Canada Revenue Agency Rips Me Off

October 11, 2007 Posted by Tyler Cruz

Now, I have to be careful what I write here and not go off on a complete rant because the CRA (Canadian Revenue Agency, equivalent to the IRS in the US) are arguably the last people you want to start a fight with. So in an effort to save my butt, to any CRA rep reading this: I’m simply very frustrated with all the hassle and mistakes regarding this incident. I’m sure you can understand.

Things are just getting silly now.

I made the image below back in March when I announced that I owed $30,000 in taxes to the CRA, and was basically whining about having to pay quarterly in advance.

I was hoping that I wouldn’t  have to use it again.

Unfortunately I have to.

Here’s the story:

Back in early February I bought a condo for $213,500. Since my condo was brand new, on top of that is a 6% GST (Government Sales Tax) of $12,810 which I paid as well, totaling $226,310.

However, there is a GST/HST New Housing Rebate that gives me 36% ($4,611.60) of that back.

I filled out the necessary forms and mailed it off to the CRA back in early April.

I waited a few weeks… no response. I waited another month… but there was still no response, so I phoned my accountant who said it was normal and was known to take 6-months.

Finally, on August 27th, nearly 5-months-later, I received a letter from the CRA. I was ecstatic opening the letter – it wasn’t the money I was thrilled to have, it was just ending this long process and to be finished with it.

However, I was a bit confused to find no cheque attached to the letter. Instead, the letter stated:

“Your new housing rebate application for the amount of $4,611.60″ has been provisionally approved in full. This rebate was paid or credited directly to you by your builder at the time of purchase.”

What? I phoned the CRA and they stated that it meant that I had supposedly agreed that they would receive the rebate. Umm… why would I do that?

So I phoned the notary who oversaw all the legalities and transaction, and she confirmed that the rebate money should indeed be coming to me, and not the seller/developer!

I phoned the CRA’s GST & HST line again, and talked to a rep that we’ll call Bill here to protect the guilty. I told him my story, and he instructed me to fax him copies of my Statement of Adjustments form and the letter I just received.

I did this immediately, and waited to hear back from Bill as he said he’d phone me.

I waited a week, with no response from Bill, so I contacted the GST & HST line yet again, but Bill was not there so I left a message on his voice mail.

This occurred another 3 times, each time with me leaving a nice and descriptive message on his voice mail. Now, to be fair, part of this was my fault as their offices are 4-hour ahead, and often Bill was already off work. But that doesn’t explain why he never returned my calls.

So, obviously I had enough and phoned my notary again to see if she could handle any of this for me, but unfortunately she said she couldn’t, and suggested I get an accountant to do so.

So I contacted my accountant, who said that they weren’t able to represent me on my behalf for such claims, but only for income-tax claims. She told me to just keep phoning the CRA and trying to get myself heard. Sigh.

And this is where I am now.

I’m going to set my alarm and wake up early tomorrow so that I can try to contact and catch Bill (I have to phone by around 10 a.m at the latest if I want to catch him). If I can’t catch him, I’ll try to get another rep to resolve my problem.

Sigh. What I hate about this is that I’m really at the mercy of the CRA and hope that they fix this. I’ve spent so much time and hassle just trying to get back what’s rightfully mine.

What angers me is that the developer would have gotten their cheque from the CRA and probably just cashed it without wondering where it came from…

What do you guys suggest I do? Just keep phoning and hoping for the best? Contact a lawyer and see if they can get it back from the developer or get the CRA to fix this? The thing I’m worried about a lawyer is of course the price. This is only for $4,611.60 and I know that lawyer’s ain’t cheap, and it doesn’t seem right that I would have to pay money to get back what’s rightfully mine.

Although, somebody told me that if I did use a lawyer that they would charge the developer or CRA their service fees since it’s their fault I had to resort to using a lawyer, but I’m not sure about this.

Any advice guys? This whole mess has given me a huge headache for the past 6 weeks… :(

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Posted: October 11th, 2007 under Miscellaneous  

7 Responses to “Canada Revenue Agency Rips Me Off”

  1. ozzie says:

    I suggest consulting with a lawyer, you might be able to consult for free or a small fee that way you can kind of see where you stand.

    It seems to me there giving you the ole CRA (IRS) shuffle!

  2. Keep at it. Do exactly what you said, call, but if you get “Bill’s” VMX then immediately call their general hotline number and while remaining VERY polite and VERY calm ask to speak with the manager after you briefly explain your situation.

    More often then not people are willing to help you out…you may find out that Bill is a real slacker and get someone who’s completely the opposite.

    If you do get someone that is very helpful, make sure you ask them for their name and explain that you’re going to express your gratitude for their help to their manager. While the person on the other end of the phone is “looking something up” or “checking a few things” I usually insert a “Thank you for your help. I really appreciate this” even if it’s something small. You’ll find out that they’re now even more willing to help you out.

    I had the same problem with a collections agency where I was guilty until proven innocent. After about 40 hours of work to prove my innocence I was able to clear my name of a faulty Comcast Cable charge of roughly $250 and get it expunged from my credit report.

    Good luck. Keep us posted.

  3. I filed taxes for the first time last year. Made $4000 last year. hahaha. I probably trippled that this year. Got to keep moving up.

  4. Similar thing happened to my Dad – the Taxman over here undercharged him for 6 years on tax, then asked for it all – £6k in all – within 30 days. Bit unreasonable really, given it was their fault. Could have been a little more lenient.

  5. […] Pays Off December 13, 2007 Posted by Tyler Cruz Two months ago I posted about how the Canadian Revenue Agency ripped me off. If you didn’t read that post and are too […]

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