Processing times and complexity levels - Income tax and GST/HST objections

Every month, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) updates how long it will take on average for an appeals officer to be assigned to an objection and for the CRA to resolve it.

The number of days for the CRA to resolve an objection includes all the time that the objection is within the control of the Government of Canada but excludes the time it takes taxpayers to provide more information, if needed, to support their objection.

Objections are resolved on a case-by-case basis. There are three levels of complexity for objections – low, medium, and high. The timelines for each level of complexity are listed below.

Note: Our processing times may be longer than usual due to a backlog of certain workloads that accumulated during the COVID-19 situation from    March 2020 until the full resumption of all objections program activities.

 

Videos


Transcript

Don't agree with your assessment, benefit or credit determination? Thinking of filing an objection or formal dispute?

Meet Roger.

Roger doesn't agree with the amount owing to the Canada Revenue Agency indicated on his notice of assessment.

He’s thinking of filing an objection but wants to consider all his options first.

Roger heads over to canada.ca/cra-complaints-disputes.

Other options might be available to help resolve his situation, instead of filing an objection.

For example, he might be able to adjust his return online or contact the CRA to discuss the issue.

Roger finds out from the CRA that he has one year after the tax filing deadline of the return or 90 days from the date of his income tax assessment or reassessment to file an objection - whichever is later.

Roger’s filing deadline for the 2020 tax year is April 30, 2021.

Roger filed on time and he gets his Notice of assessment dated May 10, 2021.

Roger has until May 2, 2022, one year after the tax filing deadline of his return, to file his objection.

In certain situations, you may request a change to your return or the CRA may adjust your return.

In either case, you will receive a notice of reassessment.

In Roger’s case, the CRA made an adjustment to his 2020 tax return and he received a notice of reassessment dated June 9, 2022.

Roger has until September 7, 2022, 90 days from the date of his reassessment, to file an objection.

If you miss the deadline for filing an objection to your assessment or reassessment, you have one year after the objection filing deadline to apply for an extension.

You can apply at the same time as you file your objection.

Be sure to explain why you need more time.

After reading all the situations and checking the filing deadlines, Roger decides to file an objection.

Now he has to provide all the facts and reasons why he thinks he has been assessed incorrectly.

He must also gather all the documents that support his objection, so that the CRA can make a well informed decision.

To file his objection online, Roger will use the Register a formal dispute (Notice of Objection) option to dispute his reassessment and instantly receive a case number.

He will use this number when he sends his documents using the CRA's electronic service, Submit Docs, or when he contacts the CRA.

If you're thinking of filing an objection to dispute your assessment or reassessment or to explore options, visit canada.ca/cra-complaints-disputes

Transcript

When the CRA asks you for information, don't delay.

Provide all of it on time, every time.

Have you been contacted by the Canada Revenue Agency asking you to provide information?

There are many reasons why the CRA may want to get in touch with you.

Whatever the reason, don't delay.

It's important that you respond to us by the deadline we give you.

Meet Ahmed.

Ahmed has been contacted by the CRA about his tax return.

He has been asked to provide the CRA with information by a specific date.

Ahmed understands the importance of paying attention to all the correspondence from the CRA, and always responds promptly.

If we don't hear back from Ahmed by the deadline date, the CRA may make decisions without the information he was asked to provide.

Suspicious that the request might be a scam?

Before responding to a letter or a phone call, for peace of mind, visit canada.ca/taxes-fraud-prevention.

Once you’ve reassured yourself that the contact from the CRA is legitimate, send your information by mail or electronically to the CRA using Submit Docs.

Need more time to respond due to special circumstances?

Let us know before the deadline by contacting the CRA office or representative identified on the letter to discuss your situation.

If the CRA contacts you for information, be sure to contact us on time, every time.

When you respond, the CRA will be ready to help you.

Income tax objections

Low complexity income tax objections

Low complexity income tax objections resolved in May 2022 were completed in an average of 127 days from the date the objection was submitted. These objections include issues with individual tax credits, personal deductions, the Canada child benefit, and the disability tax credit.

The majority of low complexity income tax objections now being assigned to an appeals officer were received in December 2021.

In the 2021–2022 fiscal year, the CRA met its low complexity objections service standard 81% of the time.*

Medium complexity income tax objections

Medium complexity income tax objections resolved in May 2022 were completed in an average of 256 days from the date the objection was submitted. These objections usually include issues with business expenses, partnerships, more complex individual income tax issues, and small and medium corporation (T2) related issues.

The majority of medium complexity income tax objections now being assigned to an appeals officer were received in October 2021.

In the 2021–2022 fiscal year, the CRA met its medium complexity objections service standard 72% of the time.*

High complexity income tax objections

High complexity income tax objections take much longer to resolve than other objections because of their technical content. These objections usually involve large corporations, complex business transactions, international transfer pricing, general anti-avoidance rule assessments, and tax avoidance schemes.

They represent only 2% to 3% of the CRA's total Objections Program workload. On average, it may take over 690 days to resolve high complexity income tax objections.

During this time, CRA representatives are in regular contact with the taxpayers who submitted the objections.

Status of your objection

If you or your authorized representative have questions about the status of an objection that you have already filed and you do not have the contact information for your appeals officer, call the objection enquiries phone line.

Objection enquiries toll-free line: 1-800-959-5513

Objection enquiries when calling from outside of Canada (collect calls accepted): 613-940-8563

*Please note that our processing times for the 2020–2021 fiscal year were influenced by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

GST/HST Objections

Low complexity income tax objections

Low complexity income tax objections resolved in May 2022 were completed in an average of 127 days from the date the objection was submitted. These objections include issues with individual tax credits, personal deductions, the Canada child benefit, and the disability tax credit.

The majority of low complexity income tax objections now being assigned to an appeals officer were received in December 2021.

In the 2021–2022 fiscal year, the CRA met its low complexity objections service standard 81% of the time.*

Medium complexity income tax objections

Medium complexity income tax objections resolved in May 2022 were completed in an average of 256 days from the date the objection was submitted. These objections usually include issues with business expenses, partnerships, more complex individual income tax issues, and small and medium corporation (T2) related issues.

The majority of medium complexity income tax objections now being assigned to an appeals officer were received in October 2021.

In the 2021–2022 fiscal year, the CRA met its medium complexity objections service standard 72% of the time.*

High complexity income tax objections

High complexity income tax objections take much longer to resolve than other objections because of their technical content. These objections usually involve large corporations, complex business transactions, international transfer pricing, general anti-avoidance rule assessments, and tax avoidance schemes.

They represent only 2% to 3% of the CRA's total Objections Program workload. On average, it may take over 690 days to resolve high complexity income tax objections.

During this time, CRA representatives are in regular contact with the taxpayers who submitted the objections.

Status of your objection

If you or your authorized representative have questions about the status of an objection that you have already filed and you do not have the contact information for your appeals officer, call the objection enquiries phone line.

Objection enquiries toll-free line: 1-800-959-5513

Objection enquiries when calling from outside of Canada (collect calls accepted): 613-940-8563

*Please note that our processing times for the 2020–2021 fiscal year were influenced by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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