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CRA Appeals

A CRA reassessment is not the final step in a tax dispute. As a taxpayer, you have the right to appeal your reassessment to CRA Appeals by filing a Notice of Objection. This is an early opportunity to set up your case for success at the Tax Court of Canada, so how you structure your Notice of Objection is crucial.

The Notice of Objection process provides taxpayers a structured means to contest a CRA assessment or reassessment that they believe is incorrect. Here’s a summary of how this process works:

  1. Initiation: The process begins when a taxpayer receives a Notice of Assessment or Reassessment. The taxpayer has 90 days from the date of this notice to file a Notice of Objection. If missed, an extension can be requested within one year of the deadline.

  2. Filing the Objection: The Notice of Objection can be filed online through the CRA’s secure services, by mail, or by fax. It should include detailed reasons for the Objection, relevant facts, and supporting documents. It is crucial for the Objection to be thorough as this forms the basis of the dispute.

  3. CRA Review: The CRA assigns an Appeals Officer to review the case. This review can take just a few months or many years depending on the complexity of the objection. During this period, the taxpayer can make further submissions and engage in settlement discussions.

  4. Decision: The CRA will conclude the review by either varying the initial assessment (making changes in favour of the taxpayer) or confirming it. If varied, new Notices of Reassessment will reflect the CRA’s new decision. If confirmed (no change), a Notice of Confirmation is issued.

  5. Complexity Levels: Objections can vary in complexity from low, involving straightforward tax credit issues, to high complexity involving Large Corporations (Income Tax Act) or Specified Persons (Excise Tax Act), and complex transactions. Resolution times varies significantly based on the complexity, with high complexity cases taking significantly longer.

      Further Appeals: If the decision from the CRA Appeals is not satisfactory, the Taxpayer can continue their dispute to the Tax Court of Canada by filing a Notice of Appeal. A Notice of Appeal to the Tax Court of Canada must be filed within 90 days from the date of the Notice of Confirmation or Notice of Reassessment, or make an Application for an Extension of Time within 1 year after the expiration of the 90 days. An Application for and Extension of Time is often granted, but this is not guaranteed.

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