Goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST)

GST/HST Objection Assignment and Resolution Timelines

Low complexity objections submitted in May 2017 are now being assigned to an appeals officer. Objections resolved in July 2017 were completed in an average of 109 days from the date the objection was submitted. For the service standard relating to low complexity objections, go to Service Standards in the CRA.

Medium complexity objections submitted in September 2016 are now being assigned to an appeals officer. Actual resolution times for medium complexity objections will be available December 2017.

High complexity objections: Due to the complex nature of the issues involved, we cannot provide timelines for these objections.

For definitions of complexity, see Are there different levels of complexity for GST/HST objections?

What happens if I do not agree with the Notice I received from the CRA about my GST/HST account or I have more information to provide?

If you have received a Notice of Assessment or a Notice of Reassessment and you do not think that it is correct because you have information for CRA to consider, please review the following Questions to determine the best course of action for you to take.

1.  Did you forget to claim input tax credits (ITCs) on a previous GST/HST return? Do you have the additional information to submit to CRA?

Rather than filing an objection, if you forgot to claim ITCs on a previous GST/HST return you can include any missed ITCs in your next GST/HST return. In most cases, you have up to four years to claim your ITCs. Find information on time limits for claiming ITCs by visiting What is the time limit for claiming ITCs?

2. Did you overlook an item when you filed your GST/HST return or rebate? Do you have the additional information to submit to CRA? 

You can ask for a change to a previously filed return or rebate.  You will find information on requesting a change by visiting Adjust a return or rebate.

3. Did CRA send you a GST/HST assessment notice for a reporting period where you had not previously filed a return? Do you think that it is incorrect because you have information for CRA to consider that may change that assessment? 

Rather than filing an objection, you can still send your GST/HST return to CRA.  Information on how to send us your return can be found by visiting How do you file a GST/HST return?

4. Did you submit your receipts and records to CRA and you did not receive the outcome you expected or the issue was not resolved to your satisfaction? This means, that you provided the requested information to CRA and you received your Notice of Assessment and you think we have misinterpreted the facts or applied the law incorrectly. 

You may have the right to object and submit an objection.  Information on if you can file an objection and how to file can be found below.

Please note that if you received a request to provide information during an audit or were otherwise contacted by CRA with a request to provide additional information and you did not respond to those requests and you chose instead to provide this information as part of an objection, your information may be referred back to the original area for a second review.

Can I file a GST/HST objection?

The time limit for filing a GST/HST objection is 90 days from the date on the Notice of Assessment. You or your authorized representative can file an objection. You have to clearly explain why you disagree with the assessment and also include all of the relevant facts and reasons.

What if my objection is past the time limit?

If you did not file your objection on time because you attempted to have your change made by contacting the originating area of CRA or because of circumstances beyond your control, you can apply for a time extension to file an objection. You can apply by writing to the Chief of Appeals at your Appeals Intake Centre, or by using the My Business Account or Represent a Client online services. You have to explain why you did not file your objection on time along with the facts and reasons of your objection.

The application for a time extension to file an objection must be made within one year after the expiration of the time limit to file an objection.

How do I file a GST/HST objection?

Here is what you provide when you file a GST/HST objection:

  • clear details of the issue(s) you are disputing, for example, GST collected in dispute, as well as the change you are requesting, and
  • any documentation to support your claim

You will find the steps to follow to file an objection and processing timeframes below. It is important to always provide all relevant information to CRA to allow for a complete consideration of the issue, at the assessing, audit, and objection stages.

To file an objection, follow these steps, depending on where you live.

In all cases, you have to explain why you disagree and include all relevant facts, reasons, and supporting documents.

You or your authorized representative can submit supporting documents online at My Business Account or Represent a Client, by selecting the “Submit documents” service.

For more information on the Submit Documents online service, go to Submit documents online.

Interest and penalties

If you file a GST/HST objection, interest will continue to accrue on any overdue balance owing. The CRA will pay interest on any amount it refunds to you if your objection is allowed. 

The Minister may grant relief from penalties or interest in certain circumstances. For more information, visit Cancel or waive penalties or interest.

While an application for taxpayer relief from interest or penalties is under consideration, collection action will continue and the amount is due and payable. For more information on collections, visit When you owe money-collections at the CRA.

How long will my objection take?

The time it takes to complete the review of an objection varies.

Factors that influence the time it takes include:

  • the complexity of the issue
  • delays caused by not submitting all the facts, reasons and documentation

Your objection may be assigned sooner, if your submission is clear and complete.

Are there different levels of complexity for GST/HST objections?

Low complexity objections:
Very few GST/HST objections are considered low complexity. These objections may involve issues such as notional assessments.

Medium complexity objections:
These objections often involve issues such as: New Housing Rebates, Input Tax Credits, and Imposition of GST/HST.   

High complexity objections:
These objections involve large corporations, complex business transactions, and General Anti-Avoidance Rule assessments. 

When will an appeals officer look at my objection?

Low and medium complexity objections:
For the objection resolution timelines for low and medium complexity GST/HST objections, refer to the GST/HST Objection Assignment and Resolution Timelines table at the top of this webpage.

High complexity objections:
Due to the complex nature of the issues involved, we cannot provide timelines for these objections.

How can I have my objection resolved faster?

There is a lot you can do to speed up the processing of your objection. To have your objection resolved faster:

  • ensure that all explanations and documentation are provided as early in the process as possible, and
  • ensure that your concerns are fully explained and supported.

What causes delays during the objection review?

Your objection may take longer if:

  • it is not clear what you are objecting to
  • you do not provide the facts, reasons, and supporting documentation with your objection
  • the appeals officers needs to consult other CRA tax specialists
  • there is an appeal to the courts that may cause your objection to be held in abeyance, pending the outcome

You will be notified if more information is required or your objection is delayed.

What do I do if I don’t agree with the decision made in regards to my objection?

Once you receive CRA's decision resulting from an objection, you can appeal your assessment to the Tax Court of Canada, either under the Informal Procedure or the General Procedure. The time limit for filing an appeal is 90 days from the date on the notice. The Tax Court procedures are explained in publication GST/HST Memoranda series Chapter 31, Objections and Appeals. You can appeal the Tax Court's decision to the Federal Court of Appeal, and a judgment of the Federal Court of Appeal can be further challenged before the Supreme Court of Canada, with the Court's permission.

Time Extension – Notice of Appeal

You can apply for an extension to file your appeal by making an application to the Tax Court of Canada. Explain why you cannot or did not file your appeal on time.

Apply as soon as possible, but the application must be made within one year after the expiration of the time limit to file an appeal.

Who do I contact if I have questions about the status of my objection and I have not yet been contacted by an appeals officer?

If you have not yet been contacted by an Appeals Officer, or do not have the officer's contact information, you may contact one of the Intake Centres:

Eastern Intake Centre

Toll Free Public Enquiries Line: 1-866-242-3161 (English), 1-866-276-0969 (French)
Local Public Enquiries Line: 705-671-0238 (English), 705-677-7764 (French)
Fax: 1-866-443-4955, Local: 705-671-0388

Western Intake Centre

Public Enquiries Line: 1-800-959-5513
Fax: 1-866-486-6832, Local: 604-587-2672

Note

Residents with a Postal Code starting with letters A to P may contact the Eastern Intake Centre, and residents with a Postal Code starting with letters R to Y may contact the Western Intake Centre.

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