A reassessment can be a difficult experience for any business or a shareholder of the business located in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario. It is natural to panic a little - or a lot - when client's business gets a notice that the business' taxes are being or have been reassessed, particularly if the amounts involved are large. It might feel like the you, as a business owner, will have to justify every expense you have ever made, and that you and your business will be treated as guilty until proven innocent.
One of Pinsky Law goals is to help take away the panic by assisting business owners in Alberta and Ontario to navigate their way through the process. Much of our job involves translation of tax legalese into plain English. Often our clients tell us that coming into our office helps them to understand everything far more clearly than trying to talk on the phone to CRA personnel who have no stake in helping them understand the process or their options.
In order to help the clients through a CRA reassessment dispute, Pinsky Law need to know what stage of the process the client is at. This will determine the options available to the client. For the most part, a reassessment is not the time or place to explain to the CRA why an aspect of tax law is wrong, even if the client feels it is. Going that route will not help our client's business, and helping our client's business is our goal. The reassessment is the time and place to work within the existing tax laws to get the client the best results possible. This may involve:
- Helping you understand the CRA's position;
- Helping you understand the client's options;
- Explaining the client's position to the CRA with proper documentation and arguments that use their own reasoning to the client's advantage;
- In certain circumstances, explaining to the CRA why the law may not apply to the client's situation;
- Litigating client's income or GST dispute in the Tax Court or beyond, if the reassessment is wrong in fact or in law;
- Negotiating a settlement, or helping the client to assess whether a settlement the client has been offered is fair;
- Applying for taxpayer relief, if that is the best option.