|Jason Britton is fighting to clear a tax debt incurred after his mother's recent death. (JACK BOLAND/QMI Agency)
TORONTO - Jason Britton is up in arms over the lack of compassion and humanity Canada’s Revenue Agency (CRA) has shown in dealing with his late mother’s income tax mess.
Britton’s mother Donna died Monday (Oct. 31) of cancer at the age of 69. A refund cheque for $13,511.61 was incorrectly sent to Donna in September 2009 as part of a previous tax return mix-up between her employer at the time and Revenue Canada. The taxman sent a notice on Aug, 24 to Jason’s mom - the day she was diagnosed with cancer - saying they want the original amount of $13,511.61, plus an extra $1,508.83 in accrued interest.
Jason has been trying to resolve the issue with the CRA to no avail after numerous phone calls to the CRA, but ended up getting shuffled from one department to another.
On Monday, the day his mom died, Jason paid the CRA back the $13,511.61, but didn’t pay the outstanding interest.
“On Monday, I called the CRA again, but they would not speak to me saying I was not on the file and that I would have to prove she’s dead first and to submit something in writing and they’ll get back to me in six months. They have no humanity...Meanwhile the interest is accruing daily,” Jason said Tuesday, while trying to plan a memorial service for his mother.
Tax lawyer Paul DioGuardi suggests applying for taxpayer relief and to complain to Canada’s Taxpayers’ Ombudsman Paul Dube, who is an independent and impartial officer who appointed to investigate complaints from people who believe they have been treated unfairly or unprofessionally by the CRA.
Jason said following Friday’s memorial, he will organize the paper trail showing his mom attempted to return the cheque to the CRA and make a call to Dube.
“I hope someone (at the CRA) will call me. In the meanwhile, I will apply for the taxpayer relief - what choice do I have?,” Jason said.
Philippe Brideau, a CRA spokesman said confidentiality provisions under the Income Tax Act (ITA) prevent him from discussing specific cases.
But, Brideau said speaking in general terms, that Taxpayer relief provisions under the ITA permit the cancellation of penalties and interest if these charges arose primarily because of actions of the CRA.
Brideau said the CRA encourages anyone with concerns about their tax situation to contact the CRA at 1-800-959-8281 or to visit http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/gncy/prgrms_srvcs/txpyrrlf/menu-eng.html.