Canadians have a right to file a notice of objection if they think that the CRA has misinterpreted the law or facts. They can rightfully object to things like Canada child tax benefits, GST/HST credit, income tax evaluations or re-evaluations and disability tax credit among other things. A notice of objection marks the beginning in the official dispute resolution procedure. You are only given three months or ninety days to file your objection since the day you received the Notice of Assessment or Re-assessment.
The procedure for filing a notice of objection is simplified. You can go to your account section on the CRA website and click “Register my formal dispute”. Alternatively, you could access your business account section on the CRA site and click Corporation and then “Register my formal dispute”. There are two more ways: use Form T400A or write to the Chief of Appeals at a tax revenue office in your area. When using each of the four methods explained above, you should ensure that your notice of objection is as thorough as possible. If you cannot write a comprehensive objection you may hire a reputable tax professional to help you do so. Do not just submit a letter without proof. All relevant documents that could help proof your case should be included.
Could you extend time for submission of a notice of objection?
As aforementioned, you have up to ninety days to file your objection. However, if you need more time to proof your case, you may apply for an extended time frame by writing directly to the Chief of Appeals. You can do this at the local tax office. The extension is not allowed automatically. You must explain your case exhaustively, ensuring that the receiver of our plea will understand why you need extra time. If you are already late, or you definitely see yourself filing your notice of objection behind schedule, just apply for the extension. Ensure that your application is received within twelve months after your time limit has expired.
Can the matter reach the courts?
Yes, it can, if you completely disagree with the CRA’s review of your notice of objection. You must appeal your determination or assessment through the right channel: the Tax Court of Canada. What’s more, you could either file under the so-called General Procedure or Informal Procedure. Still, you have ninety days or three months to file an appeal with the above-mentioned court since the date of notice. For more information on the Tax Court of Canada policies, visit the CRA website.
If you are not comfortable with the court’s decision, the Federal Court of Appeal (short for “FCA”) is another place to seek your justice from. If the FCA does not help, go to the final judge: Supreme Court of Canada. As you can already suspect, at this stage, an attorney that is conversant with tax issues is a must-have. You are not going to get through this without proper planning, strength of character and money.
What if your notice of appeal is rejected?
If you need extra time to file your appeal, you can make an application to the Tax Court of Canada. Ensure that you explain yourself fully as to why you failed to file your notice of appeal on time or why you cannot make it within the set deadline. Although you have up to twelve months to file an appeal for time increase, you should do it right away.