Access to Your Tax File Information

The Canada Revenue Agency is required by law to give a taxpayer a complete copy of his tax file.

It is true that under various laws respecting access to information, taxation authorities have the obligation to cooperate and to provide your file information to you.  Many taxpayers are not aware of these provisions; however, they are of essential importance in a tax dispute.

For example, a business is the subject of an audit and, at the end of the process, is issued different assessments.  If the business wishes to meaningfully contest them, it is essential that it be aware of all the comments, worksheets, computations and notes recorded in the auditor’s file.

Now, the customary practice of the taxation authorities is precisely to NOT provide such a report, but rather to issue a brief (and not very explanatory) draft assessment.  On request, however, they will have no other choice than to provide a complete and detailed copy of your file.

The business will then be able to better understand which information the auditor relied on, and consequently in a better position to contest the whole.

Louis Sirois, Tax Lawyer