Instances when your request will or may be denied

Dispute an assessment or reassessment

The purpose for requesting an adjustment beyond the normal three-year period is not to dispute the correctness or validity of a previous assessment.

The ability of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to allow an adjustment beyond the normal three-year period should not be used as a way to have issues reconsidered, such as an audit reassessment, when the individual or graduated rate estate chose not to dispute the issues through the normal objection or appeal process or where the issues were already dealt with under the objection process.

For more information on your rights of objection or appeal, please see Income Tax.

Requests affecting the statute-barred income tax return of another individual

The CRA will generally not accept a request for an adjustment beyond the normal three-year period when the adjustment would result in the increase of taxes, interest, or penalties to the income tax return of another individual when that return is statute-barred and the CRA cannot reassess it.

Provincial benefits or credits

If there are time limitations to claim certain provincial benefits or credits (that the CRA administers on behalf of the provinces) stipulated in a provincial act, the legislation allowing the Minister discretion to refund or reduce the amount payable beyond the normal three-year period does not override provincial limitations, unless provincial law allows for it.

Permissive deductions

The CRA will not process requests for adjustments if the requested decrease in tax is the result of an increased claim for capital cost allowance or other allowable deductions, when the taxpayer originally claimed less than the maximum amount allowed.

For more information, see Information Circular IC84-1, Revision of Capital Cost Allowance Claims and Other Permissive Deductions.

Employment Insurance premiums and Canada Pension Plan contributions

The legislation allowing the Minister discretion to issue refunds beyond the normal three-year period does not apply to refunds of overpayments of Employment Insurance premiums and Canada Pension Plan contributions. The time limit for a refund of an overpayment of Employment Insurance premiums and Canada Pension Plan contributions remains at three and four years under the Employment Insurance Act and Canada Pension Plan respectively. In the case of retroactive Canada Pension Plan Disability pension benefits, effective September 1, 2010, the time limit for a refund of Canada Pension Plan contribution overpayments is 10 years.

Requests based on a court decision or other resolution

CRA will generally not allow for the reassessment of a return beyond the normal three-year period if the request is made as a result of a court decision (for more information, see Information Circular IC75-7R3, Reassessment of a Return of Income). Requests made to reassess a return beyond the normal three-year period based only on the successful appeal by another taxpayer will not be granted.

Similarly, knowledge of another taxpayer's negotiated settlement to resolve an objection, or another taxpayer's consent to judgment on an appeal, will generally not be allowed an adjustment beyond the normal three-year period if the taxpayer has chosen not to protect his or her right of objection or appeal.

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