Income tax

If you think we have misinterpreted the facts or applied the law incorrectly, you have the right to object to:

  • income tax assessments; and
  • determinations such as the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit, the Canada child tax benefit, and the disability tax credit.

Filing an objection is the first step in the formal process of resolving a dispute. The time limit for filing an objection is as follows:

  • If you are an individual (other than a trust), or filing for a testamentary trust, the time limit for filing an objection is whichever of the following two dates is later:
    • one year after the date of the return’s filing deadline; or
    • 90 days after the day we sent the notice of assessment.
  • In every other case, including assessment of taxes in respect of over-contributions to a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) or tax-free savings account (TFSA), you have to file an objection within 90 days of the day we sent the notice of assessment.

    For information about RRSP excess contributions, go to www.cra.gc.ca/rrsp.
    For information about TFSA excess contributions, go to www.cra.gc.ca/tfsa.   

You or your authorized representative can file an objection:

In all cases, you have to explain why you disagree and include all relevant facts and supporting documents.

You or your authorized representative can also submit supporting documents online at My Account, My Business Account, or Represent a Client, by selecting the “Submit documents” service.

For more information on the Submit Documents online service, go to Submit documents online.

Time Extension – Notice of Objection

If you did not file your objection on time because of circumstances beyond your control, you can apply for a time extension. You can apply by writing to the Chief of Appeals at your Appeals Intake Centre (see Appendix B of pamphlet P148), or by using the My Account or My Business Account online services. You have to explain why you did not file your objection on time and enclose your objection.

Apply as soon as possible, but the application must be made within one year after the expiration of the time limit to file an objection.

Filing an appeal to the courts

If you disagree with the CRA's decision resulting from an objection, you can appeal your assessment or determination to the Tax Court of Canada, either under the Informal Procedure or the General Procedure. The time limit for filing an appeal is 90 days from the date on the notice. The Tax Court procedures are explained in publication P148, Resolving Your Dispute: Objections and Appeal Rights under the Income Tax Act. You can appeal the Tax Court's decision to the Federal Court of Appeal, and a judgment of the Federal Court of Appeal can be further challenged before the Supreme Court of Canada, with the Court's permission.

Time Extension – Notice of Appeal

You can apply for an extension to file your appeal by making an application to the Tax Court of Canada. Explain why you cannot or did not file your appeal on time.

Apply as soon as possible, but the application must be made within one year after the expiration of the time limit to file an appeal.

Amounts owing that are under a formal review

In most cases, you do not have to pay income tax amounts that are in dispute until the CRA has completed its formal review or, if you have filed an appeal, until the Tax Court of Canada issues its decision or you withdraw your appeal. In addition, if you file an objection and have previously paid an amount toward an assessment or reassessment, you may ask us to repay the amount you paid that is in dispute. If you are entitled to a repayment, we will first apply the amount to reduce or clear any other amounts you owe that are not in dispute. We will refund the remainder.

It is important to note that interest charges apply during any period that an amount in dispute is not paid/refunded.

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