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Ellen Roseman

Ellen Roseman: On your side

Dealing with the Canada Revenue Agency

March 13 2010 by Ellen Roseman

Here are two stories that show how important it is to know how much tax you owe and pay the right amount. If you don't, the government can hit you with heavy penalties.

In the first case, a woman sent a cheque for what she thought she owed. The Canada Revenue Agency didn't cash her cheque and sent her a big refund in error. Many months later, it demanded repayment, plus interest, even though it had made the mistake.

In the second case, a woman moved around so much that the tax department's letters went astray. Eeventually, she got a request to pay a large amount. She said she would pay in instalments, but after the first cheque was sent, she found her bank account had been drained.

Check out the details below, the kind of cautionary tales that remind you never to get on the wrong side of the CRA.

  1. Dan White

    Mar 14 2010

    Dan White

    Mar 14 2010

    CRA is in no way committed to anything they write about fairness, responsibility, integrity or Communications. They now resort to just plain unreasonableness, unfairness, and spouting of the income tax and excise tax act. Neither of which empowers the right of abuse. I deal with this stuff all day long, it is such a sad story. You can fight CRA, but you really have to know what works and what does not. The average Canadian just wastes their time by complaining. You have to know how to be a pain to CRA to get results.

  2. second opinion mike

    Mar 15 2010

    I must wholeheartedly agree that the tax man/women are the most callous and incompetentent department of the government. Based upon my experiences, they are a dictatorship with unlimited powers and no morals.

    I have been audited 3 years running because a tax collector decided that the existing interpretation of a tax law (their interpretation and their law) was incorrect.

    The ruling was then backdated the maximum legally allowed time by the tax department, so I and several hundred of my colleagues were assessed a trumped up amount with maximum penalties based upon the new interpretation.

    Over 3 years and over a thousand assessments, to the best of my understanding, the CRA has lost every appeal. Why would they continue after losing the first few hundred appeals? Because they can!

  3. Irvin Leroux

    Mar 16 2010

    I've attached the link to my story that's still on the CBC.

    Not only are the CRA run by a bunch of clowns, but they can destroy your life and not take any responsibility for their actions. Every politician, tax guy from all levels of government will not touch my case with a 10 foot pole.

    Ellen, I want all of your readers to know that this can happen to anyone. They go about their tasks with such reckless abandon that ordinary taxpaying citizens who pay their fair share are seen as villains and often left destitute after being kneecapped.

    There's also no recourse internally, other than to take them to court to have a judge cite precedents and rule in your favour.

    Another reason more and more Canadians don't trust government!


  4. MW again

    Mar 18 2010

    A CRA representative contacted me by phone and followed up with a letter. In the phone conversation, they were very apologetic to what had transpired and said they recognized that I was a "good taxpayer", and that even under the stress they caused me, I was very co-operative.

    Before the review had been made on my file, I paid the tax department off in full, so that the CRA would not try to confiscate any more funds from me. Therefore, the original verbal agreement that I had to pay in installments was never fulfilled.

    Once the CRA started grabbing what they could from my bank accounts (even my US fund accounts), I just wanted it over and so I borrowed money to pay the full amount.

    In the meantime, due to your intervention and the local Member of Parliament, my case was reviewed. The resolution: They admitted that it was CRA's fault for the delay in notifying me of the reassessment back in 2003. And they awarded me the interest from 2003 to February 2010.

    Apparently, "the cheque is in the mail". This was a week ago! I have not received any funds yet.

    It is ironic that I had to have a cheque to them with in a very tight schedule (we made the verbal arrangement on Jan. 16, 2010, and I had to send a payment to them by Jan. 31) yet they allow themselves up to 6 weeks to return money to me.

    Funny how the rules change depending on what side of the fence you sit.

    With tax season upon us, I am sure that more people will have similar stories to share.

  5. c. capeson

    Mar 19 2010

    The story above about AE is astonishing. Did CRA refund this woman's interest charge? If not, what on earth could possibly be the reason?

  6. Ellen Roseman

    Mar 19 2010

    I'm just waiting to hear from CRA today about what it will do in AE's case. I'm planning to write a column in the Star tomorrow about both these complaints.

  7. FrancesC

    Mar 19 2010

    CRA made a mistake in my late mother's income tax return, giving her a deduction to which she wasn't entitled. I knew that they were wrong and I tried to deal with the matter by mail but couldn't. Finally, I went in to their regional office in North York and spoke to someone directly about the problem and was able to get the matter resolved. I recommend that you do this; it is easier to make your points in person.

    Also, although the CRA can be exasperating and even stupid, you have to pay attention to your income tax affairs. Check your returns if you have someone else do them, even if they are professionals - they can make mistakes too. Make sure you understand how they were done, what assumptions were made and so on. Keep your address up to date. Know your own financial affairs. Try to do the returns yourself even if you pay to have them checked; it is really not that hard.

  8. Mike

    Mar 23 2010

    The CRA did the same to me... I had cashed out all my RRSP's in 2002 to start my own business after major downsizing in the music industry.

    Gave all my tax stuff to the accountant as usual. He did my taxes and all was well.

    Then in 2008, the taxman tells me I hadn't declared one of my RRSP's for 6k. Now I owe that 6 plus 6k in penalties and interest.. a whopping 100% interest (mafia style).

    I told them I'd gladly pay the 6k as it was simply a mistake.... but argued that 6k in fines was unfair because I didn't even know about it... they said taxes were fine.

    A $12,000 penalty to a person just starting a small business is a disaster, so I appealed. They took a few hundred off.

    I've almost paid it off, but they want it right away - as if I have hundreds of thousands in the bank. Who are these people???

    I resent spending my tax dollars to hire people to harass me and treat me like a criminal.

    They can't seem to get the people who are burning them for large sums.. it's just too challenging... easier to pick on some poor soul who is too busy to fight.

  9. Ellen Roseman

    Mar 23 2010

    Good news about AE. She won a reprieve from the CRA on paying the interest arrears when she received a tax refund in error.

    Her son said the interest was waived by ministerial discretion. He's happy that the media took up her case and helped to get it resolved.

  10. JH

    Mar 23 2010

    I sent this to Carol Hughes of the NDP, as I had forwarded many years ago to every Federal MP in Canada, to no avail at that time.

    Revenue Canada - NDP Shadow Cabinet Critic.

    Attn: Carol Hughes

    Strong words from a Senior Canadian Citizen:

    Going back several years ago (2000), tax department officials lied on personal tax documents and created an impression that over $80,000 (actually reached over $150,000, per their statements) was owed to Revenue Canada.

    That was just a lie, but subsequent garnishee on their part caused the loss of a home through mortgage default and the loss of potential business activity.

    The acting director at the Scarborough Tax office said it was just a mistake (but several times in the same document there were 3 authorized tax official signatures) and it was OK, according to him.

    In fact, he did say he was sorry just days before I was removed from my home.

    It still took several more years for records finally to be corrected, compared to the original tax records submitted by myself. During this time, I was even told by their experts that I could not do things only to have them dropped prior to a hearing in the Tax Court of Canada.

    Being Canadian is a privilege, but having incapable individuals entrusted to perform federal functions is wrong, especially when it relates to tax issues that may affect personal lives of Canadians.

    After 3 years of fighting the CRA, my prostate cancer returned to a point where caring about their actions no longer became a priority in my life.

    Now, finally, after receiving radiation and hormone treatments, my mind is returning to where it once was. Still without a home and the loss of tens of thousands of dollars, this item has returned to the priority status that it deserves.

    Possibly there may be others that can benefit by the removal of corrupt and incompetent individuals.

  11. Gloria

    Apr 4 2010

    I'm a senior. The Canada Revenue Agency, now known as the Corrupt Revenue Agency, has also stolen from me.

    For seven years, they declined to send me all of my documents, so I could get their mess sorted out. However, they started to threaten me. They said they were going to seize my house and contents, and also garnishee my pension. I had to borrow money from a relative to pay the Corrupt Revenue Agency off.

    There are millions of citizens who are in a dispute with the Corrupt Revenue Agency. Their favorite prey is the old and the poor.

    Blue collar wage earners, low income people and seniors should be able to have all their income tax deducted from payroll. And seniors should be able to have the tax taken off by the OAP and CPP. That would be a huge saving for the taxpayers, to get rid of the Corrupt Revenue Agency.

    The system is so complicated and archaic, the Corrupt Revenue Agency staff CAN'T KEEP UP WITH ALL THE CHANGES, and that is what happened to me. If you are in doubt, call the Corrupt Revenue Agency.

    I did so and got a male, who totally gave me the wrong information, since he did not know his job. From 2003 to the present, the Corrupt Revenue Agency lied and denied and I still haven't got all of the documents. They stole from me, and won't send the documents, because, it was their mistake, and I was forced by their corruption to pay over $4,800 that I DID NOT OWE.

    The government gets millions and millions of dollars of stolen money. The government gives millions to banks, big business, gas and oil companies, stolen from the peoples' tax money.

    The corruption in this country has filtered down to every government agency and service. However, it is getting to the point where there are not enough little guys working to support the corruption. There were too many little guys put out of work.

    B.C. Premier Campbell and henchman Hansen went on a taxing frenzy. B.C. is second from the bottom of the poorest provinces in Canada. Many thousands of jobs are lost, and tax revenues are low. So the pair of dingbats, with their budget and the HST, are going to double the numbers of the homeless. Canada is now a fascist country and a dictatorship.

    CTV's W-five had a very good documentary on April 3rd about all the thieving crimes the Corrupt Revenue Agency commits. When a government allows corruption in their ranks, the country will collapse. The Mafia members used to go to prison for extortion. The everyday citizen would still go to prison. The law of extortion doesn't apply to the government. Canada is no better than Honduras.

  12. Gloria

    Apr 5 2010

    Gloria again.

    I forgot to mention, I took everything to an accountant, but he was unable to straighten the mess out.

    I have taken my papers to different MLA's. The CRA refused to co-operate. The CRA had my income up to $58,000, if you added every penny I had together, but my income is nowhere near that amount.

    My son and I had made numerous calls for all the documents, and as I said, they refused to co-operate. So, I got hold of one agent, who said she had found 3 errors.

    Since 2003, I still don't have the correct documents.

    The two most distrusted in Canada are the politicians and the CRA.

  13. Gloria

    Apr 5 2010

    Once corruption is allowed in the ranks of the government, it eventually infects all the government ministries. What is the reason? Everyday Canadians know they are being exploited and cheated, because of politicians and the corrupt CRA.

    The corruption is so obvious, a grade 7 student saw through all the lies, with ease. It is corruption, lies and greed that really runs this country and calls the shots.

    Alberta is tossing the idea around to separate from the east. I think all of the western provinces should separate. The first thing to go would be the CRA.

    BC citizens could get rid of Premier Campbell and his entire Liberal government. The West's tax dollars would remain in the west.

    Jean Chretien said he didn't like the Western people because they were different. The East have been their own country for many decades. The East would take the West's tax dollars and the West got only crumbs. A total ripoff.

    Western citizens are sick of the East dictating to the West. At first I was horrified at the thought of separation. However, the more a person thinks about separating, the more sense it makes. Anything is better than the CRA. And, the first corrupt @&& would go to prison, where they belong.

  14. claudia

    Jun 26 2010

    My problem with CRA is that they have been taxing me on the child support that I am receiving since 1997. I have been to family court in 2003 and 2008 to update the support and but CRA insists that the support is still taxable even though a 1997 law passed that child support was not taxable to the recipient. My children and I have had to go through rough times, I have been on welfare, gone to food banks, gone through bankruptcy because I can not make ends meet and they have been taking the child support that I receive while giving the support payer a tax break. They are ignoring the family court judge order which clearly states that the support is based on a table and therefore not neutral. They state that CRA preceeds any family law court. So I would like to know, instead of going to family court to seek child support should I have instead gone to CRA to seek child support? Shoul I have asked CRA to determine what my child support was I entiled to receive? Where are my rights? My children's rights? While CRA employees make huge salaries my children had to stand in line at the food banks and shop at Goodwill for clothing. CRA keeps giving me the run around each time I call them, they lost my tax return, they did not receive my fax, they sent mail to the wrong address and the list just goes on and on. Is there any way that I can take CRA to court?

  15. Guido

    Jul 2 2010

    I have a hard time understanding how they can willingly destroy peoples lives. If someone is poor and they can not pay (with proof) then I can't see how the government would happily put someone on the street and possibly committing suicide. What civil servant would stick their hand up and admit to forcing someone into complete poverty? I've never heard of that. It would be a major political disaster to the government in office not to mention a few terminated CRA employees.

    There is a difference between someone who can't pay and someone who won't pay. I would think someone in government would have some semblance to understand the difference. One would only hope.

  16. Robert B

    Aug 10 2010

    My 2008 spousal support claims were denied because I did not submit receipts. I submit bank statements, since Ex is out of the country, as proof of monthly payment of spousal support. The bank statements are refused.

    Wife returns to country and she submits receipts. Claim accepted.

    My 2009 spousal support claims were denied because I did not submit child support receipts. Spousal support receipts are appreciated, but unless child support receipts are submitted, the expense claim is denied.

    What's the difference between 2008 and 2009? Arbitrary decisions with no recourse.

  17. Donald S

    Nov 18 2010

    I am another victim of Revenue Canada and their decisions to apparently victimize certain individuals. I have almost completed my 3rd audit in the last 7 years.

    During the first two, Revenue Canada actually wrote me a cheque because I had missed expenses. This time, they provided me a list of "unexplained" income directly from my business account deposits and asked me to pay tax on it.

    Would you be surprised to hear that they are so incompatent that they didn't even realize that the amounts were from previous years' returns and cheques from Revenue Canada themselves?

    They also claimed to have a document from a paper that applies to a court case that I "apparently" tried to claim expenses on. It's not my case but a family member's litigation and my legal claim was from an entirely different situation. They do NO homework at all.

    I have been forced to incur both legal and banking charges to show proof of income and defend myself. It's a joke.


    Jan 3 2011

    Hi Ellen, they are claiming I owe them $8,000 and they need it in 20 days or else.

    In reality, CRA is not the problem, it is Canadians themselves who are to blame! We must get off our armchair politics and overhaul our governments and these draconian tax laws.

    The Queen is no longer collecting monthly ransoms! The people need to shake up the system.

    Kick out the corporate-controlled governments in Canada and create people-centred systems. Then cut income taxes to zero. Let governments raise revenues from resources and sin taxes. No money to corporations!! That is the only real solution.

  19. John sapiano

    Feb 7 2011

    After having read all of the above and in addition to the many sad and very disturbing stories about battles with the CRA and the Canadian Government my only comment is this;

    We Are Not Taxpayers!

    WE ARE ALL FIRST AND FOREMOST HUMAN BEINGS AND CANADIAN CITIZENS who happen to pay taxes. Think hard about this because there is a distiction.

    The federal government and their bungling crew of criminal thugs, namely the CRA, has brainwashed us all into believing that we are owned property of the government and our soul purpose is to be \taxpayers\.

    Nowhere on any document in my possession identifying me as a person and Canadian citizen does it also identify me as a \taxpayer\.

    It is the most important distinction that Canadians must understand and protect with their lives.

    As long as the Government believes we are all just a bunch of slave driven taxpayers, it will continue to violate humanity and to urinate on the graves of our fallen.

    Wake up Canada, get a grip!

  20. Cindi

    Mar 7 2011

    My husband has made every single support payment to his ex since they split. Vindictive as she is, she gets to refuse to send a letter to CRA stating that she has received the support payments (which my husband claimed on his income tax, as is his right under the law) and thereby prevent him from receiving credit for them on his taxes.

    What does the CRA have to say about this? They just keep repeating the same tired garbage about how the ex should be able to be trusted to vouch for his payments.

    What planet are these people from?! The only system in Canada as corrupt as the CRA is the Family Court System, and possibly even more so!

  21. Rob

    Mar 22 2011

    First of all, I am not a writer so bear with me in relaying my experience with CRA over the past 2 years.
    To give a little history first, I am a dedicated father of two boys aged 18 and 14. I was separated in 2005 and fortunate enough to come to an agreement with my ex-wife on a 50/50 custody agreement.
    Because both of the children were under 18 at the time (13 and 9)I claimed for one child and my ex-wife claimed for the other.(Totally acceptable).
    My ex-wife received the child tax credit of which I was entitled to 50%. I chose not to enforce this as the mother took care of shopping for school supplies etc so I thought it only fair that she receive 100% of this monthly payment.
    That was a mistake !!! CRA decided that since I did not claim for 50% of the child tax credit, I must not have 50% custody !! Yes, they are that stupid!!!
    I have provided more than enough documentation to support my claim (court documented custody agreement, birth certificates, letter signed by both my ex-wife and myself outlining the details of the 50/50 custody agreement,and my court documented divorce (2009) agreement also outlining the custody agreement......still not enough !!!!
    I've had my bank account frozen on 2 occasions since then (which made my life very difficult in caring for my 2 imaginary children!!)
    I don't know what to do next and would really appreciate any help from anyone experiencing similar trouble with our dictatorship government. Seeking legal advice is next but of course that is not free and as you can imagine, looking after 2 imaginary children (according to CRA) is financially taxing.

  22. jordan keivn

    Mar 30 2011

    This book is a must read for every Canadian tax payer

    I Just finished reading an incredible book called the tax collectors bible...written by a former tax collector, who worked for CRA for 8 years.
    It exposes all of CRA's dirty tricks, how they break all sorts of laws and shows you how to beat them at their own game..you will never fear the CRA again. the book contains over 400 pages of never before published information that every Canadian taxpayer needs to know. The information was so incredible I feel compelled to share it with everyone.


    Happy Reading

    kevin Jordan

  23. Brian

    Apr 18 2011

    Why are we not addressing the fact that federal income tax is unconstitutional? There are people that are challenging the CRA and winning.
    It is illegal for the CRA to go into your bank account and take money. The CRA is a third part entity and therefore I would be illegal for them to take your money. Challenge them and you will win

    If we the people as a mass challenged the government, we would win. What the "government" is doing is highly unconstitutional and needs to be dealt with.

  24. susan

    Apr 28 2011

    If you owe Revenue Canada but don't have any money in your account but you DO have RRSP in your accounts, can Revenue Canada take those?

  25. Mike Martin

    Jun 20 2011

    I read all these stories and just makes me hate our government more and more.

    What's funny is when the tables are turned none of their rules or conditionw apply.

    CRA has owed my parents over half a million bucks for over 13 years now. They fully admit that they owe this money every time someone talks to them but when it comes time to shell out they have unlimited excuses why it hasn't been done.

    Funny how when you owe them they take everything you have, but when they owe you it is not their concern and you can just sit and wait till you die as far as they are concerned.

    I am a young person in Canada and trust me I won't be staying here after I have seen how crooked our government is.

    For this reason, I will never have a legit job because I will NEVER pay them one cent in income taxes!!

    Wish you all luck in dealing with the most crooked group of organized crime in the world, which is the Canadian government!!!

  26. Brian

    Oct 20 2011

    Because of some terrible situations that happened in my life, almost ending up on the street, much of my tax information was lost. However, I do owe money, according to the CRA.

    They ended up closing up my bank account (my only account) of $98, which apparently goes on for a year.

    I married 5 years ago, but all of these issues happened before this. Now they sent me a form, asking for my wife's bank account information.

    In her account, she receives her disability cheques, plus monies she received in a settlement for pain and suffering. Once I do this, will the CRA then drain that account and leave us both on the street?

    I have been looking for work for over a year, but with my credit gone bad (although I started to pay that up to date before all of this), and now, with no bank account, they call ask me for money.

    I told them I can borrow a few hundred from family, but that's all. Once I give them my wife's account (and she had nothing to do with what happened to me), are they going to drain her account and leave us penniless and unable to pay rent?

  27. Mandy

    Oct 26 2011

    I don't work. I haven't worked after getting pregnant and giving birth, and only my husband does for an annual amt of $38,000 which is not enough to cover our bills. Got a letter from CRA saying that we owe them and for that reason they stopped giving any child benefit to my daughter. Its been 4 months now and when we call them, they keep saying call on another day. What can I do?

  28. FPS

    Nov 14 2011

    I inadvertently failed to report income from a T4A which I did not receive. This was a result of the withdrawal of a pension amount at the time I was terminated in 2010. I am still unemployed.

    I realize that it was my responsibility to report this income regardless of whether I received an information slip or not. However, when I was preparing the return I was struggling with depression - I still am - since when I became unemployed, I discontinued the use of antidepressants.

    The majority of the amount I owe the government is penalty - it is greater than the tax I owe. I am still unemployed. I feel devastated by the assessment I received today.

    I am struggling both emotionally and financially currently, and just feel defeated by life.

  29. Ferne

    Nov 21 2011

    The CRA are the cruellest government agency in all of Canada. My experience with them caused me to lose my home, my health and forced me into near bankruptcy.

    I was a single mother with three teenagers and working in the health care profession, earning $37,000 a year, in 2004.

    I received an award from Canada Pension Plan for $30,000 for survivor's benefits for myself and my children, whose father had died five years previous to 2004.

    Less than one third of that income considered spousal benefits was taxable. The other two thirds was allocated to the children and deemed non-taxable.

    I took my return to a competent bookkeeper who had filed my returns for years without issues. We included all the documentation I had received, including a statement from CPP of the breakdown of payments and the advisement to which we were refiled taxes for those affected years.

    The CRA decided to tax me on the full $30,000 plus my earnings, which put me into a higher tax bracket and sent me a bill for $9,000, with interest incurring, which was actually somewhat higher than the total portion taxable of the $30,000.

    They also seized all federal payments to me, including family allowance and GST refunds.

    We appealed the decision, but with the process being long and arduous, they decided to garnishee my wages by 50%. After explaining that this would put me into bankruptcy and I would lose my home, they offered to reduce the garnishee to 47% of my earnings.

    When I told them that the whole matter was under appeal and would probably be reversed, the agent said, "You haven't won it yet, ma'am."

    This went on for over six months. I became very depressed and was admitted to a psychiatric unit for two weeks, then on stress leave at work. Eventually the bank foreclosed on my home.

    The CRA had no concern for the disastrous dilemma they placed me in. Within a month later, I had won the appeal, based on the reasoning that the money received from Canada Pension was for payment owed to my family for the past five years and that the children's portion was considered non-taxable during those years and shouldn't be included as taxable income.

    Also, it was decided that all my returns for those years should be adjusted to include only my spousal portion of the award for those years.

    I refiled and after two months, they issued me a cheque for what they had garnisheed and for what they owed me in refunds for those five years, minus the interest and penalties they charged (money they were not entitled to and had no right to collect).

    They offered no apology nor restitution for what they had done. I haven't had a hassle-free year with them since, nor have I had a refund.

    I have learned from my experience that there is no real beneficial recourse in dealing with the CRA.

  30. Kari

    Dec 7 2011

    I was in a motor vehicle accident in Finland and received compensation as a result of injuries for loss of earnings potential.

    According to Canadian law, this would be tax free, but I was charged $80,000 tax in Finland, even though I was given a choice to pay taxes in Canada.

    I have read tax laws online, including the international agreement, and all I see is that it is totally wrong what was done. I an receiving a structured settlement and tax is being taken off in Finland every month.

    Who do I contact to have this injustice taken care of? Is there a government office that helps the public in these matters?

    There seems to be a lot of government offices making sure we pay our taxes, but is there a government office that actually helps us, the people in these matters of injustice like mine? WHO DO I TURN TO FOR HELP?

  31. Eldon Warman

    Jan 3 2012

    Hit with a CRA assessment? E-mail me for 3 documents I have created to respond to such acts by CRA.

    All my template documents are totally free of cost, as is anything on my website. Or, you can request my 2 zipped folders containing many templates and info documents, as well as examples on how to file a $0.00 tax owing T1 ‘return of incomeâ€TM.

    To learn how you became a slave, download my Name Game Blog from my home page. Again, no cost.

  32. Allan

    Feb 2 2012

    I am 54 yrs old. CRA wants back taxes. And yes I do owe that. But now the fines have put the amount to an unreachable level.

    I refuse to live my last years as a homeless person. Suicide is the easiest solution.

  33. Ubhi

    Feb 17 2012

    "Canada's taxation system is founded on the principle of self-assessment. Under our system, the onus is on taxpayers to ensure their tax obligations are met."

    And with this system that is impossible to understand, except by a lawyer who has gone to school for many years, it is easy to make mistakes if one does not have an accountant, who also has schooling to understand this system.

    This creates a very slippery situation, so the taxpayer never knows where they stand. It's how citizens can get taken advantage of to pay so much money by mistakes, made either by themselves or by the CRA.

    The tax system in Canada is like climbing a very high snowy rocky mountain, wearing only flip flops and a rain coat.

    It appears that the system is set up for mistakes to be made easily and for fines and penalties to be imposed easily also.

    It should be made simple, so the average person and business can file their own taxes, and be able to do so correctly. This would require honesty and integrity in the system of government and collections.

    The CRA is stealing liberty and making those it picks on slaves because these fines are impossible to pay.

    Allan, I am hoping you are doing better and not letting these thieves rob you of life and the joys.

    I think perhaps we need a support group for those in hardship and mental anguish caused by the CRA.

    Also, it should be mandatory for CRA agents who call to reveal their names at the beginning of the call, as is done in many customer service professions.

  34. Kristi

    Feb 25 2012

    I am a 37 year old single mom of two teenage children living at home. They are fully dependent on me. One of them is constantly ill with a compromised immune system and has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

    Revenue Canada froze my bank account this week because I owe approximately $14,000 in taxes, most of which is accumulated interest.

    I have repeatedly filled out the required paperwork to show I don't have the finances to pay the money back due to my debt load.

    A good portion of this has been accumulated trying to raise and care for my 2 children when their father would randomly stop paying child support over the years. He currently owes over $6,000 in child support alone (he just recently started paying back some of what he owes) and this doesn't include the $30,000 in spousal support he also owes.

    I am unable to obtain a loan fom the bank and do not have any extra $ in my monthly budget to pay this $14,000 immediately.

    As of now, I am awaiting a refund of $1,356 for my 2010 taxes. I filed my 2011 taxes last night and am awaiting a refund of $11,022, because I claimed over $25,000 for moving expenses to go from ON to a job in AB.

    The employee assigned to my account (Bill Peake) has been completely disrespectful and very rude to me every time I have spoken to him. He's refusing to unfreeze my account, effectively leaving me with no way to support myself or my children, with a rent cheque due within days.

    I have sent him a letter from my bank showing that I cannot obtain a loan, the submission packages for both my 2010 and 2011 taxes showing the refund amounts, proof from CRA showing that both have been submitted, my credit report and my monthly budget spreadsheet detailing my income and expenses for each month.

    I have even offered to pay $100 a month to clear up the remaining balance, even though I don't have an extra $100 a month in my budget right now.

    His response has been that I have two choices: Borrow $14,000 from family to pay this now (impossible) or wait for the assessments to be done for my taxes, which could potentially take months, especially with the moving expenses claimed.

    He has stated, in no uncertain terms, that he is NOT taking the freeze off my bank account unless the $14,000 is paid immediately.

    I have repeatedly explained to him that my children and I will lose our rental home. I will be unable to pay my debts or utility bills or buy groceries to feed my family or bus passes to get me to work or my son to school without access to my bank account.

    This means I will lose my job and will end up in an even worse position financially, potentially ending up on financial assistance from the government to support me and my children.

    He has made it very clear that he doesn't care. His exact wording was, "I've heard this story all before and I don't care, it's not my problem. Pay what you owe."

    I don't understand the logic here. I'm a responsible taxpayer with a good job, supporting three people. I lose this job and I am no longer a taxpayer, and then I REALLY cannot pay any of the outstanding taxes owed.

    I've given him more information than was ever necessary to show my situation. I've proved that I don't have the funds to pay it and that the majority of it will be paid by my refunds. Yet that money is exponentially more important than the lives of me and my children.

    And the best part? Today I asked to speak to his supervisor and he said, "She'll call you back when she has time" and hung up on me.

    Nice to see that our government cares so much about its citizens. I wonder how much they'll like it when they are supporting me and my children?

  35. Broke Victim

    Feb 27 2012

    My spouse owed about $5,000 in taxes back in 2008.

    In 2009, he was injured during the course of an assault (no fault of his). The accused person was found guilty, but no sentence yet.

    My husband has been unable to work since the end of 2009 and rev can just kept tacking interest and penalties to the tune of $14k.

    We sent in proof of injuries and medical reports to prove what happened and that he is not working, hoping to get taxpayers relief. They didn't reply.

    Today, an agent called and said he's going to put a lien on our house and garnish our wages. What can we do? No wonder people in the states keep harming themselves.

  36. John

    Mar 14 2012

    @ Broke Victim...call your MP and see if they can step in on your behalf. It seems like you have a good case for interest relief and they may be able to help you there.

    In some cases I have read, the MP will actually negotiate on your behalf to help.

    Do not just file this with the tax collector calling you. It may or may not be filed properly.

    A properly filed fairness assessment will be looked at by CRA and responded to.

  37. Lily M

    Mar 22 2012

    I owe back taxes and fees of about $16,000 and the CRA has just froze my Canadian bank account (which contains only $200).

    I live and work in the US and have a bank account in the US.

    Can the CRA freeze my US bank account?

  38. l3randon

    Mar 23 2012

    I filed my taxes in 2007 claiming $5,000 of RRSPs.

    Since then in 2009 i received a $1,000 revised RRSP income from line 129 which was reassessed after receiving my refund for that tax year.

    This resulted in a $122.09 balance owing for 2009 (no big deal). This resulted in losing partial GST refund cheques

    Then last year i file my 2010 taxes, receive a refund then again there is another reassessment.

    This time stating $3,437 RRSP income from line 129 was applied resulting in a $1,279.61 balance owing.

    I am baffled to why i received no notices in the mail stating penalties were applied, not have penalties applied first then receive a refund (if any amount is left) and i'm certain RRSP income is applied to the next tax year not over multiple tax years.

    Is all this correct? Or should i dispute the fact in sending all my paperwork to the CRA for review?

    Thanks for your time.

  39. DEBS

    Mar 24 2012

    I am presently doing 2 jobs and because of this my tax bracket is higher. I am presently owing $24,000. to CRA. Yesterday I received a form asking that I enter all my assets and liabilities etc. I am unsure of what they will do next. Can you please explain what will happen. because of my monthly expenditure I am unable to pay more than $500. per month. Please advise.

  40. Richard S

    May 22 2012

    According to Alan Baggett - author of The Taxcollector's Bible - and a former CRA collector himself. Privacy breaches happen all the time in the CRA offices. Balance owing is often revealed to branch managers of banks, sometimes information leaks to creditors and they recall loans on the tax debtor. Contacting your clients for payments is another breach of the Privacy Act. So what Alan is saying is that CRA tax collectors are above the law. I highly recommend you buy his book! http://www.tacollectorsbible.com

  41. Richard S

    May 22 2012

    Here is the correct link...

  42. Colette

    May 25 2012

    Well... after reading several comments, especially Jared's, I decided to post a brief version of my story.

    In 2006, I was injured at work and have since been unable to resume my job. It took almost two year before the Workman's Compensation accepted my accident claim, but since my employer was the Provincial Government and a self insured employer, they were responsible to pay my wages.

    So my employer gave my two year salary in a lump sum, creating a frustrating scenario where I was paying on higher tax bracket for that year, while in reality that money did not even stay in my pockets because I had to reimburse EI, LTD, etc.

    Then in 2009, they ended my employment and I was forced to apply for CPP disability, which, in turn, sent me another lump sum and I had to reimburse my employer.

    Anyway, skipping the details here, I've presented my complaints to the CRA, which confirmed that I was a victim of the system and there was not much I could do.

    In 2010, I got information from CRA stating that I could have applied for tax relief from 2006-2010. They provided the forms, etc.

    I gave that information to an accountant firm with all my documents and they filed for a tax credit, as CRA indicated. Yet in May 2012, I got a letter in the mail and was shocked to find out that CRA found mistakes in my files.

    I called to get explanations and was told that I did not qualify for tax credits in 2006-2007-2008. They had received wrong dates about my disability.

    When I asked who gave them the wrong info, they said, "Don't worry, it's not you that made the mistake. We are not at fault either. It's Service Canada that provided the wrong dates and that's an unjustified mistake, but now you need to reimburse those amounts."

    They say although I'm disabled since 2006, the Governement of Canada only recognised it starting August 2008. Therefore, I must reimburse the amounts obtained for 2006-2007-2008.

    This is very upsetting, because I remember calling them after I got these amounts, asking if they were sure there was no mistake. I went to the accounting firm and asked if it was correct and everyone reassured me, "Don't worry, this is yours to keep."

    So I gladly used up that money to pay for my medical treatments. That money is long gone and now they want me to come up with a way to reimburse it. Seriously? That's absurd!

    I double checked and triple checked and everything was fine... but now it's not? How am I supposed to come up with that money now?

    It's the CRA that told me to apply. They approved it and now they tell me someone else made the mistake and I have to pay for that mistake.

    I have my disability to worry about, along with my medical fees. Why don't they own up to their mistake?

    That money is long gone and my finances are already suffering because of my health. I can't possibly deal with more financial stress. I don't know what to do.

    I feel I should not be responsible for this.

  43. Maureen

    Jun 16 2012

    I was sent a reassessment stating I owed 504.06, based on a CPP disability overpayment.

    I called CRA, as the cause seemed to be originating from my pre and post bankruptcy for the year 2010. They also said I owed an additional $347 for rebates.

    Apparently, the phone agent recalculated everything and told me they owe me money, $206. I should not pay the amount they say I owe (for the overpayment is incorrect) and the pre-bankruptcy file.

    They state they didn't have (they do), so not to worry about the $347.

    Do I wait and see if this gets rectified? Should I contact a parliment member? With all these horror stories, I'm very concerned. Please advise me.

  44. Joe

    Jul 11 2012

    I am president of a small non profit. We had a GST number but had it discontinued with the approval of CRA as of November 4 2011.

    Although the GST office owes the club money they have refused to pay due to non compliance. I sent in a letter asking what is the non compliance and asking that they pay the money owed.

    I received a letter back saying that the department which received the letter was not the correct department for my complaint and I should call a certain number.

    I called the number and was told that GST number was reinstated due to my request as of May 8 2012. I told the person on the phone that I did not request the reinstatement of the GST number.

    I informed her that someone from GST called me on 2 occasions harassing me to get the GST number reinstated but I told them that I had no desire to do that. This agent passed me off to another agent who said that the number was reinstated because the club's income was above the $30,000 threshold.

    I told her that it was a non profit club and that the GST office was well aware of it, and the threshold for a non profit is higher and has certain exemptions. I told the clerk that the club is below the treshold for non profits.

    The clerk insisted that the she had no knowledge of the club being an approved non profit. All my dealings with revenue canada over the years have been on that basis and in a fax I sent to Revenue Canada on November 15th 2011 I made it very clear that the club is a non profit.

    I sent another fax to rulings 306-652-3211 today July 11 2012 asking that the GST number be discontinued back on the original discontinuation date of Nov 4 2011 and asked them to send me the money owed. We will see what happens.

  45. laura

    Jul 13 2012


    I left Canada permanently with my husband for a job in the United States in at the end of 2009 and filed the NR7 non-resident paperwork in 2010 which was accepted.

    I also sold my house in Ontario april 1st, 2010 and therefore 25% of the gross selling price -would not be released to me as I was a non-resident at the time of the sale and this mess with the canada revenue agency took until the end of 2011 to resolve and for our money to be returned to me without interest.

    They are still asking me to put in installments although it is clear that I am a non-resident.

    When I sold my house in April 1st, 2010 I wanted to consolidate our banking accounts and close down my Canadian accounts and met with my bank manager. The bank manager knew I did not live in Canada and suggested we both open tax free savings accounts in March 2010 and we had no canadian address so he opened these accounts with our USA address knowing we were non-residents and deposited $10,000 dollars into each account.

    We kept depositing $5000 dollars in 2011 and another $5000 in 2012 without any notification that we were not supposed to have these accounts as non-residents by our bank manager in canada.

    They sent a letter asking my husband to file 2010 taxes a few months ago and we sent in the NR7 again and indicated he was a non-resident as of December 31st, 2009.

    My husband just got a letter indicating that he should not have put $10,000 dollars into the tax free savings account as a non-resident in 2010 and therefore there is a 1% penalty per month on putting money in over exemption and 1% per month as a non-resident penalty which is a total of $1800 dollars.

    As we continued to do this in 2011, this will then be a $3600 dollar penalty in 2011 and subsequently a 2400 dollar penalty in 2012 - for a total penalty of 7800 dollars for each account, and $15,600 dollars for both accounts which is about 45% of the money deposited over 30 months.

    We have asked today that my bank manager empty out these accounts immediately. My bank manager has pleaded ignorance and told me it was my problem that I was not aware of the rules when opening the accounts.

    Canada Revenue has indicated that we should write an appeal letter but that is all we can do and likely it may be best to pay upfront and appeal it later to avoid interest charges on the amounts.

    Is there any success in doing so? Is there any chance of success? This is obviously a really huge error and poor advice that we received.

    Very stressed. any advice greatly appreciated.

  46. Maureen

    Aug 11 2012

    The problem/resolution dept of CRA took on my case and I was told I owed nothing. Now my GST/and Trillium benefits are cut off.

    Further, CRA did another reassessment and issued me a cheque of $279. Now I'm being told I will owe them $237, based on new information. I am told my case is very complicated. They also have CPP disablity starting on the wrong date.

    Therefore, Service Canada is to blame, they say, and also my trustees who filed my income tax-2010-pre and post bankrutpcy. Just when I thought everything seemed resolved, it isn't.

    One thing for sure is that CRA does not state they are to blame. I'm confused and worried since I am not in good health and the story keeps changing. How complicated can it be??

    I guess I'm going to have to contact my trustees so they can direct me and whoever else to get this mess sorted out once and for all. It is as though one is lured into a false sense of security (it's being handled), only to discover new twists and turns.

    Lots of paperwork and lots of stress over something that should be very straightforward. I'm not sure who to contact on my behalf. This is really unfair and worse. Affects mental health and security.

    The CRA does not care about this, only juggling dollar amounts. When the CRA screws up, the taxpayer gets penalized and the poor.

    Really upset and want a final resolution. Would like to have my rebate cheques reinstated as well.

  47. john

    Aug 16 2012


    CRA has assessed me $289,000, based on what my previous years earnings WERE. They have put a lien on my home, and whatever else they could.

    I have done as they have asked to this point. Cost me $12,000 to have my taxes prepared. They accepted all the paper work... whoops, on their part, it showed they owed me somewhere around $18,000.

    They have now demanded all the books be done again and the tickets from the calculations be shown. That has been done. Still, I wait.

    The accountant is not sure what they are doing now. Dragging their feet?
    So now I am not sure where I am to go. But it is getting close to go over the edge. Bankruptcy may be the only option.

    To be fair, the tax problem was my fault to start with. They contacted me. I did as they asked and they still put a lien on my house. So they do put liens on home, even if you comply with their demands.

    I would really like to get on with life. If that means filing for bankruptcy, then I guess that is what I will have to do.

    Everything filed last year in March. A year and half later, I am still waiting.

    So how is this fair? CRA does not play by any set of rules they don't make up.

  48. Usman

    Sep 22 2012


    I have a question regarding CRA's ability to garnish payments received under an insurance policy (e.g. auto insurance).

    A typical auto insurance policy will cover medical/rehabilitation benefits, income replacement benefits, and attendant care benefits.

    Can CRA just garnish these benefits?

    I have heard that CRA can garnish pretty much anything they want. Is this true?!!!

  49. V for Vendetta

    Oct 10 2012

    Few years back, I opened a GST/HST account for IT services. First year, I made under the taxable income. Second year, paid out all GST/HST collected and filed for the first two years.

    Switched from small business to salaried job, but didn't file two returns for the next two years, since no tax had been collected.

    Suddenly get a notice after years of no notice, stating that I had not filed. And for each year, a RANDOM, totally random amount, of $1000s, on years of nil business income was assigned.

    Submitted or re-submitted every year since the account was opened, but only received one year that was re-assessed out of the three. Which was corrected to zero owing.

    Oddly, two of the years were "processed" but not re-assessed after three more months, so adjusted one to see what happens.

    I think its time for a "Canadian Spring" of accountability and reform. All Canadians everywhere need to come together to make this country just, proper, fair for all.

  50. Jml

    Oct 24 2012

    Please help. The CRA has taken my Canada Child Tax Benefit and GST Credit. They say I owe over $40,000, all because I got out of a relationship and moved a few times.

    They say they don't believe that 2 of my children live with me full time and that I am the primary caregiver.

    Funny thing is is that I am and have been since they were born. I have a court order stating I have sole custody and I receive child support from their father monthly.

    Problem is my income has been severely cut because of this. I can barely pay rent and get food for my children. Thank god for food banks and family, though I cannot afford to copy and send my documents and don't know where to go for help.

  51. John

    Nov 4 2012

    @Jared...I find your attitudes uncaring and would swear that you are most likely a CRA employee who adjudicates the cases of many people, such as the ones brave enough to post here.

    When life has circumstances that get in the way, you often do not think of some of the regular things that people have to deal with daily. Your lack of compassion is astounding.

    In many of the cases shown here, all people want is time to correct it. In other cases, they don't mind paying a reasonable amount of interest or even penalties.

    But when CRA goes back years scouring returns, or looking for further information that result in more money being owed, and charges punitive amounts of interest and penalties, that is where the system falls apart and lets down all Canadians.

    Tell me, is 20 percent a year interest, plus penalties, fair? Is interest compounded DAILY all right? Is having to pay for the mistakes of accountants and tax preparers all right? If it is, this country is in far worse shape than I thought.

    It is not always easy to take the people who do your taxes to court when they make a mistake. It is not always black and white. If you have the money to do it, you may be fine, but if you do not, then you have nowhere to go.

  52. Frank

    Nov 4 2012

    As I read many of these stories, I can truly sympathize. All I can say in many of these cases is just to declare bankruptcy or do a consumer proposal.

    It is not ideal, but a consumer proposal can reduce the amount owed, while a bankruptcy can wipe the slate clean. It is just a matter of doing it.

    Don't put yourself through years of anguish for a bunch of people that only have one thing in mind. That is to chase any "deadbeat" (a person, in CRA's mind, who doesn't pay what's owed and any Canadian who doesn't pay what CRA feels you owe them).

    Also, make your MPs aware of your stories and start waking them up.

  53. Kev

    Nov 19 2012

    Well i'm sickened by CRA and the provincial government. I am getting out of dodge!

    These people have no idea what they're doing. As for me, I'm a single dad who got my daughter from the mother when she was 18 months old and now she's 9.

    I did every thing properly with CRA by claiming a dependent under 18 years old. Got a sole custody, no access order, custody order.

    Now, let's talk privileges! I guess the Child Tax Benefit is a privilege, just the same as the disabilities credit. Then, why is CRA trying to jam it down my throat?

    I think I have the PRIVILEGE as to whether or not I want it. Nothing says I have to take it. The wording is APPLY for it. It doesn't say declare to them anything. I already declare her (which I'm obliged to) on my tax return.

    Recently, I got a bill from a reassessment done for the past 7 years. CRA now claims I owe thousands of dollars, plus interest and counting, for taking off the child deduction because I don't claim the CTB, so I must not have this child.

    Are you kidding me!!!! I don't even claim Line 305!

    I brought that point up to them and well, guess what? The idiots chalked that along side of my not claiming CTB.

    I just wanted to go to my construction job each day and come home to my daughter, pay what I owe and enjoy what I got. Makes it hard when CRA trys to jam $ down my throat and when I refuse they try to take MY EARNED DOLLAR.

    Privilege, hmm!

  54. Kev

    Nov 19 2012

    Sorry, people, I forgot to mention I got garnished for it. So the deal I made to stop it was to apply for all the 7 years of CTB = $130/month for 84 months and apply for an adjustment for line 305 for each year (approx $3000/year). Grand total of about $30,000.

    Now waiting for the cash to move away from this nightmare. Most will think "hey, you got $" from them, but that's not the point. I knew I could have applied, but didn't want to and got bullied by an entity that will bully just because they can.

    I'll take the cash and move south, away and be done with them.

  55. KAREN

    Jan 14 2013

    I am on welfare and they have frozen my accounts, claiming I owe thousands of dollars. How crazy is this?

    I owe nothing and they can see by looking in their computers to see every company I have ever worked for or filed a return from by searching my Social Insurance Number.

    My accounts are Frozen now, so I can't even get my bloody welfare cheque cashed, which I am only collecting because they took 6 months to process my EI claim.

    I had to go to my Local MLA to get them to settle a basic EI claim. It left me without any money for 6 months.

    I own no house and never have, never have been married, no kids, no car, no assets, no stocks, bonds, RRSPs. Nothing.

    I am a political artist and they are attacking my work by FREEZING my accounts and destroying my finances piece by piece.

    It's an outrage. I am getting a lawyer and gonna fight until I get $$$$$$$.

  56. John

    Jan 30 2013

    Hi Ellen, I would like to throw my situation into the fray.

    I can't find a safe and impartial way to make a complaint about what seems to be an extremely unfair part of the Income Tax Act, but at least I can be heard in this forum.

    My ex-wife has recently taken me to court to try to extort what she claims was ‘retroactive support' that she was entitled to.

    After having to spend about $11,000 in legal fees to defend myself from the allegations, and also having won the case in court, I have no recourse after being falsely accused of not paying support.

    The court system doesn't give me the option of suing her for defamation of character. I also can't get reimbursed for my legal fees and the cost of the time I had to put into dealing with the preparations needed to fight the wrongful action in court.

    To add insult to injury, I am also not able to deduct those legal fees from my taxes, as the Income Tax Act does not allow this to happen.

    Further insult is heaped upon this situation, as the Income Tax Act allows my vindictive ex-wife to claim her legal fees in this situation!!

    I don't think anyone could see this situation as fair. But what is being done to rectify it?

    Unfortunately, no one is standing up for the rights of these people (usually men deemed as ‘deadbeat dads') and there is no avenue available to safely make yourself heard in the Canadian legal or tax system.

    Good luck to all in dealing with the unfair situations you all face!

  57. Ryan

    Mar 1 2013

    As for the other people's stories, I'm really sorry for what you're going through. I have never been through stuff like that and couldn't imagine it. I really hope it gets better for you guys, especially where children are involved.

    I haven't had any problems with CRA. They've always been good to me.

  58. Catherine M

    May 10 2013

    Hi Ellen,

    Would you kindly inform me if I have to declare interest accrued on a children's saving account to the Canada Revenue Agency on my income tax? My child is 13.

    The money in the savings account is from the disability tax credit (DTC), paid by the government of Canada. So, technically, it is income to my son (he received a small lump sum payment from the CRA).

    I know attribution rules apply and the account is in my son's and my name jointly. But the money is from the disability tax credit which my son received.

    Thank you.

  59. Garo the man

    May 22 2013

    Did you honestly expect a government, full to the hilt with morally corrupt and most importantly PSYCHOPATHIC agents, to follow ANY LAW?

    Look at the originals (the native indigenous people). Did the government act as liable trustees or did they kidnap all their kids, rape, murder, torture, starve, terrorize and inculcate them and hold them hostage in return for the land of the heirs they are controlling with genocide?

    Would you want to do anything with anyone involved with murdering kids, which includes covering up crimes? Would you keep paying them to operate?

    LEAVE CANADA PLEASE (Canada being the corporation). It's the only moral thing to do. When we divest from it, the cancer will starve and the reign of the psychopath will be at an end.

    They will take everything from you until you let them know WHO AND WHAT YOU ARE. Use the notation process, remove all assumptions and protect yourself by severing all contracts, lawful or not.

    Example: What is the lawful age to contract? 18. Is the social insurance number you got when you were 16 a lawful contract? NO!!!!!!

    CRA does not care about you. The money they take does not pay for ANY public service. Everything is paid for already. OPPT. sec 35 charter of rights in sec 52 constitution. R v Dell 2005, R v Big M Drug Mart.

  60. Garo the man

    May 22 2013

    Simplest way to learn the most without reading their ridiculous and convoluted policies is http://www.DeanClifford.info.

    You will learn how the government gets away with what they do.

    How to prove that Canada is a corporation.

    What legal presumptions/assumptions the court purposely carries while hiding behind ignorance. "Sorry I didn't know you aren't a corporation..."

    What the remedy is for you and your family.

    The administrative process. Who needs court when they agree with their silence?

    Hold public representatives, administrators and law enforcement accountable with crushing irremovable liens.

    Help you comprehend the system first so you don't react in fear and ignorance. In fact, fear and ignorance are the primary weaknesses that the government predicates.

    Watching the stuff won't make you less apathetic. So it is incumbent upon you, it is your duty, to find out who has been lying to you, expose them, bring them to trial (in YOUR COURT) YES, Your Court.

    Learn that everything we are told on a daily basis and the people speaking can't quote the source of their information. The brightest sharpest suits turn into childish misfits with one question.

    Ignore words that come after "I think". Lawyers will speak ad infinitum in an effort to avoid the truth, so stay on your toes for this clue. We don't care what they think, only what they know, or don't, which is volumes.

    THE MOST IMPORTANT: Get all your letters and paperwork done, all your notices mailed and dealt with BEFORE you end up in the slammer.

    BTW: going to jail is a right of passage for those who know the truth. So get used to it. Criminals with jails at their disposal don't care about due process.

    Your mind will be blown.

  61. YWalk

    Jun 9 2013

    I submitted my disability declaration, duly signed by my family doctor. Over a year later, they send me a letter advising that the declaration was not valid as it was not the original (it was the original fax).

    Then I sent them another original and now, another year later, they say they are not allowing the deduction, as they had not received a signed Disability Declaration (they have two).

    Does anyone know if I can launch a court case against the CRA and seek out punitive damages as well?

  62. Trevor Goble

    Jun 17 2013

    It is no surprise that Revenue Canada would be riddled with errors later to make hefty demands. Blindly paying CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) without knowing your rights can adversely affect your credit score and good credit rating.

    A simple consultation with a Taxation Lawyer registered with the law society can often ease the pain to heavy claims by the CRA often leading to pennies on the dollar settlement.

    Taxation time is stressful to say the least for some, while it is much more simplistic for others. The CRA no longer pays out in lump sums and opts to pay monthly regular payments. This is money you are owed either as a credit or benefit and they pay no interest whatsoever on these monies.

    The Canadian taxpayer, when dealing with the CRA can run into obstacles, challenges and the CRA doesn't like to be challenged. Far too often complaints and disputes are submitted and just routinely dismissed. Who decides are the very people you are appealing to about the decision.

    Now you can take it to court but the cost often outweighs the cost of the Court appeal. It is no wonder our country looks great on paper. The taxpayer flips each bill, including those funds that are misappropriated by our Senate.

  63. Lance North

    Jun 25 2013

    An employee of mine embezzled from my company. She was supposed to do all of the books, but lied. Four years of bookkeeping (or lack of) ended up as a bill for over $100,000, plus interest, late fees, interest etc.

    I took very ill and sold the business for much less than what it was worth. The embezzler was very good at her trickery and disappeared into the night.

    Due to my age (61) and my illness, I cannot work full time. I am thinking of marrying my girlfriend, but am afraid they will come after her for the debt.

    Can they do that?

  64. F**k CRA and bankers

    Jun 30 2013

    "they started to threaten me. They said they were going to seize my house and contents, and also garnishee my pension."

    They will burn in hell for what they do. They are the true enemies of all mankind, a demonic cult wing of the biggest cartels that exist today.

  65. Chantelle

    Jul 23 2013

    Let me start by quoting a previous commenter from 2010 named Claudia:

    "they have been taking the child support that I receive while giving the support payer a tax break"

    Are you KIDDING me? I guess this is the general attitude of support recipients, is that paying it is totally fine because the payor gets this alleged substantial tax break.

    No, no, no. I have a colleague who has been paying half of his wages in spousal support for the last 2 years, and will be until he retires.

    The CRA repeatedly tries to deny his tax refund, even though he submits ALL documentation. They sent him a letter last year telling him he would not be receiving his entitlement because he didn't respond within 30 days to a letter they sent him asking for all the same documentation again.

    We work on 28-day rotations; kind of hard to be at home to get your mail when you're NOT THERE. It took him 6 months of fighting with them and filing appeals before he finally got his money, and every year they pester him for the same documentation he submitted the year before.

    I was of the understanding this wasn't necessary unless the order changed. And what CRA actually pays you, as opposed to what they're allegedly supposed to pay you, for your spousal support payments is drastically lower.

    My partner's ex, who receives $18,000 a year in support, STILL got a refund of just $600 less than he did. You can't tell me that what she would have paid in taxes on the spousal support is relatively what he was paid back. He was supposed to get $4000, but he only got $1500. How in the world does CRA justify this?

    So for those of you who tout that the payors get some huge tax break, you're not fooling anyone, and stop trying. That's the biggest lie CRA has ever told you.

    Now, about our situation...

    For any of you who have to file support payments with CRA, beware. You have to submit a form called "Registration of Family Support Payments". This form goes to the same building as your income tax return, and when you send it you are required to send a copy of the support order from the court.

    One would think that because you have to register support payments before submitting your income tax return, that the lovely people auditing your return would see that you registered and have access to those documents... because they certainly have the right to deny your claim if they can see that you DIDN'T register them first.

    So, the address is the same and there is nothing on the form or on the website to suggest that this is going to cause you a problem later on. We filed my partner's form along with the court order, we got confirmation from CRA that it was received, along with the usual unnecessary waste of paper that outlines all the bureaucratic red tape.

    So, when income tax rolled around we submitted his return, along with printouts of all the cancelled cheques for support payments (and, if you hope to get any kind of return for support payments, you better be paying by cheque). We get a letter in the mail about 6 weeks later saying that his return is on hold pending a copy of the support order. This also came with a 20-page document about all the steps we need to take to get his return to him... all stuff we'd already covered by filing this registration form.

    He called CRA, gave them a blast because he's waiting for his money and they're just screwing around... and the response he got from the idiot on the phone was, "Well, this is a big building with lots of different departments. We don't have access to the paperwork another department receives."

    So, they're telling you that because they're too lazy to walk to the other end of the building where they know the documentation is, that you're just going to have to resubmit it to them, wasting more stamps and even more time.

    The entire building is the CRA, so why exactly can't they communicate with each other? Are they so in the ice age that they don't have these documents on a common share on the network? The answer is probably, but instead they like to make your life miserable instead of cooperating.

    I as well work for the federal government, and I know damn well how easy it is to get anything you need from another department within one federal building. It's just a combination of shier incompetance and stubborness.

    So, we submitted the court order AGAIN and it took another 6 weeks before he got his return... and this time it was less than half of what he was supposed to get.

    They also denied him his share of the child tax credits, even though he has and always had 50/50 shared custody. We phoned them about 5 months ago, advising them that his ex illegally declared having primary custody (therefore getting 100% of the credits), and their response to us was, "Well, you can submit a claim that you should have received your portion and if CRA finds that it's legit we will claw back the excessive amount that was issued to her and give you your portion for the last 3 years."

    It would have been $3000. I have also read this online, that these tax credits are supposed to be split based on income.

    So, we asked about this on the same phone conversation we had where we were arguing about resubmitting the court order, and were told he wouldn't be receiving it. It's in the court order that each parent is going to claim one dependent, and when we mentioned this to CRA the jerk's response was, "Well, judges don't understand tax law. I guarantee it'll get denied." And it did... despite what we were told the first time.

    This is going to be a living nightmare every single year at tax time.

    As for me... I'm still waiting for my return. CRA wouldn't accept it from my accountant because she had my birthday backwards, so I had to submit it through regular mail. That was 6 weeks ago. They still haven't received it.

    I phoned them today and was told to resubmit it. So that's going to take another 2 months. I know that it's likely sitting in an untouched pile that someone probably just hasn't gotten to yet... but in the meantime, I'll just go ahead and go out of my way to resend it for them.

    This is one agency that is in desperate need of an external audit.

  66. Chantelle

    Jul 23 2013

    Oh, and I just read another comment from a man regarding his ex-wife taking him back to court time and again and not being entitled to a reimbursement for his legal fees...

    Well, did any of you know that CRA provides a tax incentive to support recipients every time they go back to court asking for an increase in support payments? Yeah, that's a clause that's deeply buried in the laws. So what that means is that come income tax time, they can claim their legal fees, so long as the legal fees were paid to attempt getting more support out of their exes.

    This is crazy. They are absolutely ADAMANT that payors cannot claim legal fees, but I came to find out that recipients can... EVEN if they were awarded costs and didn't even have to pay.

    Thought all of you who didn't already know that would appreciate the information.

    The CRA and the family courts need a SERIOUS overthrow.

  67. Mike

    Nov 24 2013

    The CRA does nothing but steal from people. I'm sorry to break this news, but there is no chance for any of you who have been targeted to ever wiggle away from the fat, greedy thumb they have you pressed under.

    I watched a $10,000 debt owing, which came out of nowhere, turn into $60,000 within the time span of a month. This happened to my parents, who are retired.

    I know they made no mistakes ever filing their taxes over the years, as my mom was on top of that stuff literally daily.

    It disgusts me and I'll never again speak respectfully to a CRA employee. If I own a business, I will REFUSE to serve them.

    The problem is we've placed these people beyond social impunity with the claim that they would be biased if this occurred in the public eye. Well, they're biased while it's happening in private, and it just gives them more leverage.

    We have to create a system where these people are held accountable for what they do, both financially and socially.

    I challenge any CRA worker who attempts to post on this thread again. You have absolutely no right to be here, everyone's here dealing with the damage YOU EXCLUSIVELY caused, so you can GET OUT NOW.

  68. samantha

    Dec 4 2013

    I'm dealing with my own battle with the CRA at the moment.

    They owe me $17,800 for back tracked child tax benefits and they issued the money to me in September. But they stopped the payment and my monthly payment, because they realised they made an error and needed more information from me about whether my children have been in my care.

    They requested a note from their school and their doctor. (If they looked on my file, they'd see my children are too young to be in school and we do not have a family doctor who follows them regularly.)

    I called the CRA and advised them of the situation and asked if there was any information that I could give them other than those two documents. I was told they didn't know and I had to contact their Shawinigan office.

    I asked for their phone number and was told they didn't have one and I must fax them with the question and wait 4-6 weeks for a response. I never recieved a response.

    I called the CRA again and was told that a notary letter and a letter from a judge would be sufficiant, so I went and got both documents and sent them express mail.

    Four weeks later, I got a letter saying the documents I provided were insufficient. I had to provide the documents from the school and doctor of my children.

    I called again and was told to get a letter from the landlord and from neighbours, saying I lived where I did and my children were in my care.

    I did that and again sent it. Four weeks later, I called the CRA because again I did not receive any letter or notification on my online account, which I check daily, and I got hung up on twice.

    Finally, an agent told me no documents were received. It usually takes 45 days for them to update my file, so I would have to wait another two weeks and call back if again nothing had been received.

    I'm absolutely at my wits end with the CRA. I asked if I could go personally to their Shawinigan office and was told I was prohibited.

    The money they owe me is rightfully mine. I pay my taxes and they even took $4,558 from me for owing money, but they can't pay me back what is owed to me for my children.

    I do not know how I am supposed to proceed with this if they refuse the documents again.

  69. Charlene

    Feb 8 2014

    I too am being harassed by the demons of the CRA. I have complained, written letters and more, with no results yet.

    They are forcing us to lose everything, our home, employment. All we had earned and owned has been sold, at bottom dollar, just to survive.

    I had to quit my last job a year ago, the garnishee was 100%. I had to prove it was my only income before they dropped it to 50%.

    I worked part-time and couldn't get a second job to help make ends meet, or they would take that too.

    I have complied with the auditor, but she denies everything I show her and there is a lien on my husband's home for income he didn't earn. They froze his account and he is over 64 and is not able to work.

    If you tell a future employer about the fact you're going to be garnisheed, guess what, you can't get hired. It's time to tell our story loud and clear!!

  70. Jamal

    May 2 2014

    Got married out of Canada. I came back to sponsor my husband and was pregnant. I had my child in 2012.

    When applying for child tax benefit and all my tax credits, I mentioned the father is in Africa. He got accepted to Canada this year and we filed our taxes together.

    Now the CRA has sent me a bill of $1,000, saying they overpaid me in 2012 and require my husband's net income for 2012.

    Are they insane???? I was not working in 2012 and living with my mom. I'm sure the money I got for my child was enough.

    What do I do? I didn't get my baby's cheque this month and it is killing us financially.

  71. Kenny

    May 8 2014

    Latest: Irvin Leroux lost his case against CRA!!



    Moral of the story: Don`t believe everything you read here.

    You can`t really tell fact from fiction. We like to whine about our troubles, but when push comes to shove, the CRA is likely to be right most of the time.

  72. Kenny

    Aug 3 2014

    P.S. I feel bad about my last post. I worked for the CRA at that time (no longer) and would regularly troll sites like this to post lies. The truth is CRA is wrong many times but they don't care.

  73. CB

    Aug 12 2014

    It is horrible to hear what others are experiencing at the hands of the CRA.

    Even though the damage caused by the CRA has been relatively small in comparison to others, I am still extremely aggravated.

    I am only in my 20s and have now been targeted 3 times for a "RANDOM" review. I do not earn a lot of money, work under the table or try to swindle the government. I always fill out my tax return exactly as I should.

    For each reassessment, I have provided the correct documentation, which showed exactly what I claimed, yet they still continually try and find a way to dispute it.

    I am beginning to feel harassed and now I understand this will likely be a lifetime battle of reviews and reassessments, since they certainly are not random after all.

    Looking forward to yet another dispute. Perhaps in the future, I will look forward to a lawsuit for targeted harassment or is that just wishful thinking?

  74. Tom

    Aug 28 2014

    One common denominator I've noticed in many posts here is that taxpayers phoned CRA and talked to people, relying completely on what was said on the phone.

    When you do that, you're relying on the CRA person not making any mistakes when they enter data, not changing what they do after you hang up, not being over-ridden by a superior without any notification to you, etc.

    I suggest that anyone dealing with the CRA does it in writing whenever possible - by registered mail.

    Also, if you must interact over the phone, please record your conversations using a recording adapter, or at least take notes that you date and sign.