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Taxpayer Relief Program Details That You’ll Need to Know

The CRA’s Taxpayer Relief Program can result in a reduction or elimination of penalties and interest. There are taxpayer relief provisions in place for those who are having trouble paying their tax debt. Find out how you can successfully be accepted to the program.

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Taxpayer Relief Provisions Could Cancel or Waive Interest or Penalties


If you’re do not file your taxes on time, or you do not pay your tax debt on time, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will charge interest or penalties. These charges can get very expensive, making it difficult to pay your tax bill at all, which is a bad situation to be in. You might find yourself searching, for example, taxpayer relief letters and looking for assistance to improve your situation.

The CRA can be difficult to work with. If the agency believes you should be charged interest or penalties, it’s often quite difficult to have these waived. There are taxpayer relief provisions in place, but only certain circumstances are eligible. To be eligible for the taxpayer relief program, extraordinary circumstances must have prevented a taxpayer from making payments or filing returns on time.

Your situation may warrant inclusion in the taxpayer relief program if you weren’t able to file a return on time or make a timely payment due to circumstances beyond your control. Some examples of these situations are:

  • Natural or human-made disasters
    • For instance, if you were not able to complete and file your taxes on time due to a fire or natural disaster
  • Civil disturbances or service disruptions
    • This includes situations such as a postal strike or a technical issue with the CRA website that prevented you from taking a required action
  • Serious illness or accident
    • If you were unable to comply with your tax obligations due to an illness or injury, taxpayer relief provisions may apply to you
  • Mental or emotional distress
    • This relates to situations such as a death in the family

The CRA may also consider taxpayer relief provisions if actions of the CRA resulted in a situation where you could not meet your tax obligations. For instance, this may include CRA processing delays, errors in CRA materials, etc.

In cases of extreme financial hardship, you may also be accepted into the taxpayer relief program. However, this only applies to situations where paying your tax bill along with interest and penalties will make it incredibly difficult for you to afford the necessities of life.

There are some other situations where the CRA may grant relief as well, but these are handled on a case-by-case basis.

As you can see, the situations where relief is possible are quite specific. While searching for examples of taxpayer relief letters could provide you with some information on how to have penalties and interest waived, it’s also critical that you learn as much about the program as possible so you can make the best case for yourself.


What the Taxpayer Relief Program Means


If you are accepted into the taxpayer relief program, you could have interest charges and penalties waived, making it easier for you to pay your tax debt. However, to be accepted, you will need to make a strong and convincing case.

One of the best ways to do this is with detailed documentation. If you can show that there were legitimate reasons as to why you were unable to file your tax returns or pay your debts on time, you will have a better shot at a successful application.

It is important to remember that each individual situation is unique. While examples taxpayer relief letters may provide you with information on how other people have applied for the taxpayer relief program, you can’t simply copy them for your own case. Your application must be prepared for your particular circumstances and it must include your own evidence that will show the CRA that you are being truthful.

Working with an experienced professional is strongly advised. The Canada Revenue Agency can be quite difficult to deal with, even in the best of times. It helps to work with those who have experience in navigating complex CRA processes, explaining complicated taxpayer situations, and negotiating with the agency. When you work with the team at Farber, you are working with legal, accounting, and ex-CRA professionals who know how to do what it takes to resolve tax issues. We fully understand all the details of the CRA taxpayer relief provisions and can handle your case properly, giving you the best chance of success. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact us today

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.