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What Is Tax Controversy?


Tax controversy refers to tax disputes that arise between tax collection entities such as the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) and taxpayers, usually but not always as the result of an audit. Tax controversy can cover a broad spectrum of taxes including income taxes, indirect taxes (GST / PST / HST), withholding taxes and international taxes.

The CRA operates on a self-assessment system — which means a taxpayer or business determines their own tax liability when filing their annual tax returns. The CRA however, relies on sophisticated audit methodologies to assess tax returns. This means that a file selected for audit can be based on pre-determined factors such as industry groups, business trends or unusual disclosures. Recently there has been an increase in taxpayer audits for a variety of reasons, some unwarranted. While an audit can create frustration, anxiety and significant time commitment, proper planning and organization will help in delivering the results you need to get back to doing what you do best — which is running your business!

To learn more about tax controversy and what you can do to educate yourself on how to effectively navigate through an audit, contact ​Loren Kroeker.