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CRA GST/HST Disputes

Some GST/HST disputes arise on their own. Most are a spin-off from an income tax dispute, for the same taxpayer. The GST/HST provisions of the Excise Tax Act are often more strictly worded than parallel provisions in the Income Tax Act. As a result, the rules that govern them are stricter, and the penalties can be greater. Usually, the client cannot suspend or delay collections while a GST dispute is ongoing. The CRA may garnish wages, place liens, and seize assets to collect payment.

CRA Tax Objections GST/HST disputes concern:

 - Supplies, and whether they are taxable supplies (subject to GST/HST at the standard rate), zero-rate (GST/HST at 0 percent, exempt supplies (not subject to GST/HST) or not within the scope of GST The entitlement to input tax credits;

 Pinsky Law will:

 - Help the client understand what records are necessary;

 - Explain the reasoning behind the CRA's position;

 - Explain time limits and the client's options regarding deadlines

What Pinsky Law will do for the client depends on where the client is in the dispute process, which can be lengthy:

 - After the client files tax return, CRA may request more information from the client and audit all or part of your return;

 - If the CRA disagrees with your return, the client will usually get a "proposal letter" to respond to;

  - If the client's response does not change the auditor's mind, the client will get a Notice of Reassessment. The client has 90 days from the date of the Reassessment to file a Notice of Objection, giving support for the objection.

 - The CRA Appeals Division will review your case, at which time additional submissions may be made;

 - The reviewer may cancel the reassessment, change it in part, or agree with it;

 - The client has 90 days to appeal the reviewer's decision to the Tax Court of Canada;

 - Notice of Appeal to the Tax Court of Canada should set out the issues in dispute and your reasons for appeal;

 - When the Appeal is filed, the client must select either the General Procedure or the Informal Procedure.

 - Each Procedure has its benefits and detriments, which we can explain, but generally, the Informal Procedure has no filing fee and more relaxed rules. The General Procedure includes a number of pre-trial procedures. If your case does not settle (most do), there will be a hearing at the Tax Court, which includes witnesses and testimony under oath or affirmation. If the decision at the Tax Court does not go your way, you may be able to further appeal.