An application for Taxpayer Relief must be prepared carefully. The CRA has discretionary power over whether or not to grant the relief sought. Should the CRA refuse to grant the relief, the judiciary has limited jurisdiction to intervene.
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The CRA may grant “taxpayer relief” in certain situations, such as:
- waiving the requirement to file specific forms, receipts or documents;
- extending the time for making a return;
- waiving or canceling penalties or interests;
- extending the time for making an election or granting permission to amend or revoke an election;
- waiving taxes otherwise payable due to RRSP overcontributions;
- allowing refunds past the 3-year limit; and
- assessing taxes beyond the normal reassessment period (to the taxpayer’s benefit).
It is important to emphasize that this power of the CRA is discretionary. The relief sought is generally granted only on a case-by-case basis if the CRA guidelines are met.
In case the CRA refuses to grant the relief sought, you must apply to the Federal Court for judicial review. This process is fundamentally different from a tax appeal to the Tax Court of Canada.
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