The Office of the Taxpayers’ Ombudsman.

by Tax Guy - Burlington Accountant on April 26, 2010 Print This Post Print This Post

I recently received the following e-mail from the Senior Public Affairs Advisor Office of the Taxpayers’ Ombudsman

It is tax filing season and Canadians want and need to be as informed as possible before they file their returns for the 2009 tax year. At the same time, you are no doubt eager to provide valuable information on issues related to taxation to your audience during tax season.

To that end, I am writing to inform you that there is new and important information for you to share with your audience about their rights as taxpayers and the type of service they are entitled to from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). You are in an ideal position to provide your audience with valuable information about the Taxpayer Bill of Rights and the existence of the Office of the Taxpayers’ Ombudsman.

Canada’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights was expanded in 2007 to include eight service rights. Mr. J. Paul Dubé was appointed as Canada’s first Taxpayers’ Ombudsman in February 2008 to uphold these eight service rights by ensuring that taxpayers get professional service and fair treatment from the CRA.

In that light, the Office of the Taxpayers’ Ombudsman plays an important new role by providing independent and impartial reviews of complaints about how the CRA serves and treats taxpayers. The Office also addresses systemic problems that affect large numbers of taxpayers.

The activities of the Office of the Taxpayers’ Ombudsman have already resulted in a number of disputes between taxpayers and the CRA being resolved. It provides a few examples of the types of cases in which we have made a difference in the lives of taxpayers. As a result of our intervention, the CRA has:

  • issued apologies;
  • released bank accounts they had seized;
  • cancelled penalties and interest they were charging;
  • reviewed some of its internal policies and procedures; and
  • in some instances, ended collection activities.

 Please note that confidentiality is a requirement of the Income Tax Act and a cornerstone of the practice of ombudsmanry. To this end, the Ombudsman cannot confirm or comment on individual cases.

Additional information is available on our Web site at: http://www.taxpayersrights.gc.ca/mssg-eng.html

About The Tax Guy...

Dean Paley CGA CFP is a Burlington accountant and financial planner who services individuals and business owners locally, nationally and internationally. Dean has appeared in the National Post, Toronto Star and Metro News.

To find out more, visit Dean's website Dean Paley CGA CFP or connect via Twitter @DeanPaleyCGACFP.

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{ 1 comment }

Eve June 12, 2010 at 1:26 pm

I received a letter from Canada Revenue today, charging my husband, $200 for overcontribution to his tax free savings account.
I made a mistake. I opened an account for my husband and myself in Feb of 2009 and then in July, thinking it was a new year, I put another 5,000 into both our accounts. I quickly realized my mistake and took the extra 5,000 in each, out.
I have MS and am on disability. This may have been a factor. However the extra interest added up to $12 for each of us. I will happily send the Government of Canada a check for the $24 but I can not send you a check for $400. Since I did this on my account also, I am expecting a similar letter from CRA.

I find charging $50 a month for 4 months, when the overcontribution was only for 3 months and earned extra interest of $4 a month, criminal.

Please let me know what I can do about this as paying $400 is not possible.

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