If the recent extreme weather conditions affected your ability to file or pay taxes, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) wants you to remember about the Taxpayer Relief program.
From the CRA website, Dated June 27th, 2014.
“The Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of National Revenue, today reminded taxpayers affected by recent extreme weather conditions, as has been seen in recent days in Alberta and Ontario, that the taxpayer relief provisions of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) are available to them if they are unable to meet their tax obligations.”
Corporations who are unable to file their T2 returns by the filing deadline of June 30, 2014, due to flooding or other circumstances beyond their control can apply to have interest and/or penalties waived or cancelled using Form RC4288, Request for Taxpayer Relief.
Business owners and self‑employed individuals who are unable to meet their filing and payment obligations may also be eligible for relief. The CRA understands that natural disasters may cause great difficulties for affected taxpayers whose primary concerns during this time are their families, homes, and communities.
The taxpayer relief provisions provide a balanced approach to assist taxpayers in resolving tax issues that arise due to circumstances beyond their control. Under these provisions, taxpayers can apply to the CRA to have interest and/or penalties waived or cancelled in situations where they are unable to file a tax return and/or make payments on time because of a natural disaster, such as tornadoes, floods, landslides, hurricanes, or forest fires, or as a result of other extraordinary circumstances.
The CRA will consider these requests on a case-by-case basis and during the time it takes for the CRA to review the application, it is likely that there will be notices sent to the taxpayer / organizations which have a penalty / interest balance. It is always recommended where possible to pay these amounts owing as soon as possible as doing so stops the interest from continuing to accumulate on the balance.
Paying off the penalty and interest balance does NOT impact the decision made by the Taxpayer Relief group.
Also keep in mind that it can take the CRA upwards of 9 months to complete a review under the Taxpayer Relief program and that full relief of penalties and / or interest are not guaranteed.
If the initial request is denied, the CRA will send a letter indicating why, and what information is missing. Taxpayers have another opportunity to apply for relief before considering whether a 3rd review – judicial review – is required.
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