CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) has implemented the following changes to their procedures in regards to collections, audit, objections, and appeals due to COVID-19 as follows:
Collections activities on new debts will be suspended until further notice, and flexible payment arrangements will be available.
If you can’t pay your taxes, child and family benefit overpayments, Canada Student Loans, or other government program overpayments in full, payment arrangements are available.
Collections staff will address pre-existing situations on a case-by-case basis to prevent financial hardship.
Banks, and employers and other third parties do not need to comply or remit on existing Requirements to pay (RTP) during this time.
The CRA is resuming a full range of audit work. They are prioritizing actions that are beneficial to the taxpayer or where taxpayers have indicated there is an urgency to advancing their audit. They focusing on higher dollar audits first, audits close to completion, and those with a strategic importance to the Government of Canada, provinces and territories, or our tax treaty partners. In addition, efforts to combat suspected fraud and other criminal activity are advancing.
New methods of taxpayer and registrant interaction will be required, and the CRA is working to develop procedures and protocols to adapt these COVID-19 health restrictions including providing taxpayers with the option to send information via e-mail.
Objections, appeals and taxpayer relief
Objections related to Canadians’ entitlement to benefits and credits have been identified as a critical service and will continue to be delivered during COVID-19. There should not be any delays with the processing of these objections.
For objections related to other tax matters filed by individuals and businesses, the CRA is currently holding these accounts in abeyance. No collection action will be taken with respect to these accounts at this time.
For objections that are due between March 18, 2020 and June 30, 2020, CRA is effectively extending the deadline to June 30, 2020.
The Tax Court of Canada is currently closed.
Taxpayers who are unable to file a return or make a payment by the tax-filing and payment deadlines because of COVID-19 can request the cancellation of penalty and interest charged to their account. Penalties and interest will not be charged if the new deadlines that the government has announced to tax-filing and payments are met.
Once business operations resume, the Taxpayer Relief Program will review requests related to COVID-19 on a priority basis.
Suspending individual (T1) validation and review activities
Some review and verification activities were initiated prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and clients may have been contacted to provide supporting information in relation to amounts claimed on their individual tax and benefit returns. If Canadians have received any CRA correspondence that includes dates for response or provision of documents for validation and verification programs, no action is required from them at this time.