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Taxpayer Relief

The CRA has the power to cancel penalties, interest and more under the Taxpayer Relief Program.

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Taxpayer Relief


Sometimes life presents us with challenging circumstances that can get in the way of our tax obligations. Section 220 of the Income Tax Act and section 281.1 of the Excise Tax Act allow the CRA to grant relief based on fairness in instances where extraordinary circumstances led to some aspect of non-compliance. Commonly known as the Taxpayer Relief Program, the CRA has the discretionary power to:

  • cancel penalties and interest;
  • extend, amend or revoke certain elections; and
  • issue a refund or make an adjustment beyond the normal three-year reassessment period.


Cancel Penalties and Interest

Interest begins to accrue on penalties and taxes outstanding from the day that they are assessed. However, penalties such as those for gross negligence, late remittances and payments, or for a failure to file returns can be waived or cancelled. Applying for taxpayer relief is essentially a process that allows taxpayers to ask the CRA for debt forgiveness. Our team of ex-CRA professionals working in affiliation with tax lawyers from Farber Tax Law have had tremendous success in eliminating penalties/interest and navigating the CRA’s debt forgiveness rules on behalf of our clients by negotiating customized Taxpayer Relief requests.


Extend, Amend or Revoke Elections

The various tax legislations contain many election provisions that give taxpayers the opportunity to decide on an alternative tax treatment in conducting their financial affairs. Most election provisions do not allow amendments or late filing. Farber Tax Solutions has successfully navigated the taxpayer relief process to secure for our clients the opportunity to extend, amend, or revoke certain elections past their usual due deadlines.


Issue a Refund or Adjustment

The Income Tax Act sets a three-year limitation period for an individual to file an income tax return to claim a tax refund. Similarly, there is a three-year limitation period from the date of the original notice of assessment to ask for an adjustment on a previously filed tax return.

Taxpayers who are beyond these deadlines must make a Taxpayer Relief request to the CRA asking for reconsideration. Our specialized team has successfully persuaded the CRA to allow late refunds and adjustments for many of our clients using the Taxpayer Relief Program.

How We Help You with Your Request for Taxpayer Relief


While the CRA has the authority to grant relief, each request is reviewed on its own merit, and relief is not guaranteed. When evaluating a request for taxpayer relief, the CRA follows a set of rules and guidelines to determine whether relief is warranted. For many taxpayers, these guidelines may seem obscure and arbitrary. Moreover, it can be difficult to find information on the CRA’s position regarding certain issues or situations.Farber Tax Solutions has the skills and experience necessary to successfully file a Taxpayer Relief request on your behalf. We understand that each of our clients is dealing with their own unique set of circumstances, and that it can be tough to resolve complicated tax issues on your own. We customize our approach and are flexible in our methods so that we can cater specifically to each situation.

Let Us Help


Successfully requesting Taxpayer Relief can be challenging. Those seeking relief must submit a formal application and provide evidence to support their claim. While the CRA aims to administer the income tax system fairly and reasonably, they adhere to strict guidelines and have high standards of proof. Quite often, the CRA engages in a dialogue and must be persuaded to act favorably. As such, it can be difficult and time-consuming for taxpayers to navigate this complex process.

Our team of ex-CRA professionals working in affiliation with tax lawyers from Farber Tax Law have built a proven track-record that comes from our extensive knowledge of all aspects of the Taxpayer Relief process. Even if you are not eligible for the formal Taxpayer Relief Program, we can still help develop an alternate plan to improve your tax situation.

For more information on a comprehensive approach to resolving your tax problems, contact us to schedule a free consultation.

Farber Tax Solutions can help you successfully deal with CRA problems. We utilize the experience of our tax experts to:

  • 1| Offer a comprehensive solution that is focused on achieving the most favourable possible outcome for your tax issue;
  • 2| Communicate with the CRA on your behalf and navigate the entire CRA dispute process; and
  • 3| Offer a complete solution to your tax problems, including ex-CRA professionals and tax lawyers from Farber Tax Law.