Kevin's blog

News Stories on CRA Screwing the Public - For Real

The following are articles (and videos) from CTV and other sources on the internet devoted exclusively to the CRA getting it wrong and dragging innocent people through hell.  Some are from legal sources, again from the internet, and are to give you places to turn for help, or ideas on how lawyers view the CRA.  I think the lawyers statements should be tempered a little, but given what they have seen, average citizens need to be aware of even the worst case scenarios. 

CRA Document Reviews

You just got a letter from CRA and they want to review your receipts for medical, child care, Tuition and education, charitable donations, or some other sundry seemingly regular expense.  Your obvious next questions are “WTF?”, and “what did my accountant mess up now?”.  The answers to your questions in order are; CRA is just doing what it normally does, and most likely, nothing.

Accountants and Experience

The other day I was meeting with a new client to review their prior year tax file.  He was a little unhappy with his current accountant, because he could never get questions answered.  To add insult to injury every time he talked to them he got a bill.  When he met with me he had some very specific questions, which I answered, and was concerned that he was paying too much tax.  We went through some receipts which he informed me had not been deducted.  I asked him what they were for and he told me.  Much to my discomfort I realized that he had been given bad advice.  Pretty much everything w

How to Save on Accounting Fees

Most accountants will be happy to tell you how much they can save you on your taxes (which may or may not be true), but will they tell you how to save on your accounting fees.  As an accountant I am happy to do the work if you don’t want to, but there is always a balance between money and time that must be addressed.  If you can make more money per hour running your business than your accountant charges you, then keep running your business.  If not then you may want to consider the tips below.  These tips are directed to businesses (Small corporations and proprietorships) like consultants a

The CRA and You

An accounting friend called me today and said that her client had been contacted by CRA to re-schedule a previously scheduled audit appointment.  The client told the auditor he would have to check with his accountant to see if they were available.  The auditor’s response was somewhat lukewarm and basically the attitude was why would you need your accountant for an audit meeting.  The client had not previously told the auditor his accountant would be coming to the meeting, so the auditor was probably caught off guard.  That said, the auditor should have been happy, because he would be able c

Taxation of German Pensions

I just got a phone call from a client telling me that Germany is now taxing pensions.  Who knew?  I sure didn’t, but that is not unusual since I have never dealt with German pensions in the past.  So here is the problem.  Until recently (read yesterday) everyone getting a German pension did not have to pay income tax in Germany on the amounts received.  The problem is they did have to pay tax in Canada on it if they were a Canadian resident.  The Germans in their infinite wisdom decided to change their legislation to be effective for tax years starting in 2005.  Now they have sent out reass

Is The CRA Fair in Applying Tax Law?

If you are to believe what the CRA says then you would believe that they are fair and solely concerned about having everyone file their taxes correctly.  You would also be led to believe that they will tell you when you have made a mistake regardless of whose favour it is in.  Well you would be wrong.  I have two clients that had errors made on their personal taxes (the errors were not made by the Accountables).  In both cases a single number was missed on a t-slip (just one number was not entered).  Guess what?

Employee or Self-employed (CPP reporting Issues)

The CRA seems to be on a bit of a witch hunt of late.  The last time I checked this was not the 1700’s and we are not in Salem Massachusetts.  What am I talking about?  I am talking about the fact that the CRA seems to think that if you “work” you have to be an employee.
There are many people who have their own corporations, and carry on business through those corporations.  The reasons for using corporations are numerous and varied depending on who you ask.  I am not going to get into that now, but I am going to deal with employees and source deductions.

The Tax Audit Part 9 - Going to Tax Court

Going to Tax Court is not expensive or complicated.  You do not need a lawyer or even an accountant.  That said unless you are well versed in Tax Law and researching jurisprudence I would at minimum hire someone to research the arguments needed for Court, and to help you prepare.  If you want to represent yourself, you can, again I would suggest taking a professional with you.  CRA has lawyers from the Justice Department to represent them why would you go up against a lawyer by yourself.

The Tax Audit Part 8 - The Appeal

The first thing to understand about the appeal process is that it is administered by CRA and the people making the decision are CRA employees.   They are supposed to be impartial and for the most part they are, but they still are trained by CRA and have a bit of a company mentality. 


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