Taxpayer relief provisions

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What are they?

In the previous article, I discussed the Voluntary Disclosure Program as a potential way of reducing penalties (and in limited cases interest.)  The taxpayer relief provisions are another way you may be able to get these penalties and interest reduced or canceled.

Taxpayer relief provisions (Formerly known as Fairness Provisions) are a part of the larger scale taxpayer bill of rights of which there are 16 rights that every taxpayer in Canada has and taxpayer relief is one of the 16.

The taxpayer relief provisions give the Minister of National Revenue (The Minister) the authority to cancel or waive interest or penalties based on a defined criterion.  The Minister has delegated this authority to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and as such all requests must be filed with them on the prescribed form(s.)

There are a number of reasons why CRA may allow the relief including the inability to pay or financial hardship, death, serious medical issues (accidents, serious illness, emotional or mental distress,) Natural or Human-made disasters (Such as floods, fire,) Civil disturbances or disruption of services (such as a postal strike) and CRA Delays or errors (Such as undue delays in resolving an audit or objection or by relying on incorrect information given by the CRA.)

In order to improve your chances of being successful in reducing or canceling these penalties and interest, the bar is very high and requires a lot of documentation to properly note the reasons you are requesting relief under the program.  Some of these evidentiary requirements for instance could include personal and/or business financial statements, doctors’ certifications, and or detailed explanations from the taxpayer and/or their representative.

If you feel that you fall under one of the above reasons and would like to discuss your circumstances with us to see if a taxpayer relief request is the proper route, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


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