As a Canadian, you are required to pay taxes every year and file your income tax statements annually. Unfortunately too many Canadians run into problems with CRA for a whole host of reasons. All it takes is for CRA to have a suspicion about you and then you will find yourself facing a wave of e-assessments, penalties, interest, audits, investigations and more… You just would not believe how many times CRA goes after taxpayers and they were wrong to begin with!
This is why it is important to know your rights according to the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.
What is the Taxpayer Bill of Rights? This is a set of rights that you have in your relationship and dealings with the Canada Revenue Agency. These rights are meant to protect you and confirm CRA’s commitment to serve the public with ‘professionalism, courtesy and fairness.’ This does not mean that if you owe money to CRA and they are aggressively collecting from you that a complaint under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights will stop them. It does however set out guidelines as to how they deal with you.
According to the Bill, you have the right to:
- Receive credits and benefits and pay no more or no less than required by the law.
- Have access to service in both languages.
- Having your information should remain private and confidential at all times. With that said if they issue a requirement to pay to your bank or employer in the course of collecting back taxes this is not protected.
- Dispute or appeal anything that you do not agree with.
- Be treated professionally, courteously, and fairly.
- Have things explained clearly and accurately, and within a reasonable amount of time.
- Not be required to pay if you have filed any form of objection or asked for a review.
- Have the law applied consistently.
- Lodge a complaint if you feel as though CRA has been mishandling or conducting inappropriate actions/behaviours, etc. and be informed of an investigation’s findings.
- Have the costs of compliance taken into account when administering tax legislation.
- Expect the CRA to be responsible and accountable.
- Relief from penalties and interest due to extraordinary circumstances.
- Updated and published service standards and reports.
- Expect CRA to inform you about questionable tax schemes in a timely manner.
- Be represented by a person of your choice.
- Lodge a complaint and request a formal review without fear of reprisal.
Protect yourself by better understanding your rights. For clarification or more information about any of the sections in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights please contact Tax Solutions Canada by calling 1-888-868-1400 or visit us online at www.taxsolutionscanada.com.