A Nasty Surprise for Charities

On July 18, 2005, the Department of Finance released over 300 pages of draft legislation amending the Income Tax Act (Canada) (the “Act”). For the most part, the legislation merely reintroduces previously-announced proposals, but Finance slipped in a new measure that imposes new burdens on charities. If the proposal is enacted, a charity that issues a receipt with an eligible amount in excess of $5,000 will be required first to make “reasonable inquiry” about whether the amount should be reduced under any one of a number of complex provisions of the Act relating to gifts.

Arguing with the CRA While the Clock Ticks

You file an income tax return for your client, and later the CRA issues an assessment or a reassessment that does not agree with the return as filed. Your natural instinct is to try to solve the problem by discussing it with the auditor or the person who issued the assessment. The communication is quicker and more direct. The person is already familiar with the issue in dispute. Remember, however, that while you are dealing with this person the clock is ticking away and your time for filing an objection is running out.

CRA Demands for Third-Party Information

Section 231.2 of the Income Tax Act (Canada) (the “Act”) authorizes the CRA to demand information from any person for any purpose related to the enforcement of the Act. What do you need to know about a demand for information about an unnamed third party, if the CRA comes knocking at your door with one in hand?