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

COVID-19: Objections, appeals and taxpayer relief 

Dispute resolution and taxpayer relief services are resuming.

CRA and COVID-19: Resuming Business Activities 

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.

 

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Income tax objections

Low complexity income tax objections

Low complexity income tax objections resolved in January 2021 were completed in an average of 142 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.

For the CRA's service standard relating to low complexity objections, go to Service Standards in the CRA. In the 2019-2020 fiscal year, the CRA met its low complexity income tax objections service standard 97% of the time.

The majority of low complexity income tax objections now being assigned to an appeals officer were received in July 2020.

Medium complexity income tax objections

Medium complexity income tax objections resolved in January 2021 were completed in an average of 319 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.

For CRA's service standard relating to medium complexity objections, go to Service Standards in the CRA. In the 2019-2020 fiscal year, the CRA met its medium complexity income tax objections service standard 82% of the time.

The majority of medium complexity income tax objections now being assigned to an appeals officer were received in March 2020.

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

GST/HST Objections

Low complexity GST/HST objections

Low complexity GST/HST objections resolved in January 2021 were completed in an average of 124 days from the date the objection was submitted.

Few GST/HST objections are considered low complexity. They may involve issues such as the CRA making GST/HST assessments when returns have not been filed.

For the service standard relating to low complexity objections, go to Service Standards in the CRA. In the 2019-2020 fiscal year, the CRA met its low complexity GST/HST objections service standard 97% of the time.

The majority of low complexity GST/HST objections now being assigned to an appeals officer were received in June 2020.

Medium complexity GST/HST objections

Medium complexity GST/HST objections resolved in January 2021 were completed in an average of 336 days from the date the objection was submitted.

These objections include issues with new housing rebates, input tax credits, and imposition of GST/HST.

For the service standard relating to medium complexity objections, go to Service Standards in the CRA. In the 2019-2020 fiscal year, the CRA met its medium complexity GST/HST objections service standard 83% of the time.

The majority of medium complexity GST/HST objections now being assigned to an appeals officer were received in December 2019.

High complexity GST/HST objections

High complexity GST/HST objections take much longer to resolve than others because of their technical content. They involve large corporations, complex business transactions, and general anti-avoidance rule assessments. They represent only 2% to 3% of the CRA's total Objections Program workload.

On average, it may take over 500 days to resolve high complexity GST/HST 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

In the province of Quebec

Revenu Québec administers the GST in Quebec. If the physical location of your business is in Quebec and you don’t have the contact information for your appeals officer, you can get information on the status of your GST/HST objection by contacting Revenu Québec directly unless you are a person that is a selected listed financial institution (SLFI) for GST/HST or QST purposes or both. If you are a SLFI, go to GST/HST and QST – Financial institutions, including selected listed financial institutions.

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