The Canadian Bill of Rights for taxpayers lays out 16 basic rights along with 5 commitments to Small Business in RC4417. As a bookkeeper who does accounting for small business, you should be aware of the Bill of Rights.
So why don't you pour yourself a cup of nice, hot tea before we go through the taxpayer bill of rights together.
Do you have your cup of tea? Great, let's start this chat by wrapping your hands around the hot tea cup and inhaling the smell of your tea ... go on ... do it.
Now exhale. Consciously inhale and exhale again.
Next pick a color that describes how you feel right now. Did your colour choice surprise you?
Take in this moment. Notice if you like the smell of the tea or the warmth of the tea cup on your hands or if you felt any tension leave your body when you exhaled ... now that is what I call the start to a tea break! :0)
Okay now that we've cleared our head, let's get started reviewing the taxpayer bill of rights.
Tax Audits The Process
Receiving a Tax Notice
An article by JA Smith & Associates Inc., CGA (jasmith.com) points out that the following declaration of taxpayer bill of rights does NOT apply if you are under tax investigation ... as that is a criminal matter subject to the Charter Rights ... unlike tax audits which are a civil matter.
Reference: How to avoid being audited and how to handle it if you can't avoid it
As CRA's bureaucracy and efforts affect small business bookkeeping, I thought I'd start by reviewing CRA's Commitment to Small Business.
I research US tax information for my U.S. visitors and I gotta tell you ... the CRA is doing / has done a superb job of reducing bureaucracy and red tape for small business owners in Canada ... especially how the federal and provincial/territorial governments work together ... I'm almost in awe after looking how independently and competitively the U.S federal and state governments appear to work ... or not work.
The CRA is committed to:
You can keep track of CRA's small business outreach events and seminars in your city by going to their website cra-arc.gc.ca. Look on the left hand side bar under Information About and click on Events and Seminars.
The Small Business Seminar is usually offered in the winter months. It is a free seminar that is great if you are just starting your business or if you are a bookkeeper and want to refresh your knowledge ... to make sure you haven't missed anything along the way.
The day long seminar, covers almost everything you need to do small business bookkeeping. Sometimes instead of covering all the material in one day, the seminar is broken into three seminars. The three modules are:
Sessions are starting up again. Check the CRA website to see if they are being offered in your community.
Here are the first 8 of your 15 basic taxpayer rights as laid out in RC4417 and RC17 (E):
These next four rights are similar to taxpayer protection covered in the Income Tax Act:
The Knowledge Bureau noted in their June 23, 2009 free newsletter that the Income Tax Act also provides taxpayer protection provisions through the taxpayer's right to (1) appeal, (2) fairness and leniency, and (3) privacy (a completed Form T1013 and/or RC59 is required before information can be released to third parties).
On June 18, 2009, Minister Blackburn reminded Canadians they have recourse options available if they do not agree with their CRA assessment.
Here are the last 7 taxpayer bill of rights a bookkeeper should be aware of, which includes taxpayer recourse options.
The Knowledge Bureau July 7, 2009 free newsletter discussed options regarding undue hardship that is useful for bookkeepers to know. Here are three that were discussed.
On June 27, 2013, CRA added another right ... the right to lodge a complaint and request a formal review without fear of reprisal.
If you feel that the CRA has not resolved your service complaint in a satisfactory manner, you have the option to contact the Taxpayers' Ombudsman at www.taxpayersrights.gc.ca for an independent review of your situation. He works to ensure the taxpayer bill of rights is upheld for all Canadians.
We've come to the end of this chat on Canadian Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Before you get back to work, you might want to take a minute to get familiar with your tax compliance responsibility timeline options.
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