Taxpayer relief help can be given in conditions where some actions of the CRA have come in the way of the taxpayer’s obligations. Other conditions that apply for seeking taxpayer relief help could be inability to pay on part of the taxpayer due to financial hardship and through circumstances arising out of natural calamities or civil disturbances and disruptions.
CRA may cancel or waive certain penalties and interest charges when they affect a taxpayer’s ability to pay the taxes resulting mainly from actions of the Agency itself such as delays in processing. Such delays may result in the taxpayers not getting informed within a reasonable time period, stating the amount of tax to be paid. The delay in the relaying of information can result in the taxpayers not being able to pay their taxes within the time limit allowed.
The actions of CRA could also be erroneous, leading a taxpayer to file the tax return or make payments, guided by information which may be incorrect. The errors also could be in the processing of the notices. Other actions of the CRA that could have an impact on the taxpayer relief help would be a delay in the resolution of an appeal or a Notice of Objection or in the completion of a tax audit.
CRA also considers waiving or cancelling the interest charges and penalties where an inability is proven and confirmed by the taxpayer who may be experiencing financial hardship. In these cases, the penalties could be waived or cancelled in part or in whole towards their tax obligations. CRA reviews the case if the taxpayer is not able to make the tax payments or negotiate payment plan schedules as the interest charges make up a considerable portion of the payment amount.
As a part of the taxpayer relief help, CRA will assess that the accumulated interest payment would result in an extended inability on the part of the taxpayer, resulting in financial hardship and a burden on the provision of basic necessities like food, medical help and conveyance or shelter expenses. In such cases, taxpayer relief help is provided by considering cancellation of all or a portion of the entire accumulated interest amount.
It has to be noted that CRA would not consider a cancellation of a penalty as a result of the taxpayer being unable to pay the taxes because of financial hardship, unless it can be proved that it was due to extraordinary circumstances which prevented tax compliance. This could be because of natural disasters or in special cases where a business experiences severe financial difficulty. Enforcement of penalties would affect the continuity of that business’ operations, resulting in the employees losing their jobs or the community’s welfare being jeopardised. In these cases, penalties could be waived as taxpayer relief help.
It is a wrong notion on the part of some Canadians that the taxpayer relief help is a program that is allowed on a one-time basis. This is not true, as all residents who have been charged interest or penalties carry the right to seek relief every time that it is warranted. The taxpayer relief help group does not maintain any inventory of collections and it will review cases on their submission merit and not by any influence of a collection diary.