Wednesday, January 23, 2013

CRA treated you unfairly – What is your option?

Spring = Tax Headache
Spring = Tax Headache (Photo credit: Canadian Pacific)

Have you ever had a situation where CRA treated you unfairly?  Dealing with CRA can be very intimidating experience and you did not know that you had another option for better resolution. It is Taxpayers’ Ombudsman.
The Taxpayers' Ombudsman is an independent and impartial officer who reviews complaints from people who believe they have been treated unfairly or unprofessionally by the Canada Revenue Agency.
As a tax payer you have following eight basic rights that are included in the Tax Payer Bill of Rights.
·         the right to be treated professionally, courteously, and fairly (Taxpayer Bill of Rights, Article 5);
·         the right to complete, accurate, clear, and timely information from the CRA (Taxpayer Bill of Rights, Article 6);
·         the right to lodge a service complaint and to be provided with an explanation of the CRA findings (Taxpayer Bill of Rights, Article 9);
·         the right to have the costs of compliance taken into account when tax legislation is administered (Taxpayer Bill of Rights, Article 10);
·         the right to expect the CRA to be accountable (Taxpayer Bill of Rights, Article 11);
·         the right to expect the CRA to publish service standards and report annually (Taxpayer Bill of Rights, Article 13);
·         the right to expect the CRA to warn you about questionable tax schemes in a timely manner (Taxpayer Bill of Rights, Article 14); and
·         the right to be represented by a person of your choice (Taxpayer Bill of Rights, Article 15).
It is Taxpayer’s Ombudsman’s responsibility to ensure CRA actually complies with these basic rights. 
Before you file a service-related complaint with the Taxpayers' Ombudsman, follow these steps:
1.    Try to resolve the issue with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) employee you have been dealing with or phone the number you've been given.
2.    If you are not satisfied, speak with the employee's supervisor.
3.    If you are still not satisfied with the way your issue is being handled, complete Form RC193, Service-Related Complaint to file a formal complaint. For more information, visit CRA – Service Complaints.
Submit a complaint
If you are not satisfied with the way your service-related complaint was handled by the CRA, submit the details of your complaint to the Taxpayers' Ombudsman using the Taxpayers' Ombudsman - Complaint Form.
Print your complete complaint form and send it along with any supporting documentation by fax to 1-866-586-3855 or by mail to:
Office of the Taxpayers' Ombudsman
50 O'Connor Street, Suite 724
Ottawa ON K1P 6L2

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