Know Your Rights
We regularly receive calls where the taxpayer has perceived unfair treatment by the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”). “Can they actually do this?” is, unfortunately, a popular refrain. Individual and corporate taxpayers should be aware of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights describes the treatment you are entitled to when dealing with the CRA. What are some of the rights?
Confidentiality: You have the right to privacy and confidentiality. This is important because much of the information disclosed to the CRA as part of your filings is of a private nature and not meant for public consumption. If for some reason you feel your privacy has been breached, you can contact the CRA and take it up with them.
Right to Review and Appeal: You have the right to have your file reviewed and you have the right to appeal. This is usually where we get involved. We file notices of objection to compel the CRA to review a reassessment and we get involved at the Tax Court appeal process by representing individual and corporate taxpayers. Tax dispute resolution is all we do at Ummat Tax Law.
Right to Information: You have the right to complete, accurate, clear and timely information. This is a critical right. Exercise it if necessary. If you feel the CRA has documents which are relevant to your filings or a dispute, request them, and cite this Right.
Right to Relief for Extraordinary Circumstances: You have the right to relief from penalties and interest under tax legislation because of extraordinary circumstances. If you suffer financial or family hardship that has affected your ability to comply with your tax obligations, invoke this Right. We routinely assist taxpayers in this way as well.
These are only a few of the Rights you have as taxpayers. We urge you to be aware of all of them and to be vigilant about all your communications with any tax authorities.