You can file an objection if you think the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) misinterpreted the facts of your tax situation or misapplied the tax law. It allows you to have your say about your notice of tax assessment or reassessment.
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 redetermination. 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 redetermination
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, however, you will be responsible for the interest charged by CRA from the date of the assessment to payment. 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.