I’m sitting in my office on a Friday afternoon after a hard week, looking forward to a nice weekend to come…and then the phone rings. You know nothing good comes from a call on a Friday afternoon. I see from my call display that it’s Mr. X. He is the owner of a growing high tech company.
He lets me know that a government auditor just called him and said they are coming in on Tuesday morning.
“Which Tuesday morning? In three days from now?”, I ask. “Just coming in like that?”
“Yes!” he says. ” That’s what she told me. Just like that! Didn’t even ask me if she could. She just told me that they were coming in.”
“They cannot do that.” I tell him. “Give them a call back and let her know that you have a representative. I am your accountant and that I will call her and that I will handle it from here. Give me her number and I will take it from here and go have a good weekend! “
In the CRA’s, Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/cra-arc/formspubs/pub/rc4417/rc4417-12-13e.pdf each taxpayer has many rights, namely no. 15. You have the right to be represented by a person of your choice. And no. 16. You have the right to lodge a service complaint and request a formal review without fear of reprisal.
What this says is that, as soon as they call you, stop them, don’t take an appointment. You are a very busy person, running your own business. You have representatives that handle these types of matters…and they will be in touch.
So, on Monday at 1 minute after 12 noon, I call the government auditor and leave a message and let her know who I am and who I represent. (She left for lunch, already.) I let her know many reasons why we are too busy to see her so soon and to call me to arrange a time. When we finally speak, I ask her for a fax (they don’t do e-mails) with everything she requires for her audit and that I will be in contact and let her know when we can get all of the required documentation together. I also ask her the purpose for the audit. And they have to tell you. I let her know I will be in touch to set up an appointment. You can always buy several weeks of time as you get organized.
You have to always know your rights and try and control the situation when it comes to income tax auditors. They will try their best to get a meeting as fast as possible. They are just doing their jobs and after all, they assume that you are completely ready and all your books are compliant and in order. Right!?
Boy Scouts motto “be prepared” but know your rights.
November 23, 2018