Taxpayer Relief

CRA Taxpayer Relief

This is a typical scenario of a regular file at Cawston and Associates Inc.

A taxpayer comes to see us who has been notionally assessed by the Canada Revenue Agency for not filing tax returns. This means that the taxpayer failed to file returns so the Canada Revenue Agency filed returns for them. These returns usually only include income and no expenses. The taxpayer had been assessed a late filing penalty for 50% of the taxes owing. We needed to prepare tax returns for their corporation, business and farm.

We immediately filed paperwork that stopped the collection action taken by the Canada Revenue Agency. We then complete all the returns so that the CRA could assess this taxpayer for the proper amounts owing.

We also filed a request for Fairness under the Taxpayer Relief Provision. We provided all the documentation to prove that this taxpayer had many accidents, some health issues, surgery and a death in the family.

The Appeals officer was not going to allow the claim for Taxpayer Relief. Cawston & Associates Inc. continued to fight for the taxpayer and insisted that the request go to the team leader. The result was that the taxpayer saved approximately $88000.00 in penalties and interest. We know that if this taxpayer did not have proper representation, that he would have ended up paying significantly more money.

The Minister may grant Taxpayer Relief where the following circumstances result beyond the taxpayer control:

  1. Extraordinary Circumstances
    • disasters such as flood or fire
    • postal strike
    • serious illness or accident
    • serious emotional or mental distress, death in family
  2. Actions by CRA
    • errors or delays by the CRA
  3. Inability to Pay or Financial Hardship

In most cases, Taxpayer Relief provides a penalty and interest relief but in some circumstance, it can also provide tax relief.


At Cawston and Associates, we handle a variety of complex and simple tax problems. If you are unsure what to do or where to start the best thing to do is to give us a call.

Here at Cawston & Associates we are well versed in taxpayer relief. Please call us to talk about your options.