After filing your business or personal income tax, you will receive a tax assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Reviewing the completed tax assessments is important as there may be errors.

Changing or Disputing your Tax Return

If you identify a tax assessment error or you have objections to your tax assessment, you can contact the CRA. To provide additional information that may change your tax return assessment, you can submit a tax adjustment request by mail or online.

For personal income taxes, you can change your tax return filing online through Change My Return, which you can access through your CRA My Account profile. If you filed your tax return online, you can also use the ReFile platform to make tax adjustment requests with certified NETFILE and EFILE software.

To request a reassessment of your T2 corporate return, you can send an application through the corporate tax filing software or send a mail clearly identifying your corporation’s name, business number (BN), and tax year. You must also send supporting documents such as your revised financial statements or the General Index of Financial Information (GIFI) revised schedules.

To make changes to a T3 trust return, complete Form T3-ADJ, T3 Adjustment Request and mail it to the CRA.

You can dispute your income tax assessment if you think the CRA  misinterpreted your income tax forms and your supporting documentation. You also have the right to object to the Canada Revenue Agency’s application of the income tax law on your income tax assessments or determinations for loss, goods and services tax / harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit, the Canada Child Benefit (CCB), or the disability tax credit (DTC).

There are certain situations when you cannot object to the CRA’s assessment, such as the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) room statement, Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) room statement, carryforward balances, Home Buyers Plan (HBP) balances, Refund Interest, Tax Deducted at source, CPP/EI refunds, Old Age Security (OAS) recovery tax, and Statements of Account.

Time Limits for Filing an Objection

Individuals filing personal tax assessment objections must do this by the later of these two timelines:

  • one year after the tax filing deadline for the return and
  • 90 days from the notice of assessment or determination date (excluding loss determinations).

In most cases, you must file an objection within 90 days from your notice of assessment or determination date.

Corporations must also file objections within 90 days from the date of the notice of assessment or determination.

Objection Filing Extension

If you cannot meet the objection filing deadline due to reasons beyond your control, you can request an extension.

You can file an objection filing extension through the CRA My Account. Corporations can request an extension through the My Business Account online services.

The CRA also allows filing for an objection extension by writing to the Chief of Appeals at the Appeals Intake Centre.

When filing an objection extension, you must support your request with convincing reasons why you need the extension to file a late objection.

For the CRA to consider your extension application, you must apply no later than one year after the objection deadline. You also have to prove that you cannot meet the objection deadline, intend to object within the deadline, and that you applied as soon as you could.

While you must show that it is fair to receive an extension, the Chief of Appeals or another authorized officer may grant or refuse your extension application. The Canada Revenue Agency will let you know their decision via writing. If successful, your objection application becomes effective when the CRA sends you the extension decision notice.

Appealing an Extension Decision

If your extension application is rejected or you do not receive a decision within 90 days of filing for an extension, you can appeal the decision through the Tax Court of Canada within 90 days of the CRA sending the refusal notice.

When appealing an extension decision, provide three copies each of the application you sent to the Chief of Appeals, your objection, and the CRA’s refusal decision notice, if applicable.

You can send the documents online through the Tax Court of Canada’s Online Filing System, by fax, or by mail to the Registry of a Tax Court of Canada office.

How to File a Tax Objection

You can file different types of objections online through the CRA individual and business accounts. Through the online accounts, select “Register my formal dispute” (notice of objection). After registering, you will receive a case number, including the case number, when submitting supporting documents online.

You can also file an objection by completing Form T400A, Objection – Income Tax Act, and sending it by mail or fax to the Chief of Appeals. Here’s an example of an income tax objection letter: Objection letter.

When filing an objection, include as much information as possible, such as your name and complete mailing address, telephone contact, notice of assessment date, the tax year of the assessment, social insurance number, business number, trust account number, reasons for your objection, the name and address of your authorized representative, issue facts and description, relief amount.

You must sign and date an objection. Corporations or trusts must get an authorized officer to sign an objection.

If your objection application is invalid, the CRA will inform you why this is the case. If you have correctly submitted a tax objection, the CRA will review your case and make a decision.

The Canada Revenue Agency will adjust your tax return and send you a notice of reassessment or redetermination if your objection is successful. On the other hand, if your objection is denied, you will receive a notice to confirm that the assessment or determination was correct.

If you disagree with the CRA’s decision, you can appeal to the Tax Court of Canada. Likewise, you can appeal a Tax Court of Canada’s decision to the Federal Court of Appeal, and the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision to the Supreme Court of Canada.

File your tax returns and appeal a tax assessment with DW & Associates Chartered Professional Accountants.

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