ADHD Made Me Do It

Survive Life with Laughter

CRA – Conflicting Re-assessments Always

on April 9, 2014

If you have ever had a positive conversation with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)…I want to know your magical power! I can’t ever recall a positive experience I have had with them since I started working when I was 14 years old…I’m in my late 30’s now! I’m not one for the complete elimination of CRA or taxes – even though I can’t seem to get the services promised with the excessive taking of my taxes.  I totally believe that our taxes should be used to keep the basic needs of our country going – I am a social services freak after all! I also believe that the more money you make should not entitle you to a higher tax credit amount or access to better loop holes…tax it fairly…like when CRA already takes half my pay-cheque, I don’t see why I should owe them more money at the end of the year!

Sadly, a balance owing to CRA has been my situation for last couple years…and their agents are sometimes as bad as ignorant collections agents…offering the threats of wage garnishments and bank account seizures.  I actually suggested once that they take over my bank account and garnish my wages, and once I’ve lost all money to maintain my living expenses, I will just go on welfare and live off the taxes…or they could accept the bi-weekly tax amount they already take off my pay-cheque and agree to the additional affordable monthly payment arrangement I suggest!

It’s funny how when you owe the CRA money, they call and hound you for it…they add interest from months before you even knew you owed money, but when they owe you money….can’t even get a clear answer as to when you will receive the money and how much interest do they owe you. My most recent experience…yesterday…with the CRA was a 2 hour discussion with 3 different people – the last person was an actual supervisor…and after 30 minutes into the discussion I wanted to jump thru the phone and punch them all in the throat!!

Why am I fighting the good fight?  Recently CRA has finally approved my disability tax credit for my ADHD and Spinal Funky Chicken – allowing me to apply this credit amount against my income….and backdating it to 2006.  All that was required was to submit one of their tedious adjustment schedule forms, and have it applied to my income tax for the past 7 years…it should be noted here that for the last 3 years I have had this balance owing to CRA and the credit amount was meant to alleviate that balance.  Now, logically, you would think that applying a credit against income would reduce the balance owing…or even wipe out the balance owing completely right?! Well, apparently not and in fact I ending up owing them more money than before the credit was approved and applied.

As I went through an agency to complete the tax credit application, I contacted my “case manager” to discuss my confusion with the tax credit and my new balance owning.  She explains that she has done the adjustments correctly, and that I wouldn’t have received a return for the years I made too much money, and of course CRA needs to be paid back their money.  Still unclear as to the logical breakdown by my case manager, I contact my bookkeeper – who thankfully understands and agrees with what I am logically saying…she suggests I contact CRA for clarification…which was never clarified after 3 representatives.

1st Representative – She was very pleasant, she was willing to take the time to actually review my file, check out different systems holding different information, and to listen to the full extent of my inquiry.  After reviewing my file and understanding my logical way of thinking – again that would be that a tax credit applied to income reduces tax payable to CRA – she begins the calculation process to apply the credit each year and sees that I should be getting a bigger refund.  But then, out of nowhere, she tells me that her colleague will explain in further details about the refund and the process.

2nd Representative – He started pleasant but quickly turned inpatient as I requested clarification of his brief explanation.  He then looked into my file and realized…”that’s bizarre to have a balance owing when there was previously a refund before the adjustment”.  I told him that was my main concern, which then kicked off his frustration with my questioning attitude against the CRA authority.  I explained my point again – that being that a balance owing in 2010 cannot be applied to 2007 before the 2010 income is adjusted with the credit…otherwise there is no adjustment and the CRA is taking money that is rightfully mine.  I also mentioned that it seems wrong to apply a balance owing 3 years before the balance is actually owed.  That’s like seeing into the future a bit right? CRA saying “hmmm let’s take money from the year 2007 because we think there will be money owed in 2010”.  That is just nonsense.  He then carries on to explain that he understands what I am saying, but that is not the way the system works, they always move the balance backwards to first year of adjustment.  I then asked him to actually calculate it out like the initial representative did, and he explained that would take too much time and the system is correct.  After an hour on the phone and frustration with the lack of customer service, I requested to speak to his supervisor…and he actually said “no”.  So, I ask if he is actually denying me access to his supervisor, and he tries to backtrack (remember now…all calls with CRA are monitored for quality assurance and training purposes) he then suggests that what he is telling me is correct and his supervisor will only confirm and tell me the same.  I say “great and I would love to hear the answer from them, can I speak to them?”  Finally, he agrees to locate a supervisor

3rd Representative/Supervisor – She gets on the phone and questions my reason for wanting to speak to a supervisor.  I explain my lengthy discussion so far with 2 representatives and request further clarification of my file.  Just know that this discussion with her lasted yet another hour…and the end result was not much further ahead than the last representative.  She was very loyal to the CRA systems and seemed to want me off the phone…wanting me to call back when I received paperwork that wasn’t due to be mailed out for another 2 days.  She stated that I would understand fully once the Notice of Assessment was received as it would break down how the credit was applied to the balance owing.  I explained that I have reviewed the Notice of Assessments with my bookkeeper, who suggested the calculation was wrong and also explained that logically I cannot owe more money to CRA after granted a tax credit to apply to my yearly income.  She too, like the others before her, does the calculations of my adjusted income and notes that the total income tax payable is less than before the tax credit adjustment.  I think I might have actually heard the angel song…you know “LLLLAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH” and the area brightened up for just one moment…but then shot down again when she said “yes it looks like you should get more money, but I still think the calculation is correct”.  How do I move forward from here?  She tells me to wait for my Notice and then if I disagree I can appeal.  I tell her that I don’t have the time to wait for paperwork when I already disagree and what do I do now….and she said that I could request a review – like I couldn’t just request that 2 hours ago in the first instance!

So, now I am waiting for this review process that might take a further 6 weeks for more CRA….Conflicting Re-assessment of the Re-Assessment of the initial Assessment.

Fingers crossed the supervisor’s RUSH request for the review will bring the review date to….tomorrow would be super duper awesome!!! 

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