Kevin's blog

CRA Appeals & Tax Shelters

This blog is directed specifically at those of you who have made charitable donations through Pharma gifts, Mission Life, UHT, CHT, ATCLAP, or other organizations that are commonly known as tax shelters.  The premise is that you make a cash donation which yields you a much larger income tax credit due to revaluations, gifts in kind, and other “schemes”.

Beliefs and terminology aside what you need to know is that you must pay attention to every piece of paper you receive from the CRA so you do not have your taxpayer right taken away from you without your knowledge.

Lost your accounting records? – Now What?

Before you hand over your receipts to someone to do your taxes make sure you check them out.  Get references and do some due diligence.  If you have read my previous blogs on receipts you know that they should be treated like gold.  Now it is time for a horror story.  It’s not even Halloween yet, yikes.

Objecting to CRA Assessments - What you Don't know

I love to share what I know with my clients, and anyone else who wants to listen.  I don’t take it personally if you have doubts about what I say.  Please question me.  Ask for clarification.  Ask me for legislative references.  If you call the CRA and get a different answer then what I gave you call me and get clarification.   NEVER EVER ASSUME (ass-u-me) THAT I AM WRONG !!!!!! 

CRA – They Don’t Give Tax Advice

If you have concerns about your taxes DO NOT CALL the CRA.  The CRA don’t give tax advice, and will not try to give you alternatives.  If you call the CRA you will get an off the cuff answer from an inexperienced person that does not understand your specific situation.

If you have questions about what your accountant is telling you ask them for clarification.  If you don’t like the answer or don’t feel you are getting taken seriously ask another accountant.  Most accountants are happy to take on new business and will do an initial consultation for FREE!!

Province of Alberta Annual Returns are not Tax Returns

In Alberta corporations have to file what amounts to an annual registration / licensing fee.  It is kind of like renewing your license plate for your car.  The annual cost to file is between 50 and 100 dollars.  This is not something your accountant can do unless they have special programs and access set up directly with registries.  You are responsible for taking care of this yourself unless you have confirmed that your accountant can and will do this for you.  It will usually cost you extra to have your accountant do it for you.

Dealing with the CRA – OMG ,or (%$#@&*%^%$#@$%^%$^^)

For those of you who have ever wondered why I (and most accountants) keep their hair so short it is really a matter of hair preservation.  If my hair was longer I would have pulled it all out from sheer frustration.  Frustration with what you ask?  Really?  You have to ask?  Frustration from dealing with the *&^%$#@^&*%[email protected]#  CRA of course.  I have tried alcohol, which helps a little, but at the end of the day I have found a punching bag and a 4 mile run to be way more effective.

Taxpayer Relief – Oxymoron or just morons

OK if you read the blog titled Appeals vs. Taxpayer relief then you have the back story.  If not go read it.  Its good and its informative.  If you are following the dates these things get posted then you may be thinking “wow! The CRA got back to Kevin in like 3 days?”  Don’t be ridiculous.  I am just getting sloppy about posting things when they happen.  Come on.  The CRA are slow and you should know that by now.

Yeah here I go again.  I am going to bitch about the CRA and specifically about how slow they are.  What was that?  How slow are they?  I am so glad that you asked.

Appeals vs. Taxpayer Relief

Part of being an accountant is making sure you are up to date on new accounting practices and understanding new tax changes.  Another part is staying up to date on how the CRA operates.  Yes even I am continually learning things.

Recently I learned that there is only so much that appeals can do.  I am now going to share what I learned with you.  Everybody know what time it is?  Yup, “it’s story time!”

Take nothing for granted

“Let’s get to it. Its Story time!”, again. I just met with a client who told me an interesting story. While dealing with the CRA on other matters the client was told by the agent that two GST returns had not been filed. The agent went on to tell the client that they needed to be filed immediately and that the CRA had estimated how much he owed. The agent also stated that the amounts should be paid immediately. The client told the agent that he had filed the returns, and paid them, and had proof. The agent said that they would require proof in order to make any changes.

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