularly typical for a company that is being audited. Some processes allow a taxpayer to contest any higher tax assessment when they get a Notice of Assessment or Reassessment informing them that taxes are owed. A professional should be engaged from the beginning, preferably the accountant who prepared the return or one of our knowledgeable tax auditors with years of experience working with CRA tax auditors and understanding how to contest reassessments.

The deadline for submitting a tax notice of objection

The typical deadline for submitting a Notice of Objection to a Notice of Assessment or Reassessment is April 30th of the following year. There is a 90-day window from the date the Notice of Reassessment was mailed for prior tax years. However, because this date is subject to change, it should be confirmed with an experienced Ontario tax lawyer. A formal Notice of Objection must be submitted by a corporate taxpayer within 90 days of the date the Notice of Assessment or Reassessment was mailed. The first step in the appeals procedure is to submit this Notice of Objection. It protects the rights of a taxpayer under the Income Tax Act and is a requirement before any legal action may be brought.

You can ask the Tax Court of Canada for an extension of time to appeal if you miss the deadline for submitting an appeal. You have one year and 90 days from the date of confirmation, reassessment, or redetermination to file an appeal for income tax and GST/HST. According to the official Canadian government website, you must prove this in order to receive an extension.

  1. Within the appeal period:
  2. You could not appeal, have someone else appeal for you; or
  3. You intended to appeal;
  4. It would be fair to grant your application;
  5. You applied as soon as you could, and
  6. You have reasonable grounds for appealing

Disputing a CRA Decision

A CRA judgment can be disputed in a variety of ways. If you disagree with an evaluation, you might start by asking what the problem is. If this doesn’t address the problem, you can submit a formal Notice of Objection, which may either put an end to the dispute or pave the way for you to appeal the CRA’s decision to the Tax Court of Canada.

Most disagreements between taxpayers and the CRA are the result of a deficiency in supporting paperwork. You should be ready to provide the evidence required to support your claims at any point in the dispute resolution process, whether you are arguing for deductions and credits or proving your taxable income. Your chances of success will increase with the amount of detail in your submission.

File the informal complaint against the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)

When you get a Notice of Assessment or a Notice of Reassessment, the first thing you should nearly always do is speak with the CRA to understand the situation and start an informal review process. To facilitate this contact, the CRA makes a list of phone numbers available for taxpayers to use, depending on the situation. There is a significant probability that the issue will be settled at this point if the disagreement is over a straightforward issue, such as a document that is missing from your file and you can offer it. If not, you must submit a formal Notice of Objection.

Summary 

This blog has covered the points on how to dispute a tax decision. The majority of tax returns, whether business or personal, are typically evaluated as filed by the taxpayer. However, Revenue Canada may occasionally reject the taxpayer’s return and levy further fees. A formal Notice of Objection must be submitted by a corporate taxpayer within 90 days of the date the Notice of Assessment or Reassessment was mailed. If you disagree with a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) decision, you might start by asking what the problem is. If this doesn’t address the problem, you can submit a formal Notice of Objection. You should be ready to provide the evidence required to support your claims at any point in the dispute resolution process. If you face any problem while filing the taxes remember to take help from professionals as well. 

Salman Rundhawa
Salman Rundhawa
Salman Rundhawa is the founder of Filing Taxes. Salman provides valuable tax planning, accounting, and income tax preparation services in Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville, and Hamilton.

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