You are entitled to obtain an explanation of your notice before sending an objection or appeal to the CRA. Also, if you have new or additional information, you can request an adjustment (Taxpayer Bill of Rights). However, talking to the CRA will not delay the deadline for sending an objection or an appeal.
After talking to the CRA, you may not be satisfied with their explanation, or you may think they have misinterpreted the facts or the law. If you find yourself in one of these situations, you have a legislated right to object, appeal, or request a second-level review of your concern. Objections, appeals, and reviews may deal with such things as:
- income tax assessments and reassessments
- Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance assessments and rulings
- goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) assessments and reassessments
- determinations and re-determinations of the GST/HST credit, the Canada Child Benefit and the Universal Child Care Benefit
- taxpayer relief requests and voluntary disclosures.
When you file an objection, the CRA reviews all the information you provided before making a final decision about your case. If the CRA agrees with you in whole or in part, they will adjust your tax return and send you a notice of reassessment or re-determination. If the CRA disagrees with your objection, they will send you a notice informing you that the assessment or determination you disputed was correct.
Conditions for filing an objection
You can object only to four types of notices: and you have to file your objection within specific deadlines.
- notice of assessment
- notice of reassessment
- notice of determination
- notice of re-determination
These include notices about benefits or credits such as the GST/HST credit, the Canada child benefit, the disability tax credit and various provincial or territorial credits.
You cannot file an objection to dispute a statement of account or a proposal letter from an auditor explaining the reason for the proposed changes.
If you are in a loss position, you cannot file an objection because there is no tax, interest, or penalty involved. However, you can file an objection after you receive a notice of loss determination.
How to file the objection
Objections can be filed online (for both individuals and businesses), an authorized representative can file an objection (i.e. a lawyer), or an objection can be filed by mailing Form T400A to the Chief of Appeals at your Appeals Intake Centre.
An objection must be filed within 90 days from the date of your notice of assessment or determination (it is possible to seek an extension). If there are any limitations on your right to object, the Appeal Division will contact you. Processing times for objections are estimated on a case-by-case basis and vary depending on the complexity.
In most cases, you do not have to pay income tax amounts that are in dispute until the CRA has completed its review of your objection. After the CRA decides on your objection, you have to pay any amounts owing that are no longer under dispute, including taxes, penalties, and interest. Collection actions are usually delayed for 90 days after a decision is sent.
If you disagree with the CRA’s decision on your objection, you are entitled to file an appeal in Court.