Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Small Business Alert: Are You Dealing with a CRA Frozen Bank Account?

The deadline for filing your business tax returns has passed - for many, this season is a stressful one, but if you filed on time and don’t owe, that stress if finally out of the way. However, if you do owe, or are still dealing with a debt following last year’s deadline, you may be facing the reality of a CRA frozen bank account.

In the past, the CRA tended to take at least a few months before issuing a notice to freeze a bank account. However, they are now freezing them far sooner, adding to the already existing mountain of stress when it comes to dealing with your small business finances.

Furthermore, not only are they freezing accounts far sooner than they used to, they are also freezing them for far less - amounts as low as $1000. This is causing a great deal of trouble for many businesses that get stuck in the CRA web. Not only is this an embarrassing situation to have to deal with, it can be ruinous for your business reputation - especially when payments can’t be made or cheques begin to bounce…

With most creditors, collection action, such as a frozen bank account, requires court approval, but one of the biggest problems with the CRA is that they don’t need a court order to freeze your account - and your bank must comply once they receive notice.

Wait - how does the CRA know where you bank? Often you’ve told them yourself. Any negotiations you enter into, cheques you send, etc., likely provide them with personal information that makes obtaining this information easy (if you haven’t provided the exact information yourself). Even without this information, a little extra legwork and a letter to the 5 major banks will often yield the same results. The reach of the CRA is long - once collection action has been decided upon, the ball is entirely in their court.

So, does this mean that once your account has been frozen that you are dead in your tracks? Of course not - you do have a few options, but the right solution will depend on your personal circumstances. There are programs offered by the government that have the ability to immediately unfreeze your account. Furthermore, if you invoke these programs very quickly, you may be able to get your account unfrozen before CRA removes the funds from your account.

At DebtCare Canada, we are experienced in dealing with various tax problems, including CRA frozen bank accounts. Call us today to discuss your options: 1-888-890-0888.

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