Here are the answers to the most frequently asked CRA Tax collections questions from the past weekend:
- Can you bribe a CRA officer in Canada?
First off, bribing a CRA officer is a criminal offense and you could quickly wind up with the RCMP at your door, or under investigation, but more realistically, the staff at the CRA tend to be lifelong civil servants and one of the great benefits of working in the civil service is the great pension. Few civil servants are willing to even entertain the thought of giving up their pensions, let alone going to jail for someone when they have hundreds of other people to collect from.
2. Is there GST/HST on a lien?
Answer: Let’s presume that the question is asking if there is additional GST / HST on a lien, and the lien has been registered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). In that scenario, the answer is no.
The CRA would register a lien for unpaid or unfiled (and assessed) GST / HST, and the amount used for the lien is the amount owing on the day it has been registered in Federal Court. This fact is important because from that day forth, interest continues to accrue and accumulate on the tax account with the CRA, but the lien only reflects the amount owing at a point in time.
Often, a lien will get paid out and then the CRA’s computer system kicks out an update Notice of Assessment with an additional balance owing and taxpayers are puzzled having just paid off a lien.
They did pay the lien.
Now they pay the rest of the balance owing.
3. Where can I get the truth about Voluntary Disclosure?
Answer: From the CRA website, of course. The link to the VDP section of their site is here; http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/voluntarydisclosures/
4. Can I claim mileage drive to and from work at the CRA?
Answer: I hope you enjoy your career at the CRA and are not an auditor, because you should know this answer! You cannot claim mileage driving to and from work.
“If you use a motor vehicle for both employment and personal use, you can deduct only the percentage of expenses related to earning income. To support the amount you can deduct, keep a record of both the total kilometres you drove and the kilometres you drove to earn employment income. We consider driving back and forth between home and work as personal use.”