GST Disputes

Some GST disputes arise on their own. Most are a spin-off from an income tax dispute, for the same taxpayer.

The GST provisions of the Excise Tax Act are often more strictly worded than parallel provisions in the Income Tax Act. As a result, the rules that govern them are stricter, and the penalties can be greater. Usually you cannot suspend or delay collections while a GST dispute is ongoing. The CRA may garnish wages, place liens, and seize assets to collect payment.

GST disputes concern:

  • Supplies, and whether they are taxable supplies (subject to GST at the standard rate), zero-rate (GST at 0 percent, exempt supplies (not subject to GST) or not within the scope of GST
  • The entitlement to input tax credits

At Junkin Law Office, our lawyer will:

  • Help you understand what records are necessary
  • Explain the reasoning behind the CRA's position
  • Explain time limits and your options regarding deadlines

With You Through The Process

What we do for you will depend on where you are in the dispute process, which can be lengthy:

  • After you file your tax return, CRA may request more information from you and audit all or part of your return.
  • If the CRA disagrees with your return, you will usually get a "proposal letter" to respond to.
  • If your response does not change the auditor's mind, you will get a Notice of Reassessment. You have 90 days from the date of the Reassessment to file a Notice of Objection, giving support for the objection.
  • The CRA Appeals Division will review your case, at which time additional submissions may be made.
  • The reviewer may cancel the reassessment, change it in part, or agree with it.
  • You have 90 days to appeal the reviewer's decision to the Tax Court of Canada.
  • Your Notice of Appeal to the Tax Court of Canada should set out the issues in dispute and your reasons for appeal.
  • When the Appeal is filed, you must select either the General Procedure or the Informal Procedure. Each Procedure has its benefits and detriments, which we can explain, but generally, the Informal Procedure has no filing fee and more relaxed rules. The General Procedure includes a number of pre-trial procedures.
  • If your case does not settle (most do), there will be a hearing at the Tax Court, which includes witnesses and testimony under oath or affirmation.
  • If the decision at the Tax Court does not go your way, you may be able to further appeal.

Contact Junkin Law Office

Call our office at 604-239-3346 or fill out our online form to learn more about our services for businesses facing GST disputes in North Vancouver and surrounding parts of British Columbia.