Listening to all the attack style ads being run by some local tax lawyers can become nauseating – particularly to the trained ear of a tax professional listening to imaginary fear mongering. CRA does have wide reaching powers and it is not difficult to find yourself in hot water with them – and then to shoot holes in your own case trying to deal with it without professional help.
Yes, CRA danger is real, so fear associated to consequences is totally legitimate. But sometimes we have to learn to tune in when fear is being used to sell.
For example – be wary of those lawyers who say that you cannot use a professional tax advisory practice or an accountant to resolve your tax problem, implying that because they are not lawyers they are somehow incompetent or do not have the so-called lawyer powers to protect your best interests. This is simply a fear tactic. The truth of it is, in all fields, you have specialists. Most accountants specialize in tax return preparation, while others specialize in bank audits. Yes, other accountants specialize in helping people with tax problems, but as with anything, with a solid history and good recommendations there are many accountants capable of addressing tax problems.
Another profession that this small group of lawyers likes to attack are trustees in bankruptcy. A trustee is a court appointed officer who administers proposals and bankruptcies. They are neutral, unbiased professionals and are obliged to serve the interests of all parties to the bankruptcy – creditors and the individual. Sometimes people simply cannot pay their debt. The existence of trustees is a threat to tax lawyers because, at the end of the day, if you cannot pay your debt there is no need to fight the CRA. You can simply take up your right under Federal law to protection from your creditors and enjoy that protection (no garnishments, no frozen bank accounts, no liens on your house, no collection calls). Creditors (including CRA) cannot say “no” – in fact the trustee’s powers to protect you (without bankruptcy) is higher than CRA’s power to attack you. Not to mention the fact that behind closed doors, many of these very same lawyers refer their clients to the same trustees being attacked in their ads.
Accountants are highly educated professionals. Trustees are highly educated professionals. Lawyers are highly educated professionals. All work in industries with high ethical standards. Any lawyer or professional who tries to use fear to sell their services and therefore begins denigrating another professional, should be a cause for concern.
In the past, we have seen the emergence of many tax consultancies that work with lawyers, accountants and trustees to serve the individual needs of all of their clients on an as needed basis – making dealing with a tax problem that much more affordable. Among the best of the consultancies are those with a strong work history at CRA. After all, who knows the opponent’s game better than their former coach or players? Just make sure that their experience is not from 10 years ago or more because CRA policies and procedures have changed an awful lot in that time.
The first step before going to an accountant or a lawyer is to sit down with a tax consultancy – one that can review the tax and financial aspects related to your tax problem. You will then be positioned to know what resources will need to be deployed in the process and also potentially save yourself thousands of dollars in the process.
For more assistance please contact Tax Solutions Canada today at 1.888.868.1400.