The CRA issued a press release reminding Canadian taxpayers that of the “Taxpayer Relief Provisions for Canadian taxpayers affected by natural disasters outside Canada”.
Canada Revenue Agency News release
Taxpayer Relief Provisions for Canadian taxpayers affected by natural disasters outside Canada
Ottawa, Ontario, April 28, 2011… The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) would like to advise Canadians who have been affected by natural disasters outside Canada or who are participating in relief efforts that they are eligible for the CRA’s taxpayer relief provisions if they were unable to meet their tax obligations.
The CRA understands that events such as the recent earthquakes, tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan or any other potential disasters may cause great difficulties to affected Canadian taxpayers. As has been done in the past, the CRA will provide relief to these taxpayers if they were unable to meet their tax obligations due to a natural disaster.
The CRA’s taxpayer relief provisions use a balanced approach to assist taxpayers in resolving tax issues that arise due to circumstances beyond their control. Under these provisions, taxpayers can apply to the CRA to have interest and/or penalties waived or cancelled in situations where they are unable to file a tax return and/or make payments on time because of a natural disaster. Taxpayers should submit their request in writing using form RC4288, Request for Taxpayer Relief. The CRA will consider these requests on a case?by?case basis.
If taxpayers are unable to physically access the financial institutions that they normally depend on, the CRA’s e?Services, which include direct deposit, can provide quick access to tax payment and account information. The CRA encourages all taxpayers to sign up for e?Services at http://www.cra.gc.ca/electronicservices.
Affected taxpayers who have questions or concerns about the CRA’s taxpayer relief provisions can access additional information on the CRA website at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/gncy/prgrms_srvcs/txpyrrlf/menu-eng.html or they can call the CRA at 1-800-959-8281. For those who are calling from outside Canada and the United States, the number is 1-613-952-3741. Collect calls will be accepted.
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Mark Blumberg is a partner at the law firm of Blumberg Segal LLP in Toronto and works almost exclusively in the areas of non-profit and charity law.