You’re Out of Time…Unless You Ask the CRA Nicely

After the CRA reviews your tax return, or finishes their audit of you or your business, they issue their tax bill. This is called a Notice of Assessment.  If you disagree with the assessment, you have 90 days to file a Notice of Objection.  People may assume that once you miss the 90 day deadline, you are out of luck.  However, that is not entirely correct.

The Problem

The objection deadlines are missed for many reasons.  The three situations where we see this occur most often involve:

  • Notices of Assessment being sent to an old address and being missed completely;
  • People thinking that they have objected to their assessment but not following the proper steps in doing so; and
  • Relying on others to file the objections on their behalf, and being let down.

The Solution

The Income Tax Act has a potential “get out of jail free” card for someone facing these situations, and we can help. We can seek the Minister of National Revenue’s permission to file your objection late.  This application can be made by us up to one year from the original (missed) objection deadline.  To be successful in the application, the following  must be demonstrated to the CRA:

  • the reason(s) why the objection was not filed on time;
  • the reason(s) why you were unable to act or to instruct another to file the objection for you on time, or that you had a bona fide intention to object to the assessment;
  • that it would be “just and equitable” to grant the application, and
  • that the application was made as soon as circumstances permitted.

We regularly prepare applications for “late objections” on behalf of new clients.  When done properly these applications are generally successful.  This allows for your tax dispute to be determined on its merits, rather than it being excluded from the appeals process for procedural reasons.

Tags: Jeff Glasner, Article, Tax