October 16, 2023
Dealing with CRA collections, in most cases, is not a straightforward process. The policies and procedures governing the agency can make progress towards a resolution very slow and laborious in part resulting from the change to a hybrid, work-from-home model as a response to the pandemic which has proven to contribute to CRA processing delay.
Proper communication is a major obstacle that many taxpayers find difficult to overcome. Whether it is written or verbal, it can often become difficult to fully express yourself and your situation in the language your collections officer can understand – the language of CRA. It is mainly due to this reason so many taxpayers fall short in their obligations to CRA collections. In the end, to reach a favourable outcome clear and effective communication must be made a priority, however, it is easier said than done.
More often than not, the challenge comes from finding time to maintain a professional working relationship with your collections officer while working a full-time job and juggling the demands of your business and/or everyday life. Matters can be made worse by difference in working hours of the two parties causing further misalignment in communication. When you finally make the time to call, you are not able to contact the collections agent, and this can be due to a number of reasons. Sometimes your CRA collections officer is busy servicing other collections files and unable to take your call. At other times they may be away with no clear indication of their absence. A third and lesser-known reason could be that your collections file has been assigned to another officer or that no officer is currently assigned to the account. Whatever the reason, action on the part of the taxpayer, or their representative, is still required to keep you protected from legal action. If, for whatever reason, you fail to contact your collections officer within the stated time frame, the risk of legal action significantly increases especially when legal warnings have already been issued. Legal warnings and lack of communication paves the way for legal action in the form of bank garnishment, wage garnishments and liens against property.
It becomes quickly apparent that the road to successful CRA collections resolution is difficult to navigate and can often feel like a full-time job that not everyone qualifies for. Therefore, it becomes vitally important to hire professional representation to guide you through the process. People with an understanding of CRA policies and procedures and the Income Tax Act/Excise Tax Act can be of tremendous value in taking control of the full communication process to ensure consistency and accuracy in the messaging. Anybody who finds themselves in such a scenario should certainly explore the professional services available to them. A free consultation, such as the one offered at Farber Tax Solutions, can help put you on the right path.
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