CRA Activities We Noted for February 2021
We have heard time and time again that the Canada Revenue Agency is still open and providing services to Canadians during the pandemic. While this is true, the level of service and the timeliness of the Canada Revenue Agency has gotten significantly worse. As qualified tax practitioners we rely on the Canada Revenue Agency to be functioning at full capacity as the needs of our clients are complex. This is what it is like to deal with the Canada Revenue Agency as of February 2021:
On the positive side:
The Canada Revenue Agency has retooled their division and focused on administering all of the pandemic related emergency payments. In general, it is easy to apply for these programs and the payments come in a timely manner. While there has been some confusion on who actually qualifies for these programs in general the Canada Revenue Agency has been good to deal with.
On the negative side:
- Canada Revenue Agency officers are unable to come into the office on regular intervals. Typically, an officer can come in and check their mail once or twice a month. This means that responding to any request made through mail are basically ignored. If any requests made are complex and might require an officer to speak with a team leader or a more experienced staff member these requests are also basically ignored.
- Conventional in person audits have all been put on hold. If you were being audited before COVID-19 it is currently unclear if your audit will continue when the restrictions are lifted. In many cases the Canada Revenue Agency may now be statute barred from reassessing certain years.
- If you were in an Appeal before COVID-19 expect major delays. The agency is just now responding to submissions we made almost a year ago. Our office does many appeals and at most we have completed 3 appeals since March 2020.
- The collection department of the Canada Revenue Agency has taken no legal action since the restrictions were put in place. They are currently calling people to set up payment arrangements. They are being extremely flexible at the moment if you owe taxes.
- In short if you are doing anything other than qualifying for benefits expect long delays. Expect to wait hours on the phone and expect your issue to remain unresolved.
For up-to-date information from the Canada Revenue Agency check out this link: