by Gary Mandel
(Ashqelon, Israel)

When are Corporate Income Taxes and GST Statute Barred. ie
how many years from what date?

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Hi Gary,

D. Laurence Armstrong, of Armstrong Wellman, is an experienced tax litigator. I have taken this exerpt from his website

Pursuant to the Income Tax Act the normal period of assessment is three years. If a Return was filed for the 1999 tax year, for example in April of 2000, and assessed (received and acknowledged by Revenue Canada) a couple of months later, say by July 1st, then the three years would run from July 1, 2000. After July 1, 2003 CRA cannot reassess the file unless they allege that the taxpayer was guilty of some misconduct or gross negligence in preparing the Return, in which case they are able to bypass the three-year limitation.

The CRA often seek a waiver if they require more time and the taxpayer's return is about to become statute-barred. Here is Mr. Armstrong's information on Requests for Waivers that might be of interest to you.

The normal period for reassessment is 3 years. As that time approaches, Taxpayers are often requested to provide a Waiver, allowing the Statute Bar period to be extended indefinitely. CRA threatens they will reassess unless the Waiver is signed. In almost every instance, they are going to reassess anyway - the Waiver just gives them more time to gather information to be used against you. The decision as to whether to provide a waiver or not should be made in consultation with your lawyer.

The Canadian Tax Highlights newsletter from March 2205 deals with statute-barred amendments that might also interest you. The article is titled No Duty to Amend Return and can be found at

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Jul 31, 2010
More Detail
by: Gary Mandel

The reason I asked the question is that I have a business in Canada. In April and May 2008, we had an audit of January 31 2005 and 2006 year ends. The were two issues with the auditor, one on income taxes and one on GST. The auditor said she would call in July 2008 to set up an appointment to complete the audit. She did call in July but in 2010 and said she was coming to the office to have a waiver signed. I assume the years are statute barred so why would I sign.

Aug 01, 2010
by: Bookkeeping Essentials


Check out Mr. Lawrence's frequently asked questions. As an experienced tax litigator, he deals with this type inquiry. You willl find a few questions and answers on waivers. Here is the link.

While there, you may also want to check out his section on tax disputes deadlines.

Jan 05, 2011
A tax lawyer explains a "waiver"
by: Bookkeeping-Essenteials

Cyndee Todgham Cherniak has a blog posting dated January 3, 2011 that explains what a CRA waiver document (GST Form 189) is and what it means.

She discusses how the taxpayer can restrict the scope of the waiver and how it can be revoked.

You will find her blog at> archives> 2011> Jan > A "Waiver" is NOT a Hand Gesture to a Canada Revenue Agency Auditor to Say "Goodbye"

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