Speak to the Canada Revenue Agency when you disagree with a decision
Some disagreements are a result of a lack of information or miscommunication. Before you formally dispute a CRA decision, contact the CRA if you have new or additional information to help the CRA with a decision, you can request an adjustment. This often resolves the disagreement.
After talking to the CRA, you may not be satisfied with the explanation. You may think the CRA has misinterpreted the facts or has not applied the law correctly. If you find yourself in one of these situations, you can request a formal review.
You have the right to a formal review
You have the right to a formal and impartial review if you believe we have misinterpreted the facts or have not applied the law correctly. You can file an objection to request a formal review of your case.
In most cases, you have to file a notice of objection within 90 days from the date on the notice of assessment or notice of determination. When filing a notice of objection, you have to submit the facts, reasons, and documentation in support of your position.
Where an objection is filed, an officer will be assigned to the file. This officer will conduct a preliminary review of the facts and issues relevant to your situation. As part of this review, you or your authorized representative may be contacted to discuss the matter and to get more documents and details. The officer will then consider the information and make a decision.
You have the right to appeal following a formal review, if you are not satisfied with the decision reached during the review, you can appeal or seek a judicial review from the appropriate court or, for certain matters, to the Canadian International Trade Tribunal.
Legislation guides the appeals process, determining the Court or Tribunal you deal with and what process you will follow. Information is available on how to file an appeal to the Court depending on your circumstances.
Note that the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights gives you the right not to pay income tax amounts in dispute until you have had an impartial review by the CRA or, if you have sent an appeal, until the court has issued its decision. However, interest charges will continue to accumulate during this period. Also, in certain circumstances, the CRA can take collection action even though an objection or appeal has been sent. These circumstances include, namely, cases where an amount is in jeopardy, where the amount assessed relates to GST or source deductions, as well as cases where the taxpayer is a large corporation.
If you disagree with the Income Tax Act or other tax legislation matters, contact the Department of Finance Canada. The CRA administers tax legislation whereas the Department of Finance Canada is responsible for developing tax laws.