There is a trend taking place in the last twelve months. The number of CRA reviews that I am dealing with have increased noticeably. Many of these reviews are not for an earth shattering amount of GST or income taxes being reviewed. They are what I would call random audits to see if the taxpayers randomly chosen are being honest and then extrapolate from there.
Many mature businesses have endured this at least once during their life time – a CRA tax audit. Most businesses survive an audit with no issue. This happens when the business has an adequate set of financial records that is easy for the CRA auditor to examine. So what makes up an adequate set of financial records. First of all, the CRA audit has changed from twenty years ago. In the past, an actual person came to the business premise to examine the books and records. Hence if the ... Read More
Penalties and interest charges are the most common tools the CRA uses to enforce compliance with the Canadian Income Tax Act. ‘Compliance’ refers to filing the tax and information returns in their entirety and on time. When a taxpayer (a person or a corporation) files late, there are late filing penalties on unpaid balances. There is another serious penalty in the Income Tax Act that is catching some taxpayers by surprise. This penalty arises when a taxpayer fails to report an income amount ... Read More
One of the first questions I ask a new prospective client is “Why do you wish to switch tax advisors?” The most common complaint is that there is a lack of proactive tax planning from the current advisor. The second common complaint is late filing penalties and interest fees. More specifically, the taxpayer often complains that the current tax advisor has been unresponsive to a tax planning request or has been too busy to make the client a priority. After being in practice for many years now, I ... Read More
The past year, I have noticed quite a few more requests from CRA to review medical expenses, donation receipts, and HST returns filed. The best thing for a business owner being audited is that they have been honest with their tax affairs. The second best thing is for the business owner to have a competent professional Vancouver accountant to assist them through the process. If the records are complete and accurate and the professional accountant has experience dealing with CRA, then the audit ... Read More
“The difference between death and taxes is that death doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets.” –Will Rogers. Will Rogers hit the right chord with his quote. All taxpayers will agree that there is nothing worse than continuously paying an amount of earnings and hard-earned income as taxes to the government, without ever seeing the end of it. The percentage constantly increases, as the burden of rectifying ongoing economic strife is laid increasingly on the common man. As if that wasn't ... Read More
When an incorporated business in Vancouver calls asking for professional representation for a CRA audit, the first question I ask myself is “Why is the person who was paid to prepare the tax return not doing the representing?” A very common answer is something like “My wife who is not a professional accountant prepared the tax return. She does not have the knowledge to deal with the CRA.” However, this year, I received an unexpected answer: “My accountant has been charged with fraud." The ... Read More
Whether you are an individual taxpayer or a corporate taxpayer, a call from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will surge your anxiety. Most calls from the CRA are benign. Usually, they're calling to inquire about an outstanding return or a figure your professional accountant has put in the wrong box. But according to CRA, for the 2007 and 2008 fiscal years, 87,000 small and medium enterprises were audited. CRA uses a computer system to assess taxpayers, assigning them a risk factor of high, ... Read More