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Objection to an assessment - Part 1

From tax expert Gerry Vittoratos
February 14, 2017

Was your client assessed incorrectly by the CRA? Did you contact the CRA to try to rectify the assessment with no success? Read on to learn about the procedures to properly object to the CRA’s assessment.

When all conventional avenues have been exhausted with the CRA, you can submit a Notice of Objection to the Chief of Appeals through the T400A form. This form relates to any objection you want to file against a notice of assessment or determination that relates to the Income Tax Act (ITA).  As per paragraph 165(1) of the ITA, you have until the later of the following dates to file the notice:

  • One year after the filing due date
  • 90 days after the day of the sending of the notice of assessment.

The Notice of Objection should be filed to the appropriate Appeals Intake Centre.

The Notice of Objection should list the reasons for the notice, and the relevant facts related to the case.

As per ITA 165(3), the Minister is required to review the notice of assessment and then either cancel, confirm, change, or reassess. Your client will receive a first contact letter from the CRA usually within 30 days of receipt of the notice, and it will indicate the delay in starting the file (usually 8-12 months).  The notice itself is reviewed by an Appeals Officer who is independent from the Audit and assessments branches of the CRA.

If you miss the deadline above, paragraph 166.1(1) of the ITA allows for an extension of the deadline mentioned above, at the Minister’s discretion. ITA 166.1(7) indicates that this request can only be made within one year of the expiration of the regular deadline, and the request must include the following information:

  • Reasons as to why it was impossible for your client to file the Notice of Objection himself/herself or instruct another to act in their name,
  • Show that your client had a bona fide intention to object to the notice of assessment,
  • Show that, given the circumstances listed above, it would be just and equitable to grant the request,
  • Show that the request was made as soon as circumstances permitted.

In the next part of the series, we will see what recourse your client has if the CRA does not rule in your favour.

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