Financial Planning

Here are some tips you could share with your clients if they need to make changes to their tax returns or file an objection

By Leah Golob |


The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has come out with some guidelines to help Canadians who believe there might be problems with their tax assessments.

The easiest way for Canadians to resolve an issue — such as wrong or missing information — is to request a change to their tax returns, the CRA says. If any Canadians did not file a tax return and but were assessed by the CRA, the easiest way to correct any errors is to file a return.

For those who have tried to resolve issues and aren't happy with the results, they will need to object to the assessment formally. The following guidelines can help you and your clients determine the best solution to their situation.

When to request a change to a return:
> There is a mistake on the return.
> Your client forgot to include information for a tax deduction, credit or benefit their trying to claim.
> Your client found a missing or new receipt, information slip (such as a T4) or other supporting document.

When to file a notice of objection:
> Your client has already tried resolving his or her issue with the CRA and provided all relevant information.
> Your client thinks that the CRA has misinterpreted the facts or applied the law incorrectly.
> Your client wants a fair and impartial review of his or her tax assessment.

The deadline to file an objection to an income tax reassessment or redetermination is whichever of the two dates is later: one year after the tax filing deadline or 90 days from the date of the notice of reassessment or redetermination.

The deadline to file an objection to a T2 corporation income tax or GST/HST reassessment is 90 days after the notice was sent.

How to change a T1 individual income tax return:
> To change a T1 return with the CRA's online service My Account, log in and select the "Change my return" option.
> If a client filed a T1 return with an EFILE service provider, an authorized tax preparer can change the tax return for the 2015 and 2016 taxation years by using the CRA's new ReFile service.
> Clients can also request a change in writing by sending a completed Form T1 Adjustment Request to their tax centre indicated on the form.

How to adjust a T2 corporation income tax return:
> If your client or an authorized tax preparer filed the T2 return electronically using the CRA's approve corporation Internet tax-filing software, the same software can be used to file an amended return electronically with adjustments in it.
> Clients also can request a change in writing by sending a letter explaining change requests to their tax centre.

How to adjust GST/HST returns:
> To change a GST/HST return with the CRA's secure online service My Business Account, log in and select the "adjust a return" option.
> Clients can also request a change in writing by sending a letter explaining their change request to their tax centre.

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