Access to information

PWC has just published a good Tax Memo (2012-27) on taxpayer access to audit and appeals reports and other documents generated by the CRA in the course of issuing a reassessment. I found helpful the references to P-148 and CRA technical interpretation 2011-0403751C6 regarding what the CRA should provide without the taxpayer having to make an access request.

The Memo points out, however, that some auditors feel a taxpayer should have to make an access request to get a copy of the audit report. It’s not just auditors who take that view. In the course of discoveries during one Tax Court appeal I was handling, a Department of Justice lawyer refused to provide a copy of the auditor’s report on the basis that I should make an access request instead!

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2 thoughts on “Access to information

  1. Meaningless if the conduct of senior management and staff at CRAs Montreal Tax Services Office is the norm and not the exception. My client has made repeated requests for both audit and appeals reports, both orally and in writing, from the audit and appeals divisions, and the TSO director, to defend herself against an unjust assessment. She received none of the reports or information she requested. A completed Access to Information request produced exactly the same results. Her only apparent remedy at this point is to make a motion to the Tax Court of Canada to supress any information not provided to her from being entered into evidence by CRA.

    1. The behaviour to which you refer is not the norm among CRA staff, at least in my experience. In any case, the remedy you describe is not the client’s only option. In fact, it is probably not an effective option. The taxpayer should consult with someone who has experience with Tax Court litigation about this problem (if she is having to take the matter to Tax Court).

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