Canada’s income tax deadline for the 2014 tax year is right around the corner! While some anticipate refunds and are off to file with bells on, others are dreading this date and even considering not filing because of a tax debt that will follow.
First of all, if you think you will owe, not filing is not the answer. You may think it will buy you time, but really all it will buy is penalties, interest and a bad history with CRA. If you think you will owe, be realistic about what you will owe and your ability to repay.
Now, it is true that once you file CRA will ask you to pay the debt in full. With that said, CRA has been known to accept payment plans of up to 24 months on a tax debt. While there is no guarantee that this will happen for you, it has happened for others.
If you took the amount of your tax debt and divided it by 24 months, would you be able to afford to repay the debt?
If the answer is yes, the next steps you take are crucial.
Negotiating directly with CRA can be dangerous. Before agreeing to any monthly payment arrangement they will ask for full disclosure of your assets, income, income sources, debt and more…
The challenge here is that they may agree to payments over a 6 month period, based on a 24 month repayment, and then at the end of 6 months take the option to re-review your financial information. At this point they can reject renegotiating the monthly payments, demand payment in full and then use the information in your financial disclosure to take collection action against you.
Another common occurrence is that when you submit an honest budget which includes your minimum obligations to other creditors, the CRA may then reject those payments and say that any surplus funds which could be directed to other creditors need to be directed to CRA. Even with all of this said, you absolutely do need to do something.
If the answer was no…
If you know that repaying the debt monthly, even over 24 months, is highly unlikely, you need to get some financial assistance immediately. A professional experienced with financial restructuring may be able to come up with a solution where you can repay the debt over a longer term, say 5 years.
In either scenario…
In either case, professional help is a necessity. Negotiating with CRA is, to be frank, too dangerous financially. Financial professionals with knowledge regarding dealing with CRA know how to navigate the bureaucracy and protect your information.
Don’t ignore a tax debt in the hopes that it will magically disappear - it won’t. Call DebtCare Canada today: 1-888-890-0888.