If you have a tax problem in Canada, repercussions with the Canada Revenue Agency can be severe. If you filed your income taxes late or committed an infraction under the Canadian Income Tax Act, like failing to disclose income or writing off expenses that you weren’t entitled to, the Canada Revenue Agency has incredible power to punish you. By far the most common weapon that they use to punish you is your pocket book.
When an income tax return is filed late and the CRA assesses what you owe, or a previously filed return is re-assessed and new monies are owed, the CRA will add interest and penalties to the amount of the tax debt that you owe. Often times, when an individual has a tax debt, the amount that they owe will double in size once the interest and penalties are calculated.
Sometimes individuals have personal circumstances that led to their tax problem which is why taxpayer relief in Canada exists. Taxpayer relief in Canada is a formal program offered by the Canada Revenue Agency where the CRA can agree to cancel all or part of the interest and penalties. You can qualify under the Taxpayer relief program in Canada for one of the following reasons:
1. A natural disaster like a fire or flood. For example, you misstated expenses resulting in an inaccurate return filing because your basement flooded and all of your receipts were destroyed
2. Extreme financial hardship
3. A documented personal issue like a medical problem or death in the family
4. An error on the part of the CRA
The only challenge with the Taxpayer relief program in Canada is that it is a long and complicated process and very few applications under this program are granted. To hire a professional to make an application under this program could cost you thousands. In addition, the CRA will not reduce the principal tax debt owed. The CRA does not offer any program that will reduce the principal tax debt that is owed.
Before considering making an application under the Taxpayer relief program in Canada you may want to first look at the principal amount of the tax debt you owe and whether you can afford to pay it off at all. Often people who owe a large tax debt are not even in a position to pay it, regardless of whether or not they receive interest and penalty relief under the Taxpayer relief program in Canada.
The longer you stretch out the time that you have a tax problem, the worse the tax problem will become. If the application under the Taxpayer relief program in Canada is denied, you will owe further interest that will have accumulated through the application period. The CRA will also continue to try to collect on the principal tax debt owed.
There are other financial programs available that will freeze the interest on the tax debt that you owe and can even eliminate or reduce interest, penalties and the principal tax debt that you owe. These programs can also stop CRA collection action and provide you with immediate relief. These programs are not available through the Canada Revenue Agency, however you may access them through a financial consultant who works with people who have debt problems.
For more information about the Taxpayer relief program in Canada or if you have a tax problem and need financial guidance or debt relief please visit www.debtcare.ca or call 416-907-2582.