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Your CRA Notice of Assessment has Arrived. Now What?

Last updated: Jun. 22, 2016 

What is the CRA Notice of Assessment?

After the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has completed a preliminary review of your filed tax return, you will be issued a Notice of Assessment.

The CRA Notice of Assessment (form T451) includes your taxable income (Line 150) and your allowable registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) contributions and tax-free savings account (TFSA) limit for the current year.

Line 150 is generally the amount that a financial institution will ask for as proof of income if you’re requesting a loan or mortgage.

Your tax assessment notice also includes carry forward amounts that you can include on your next year’s tax return, such as unused tuition and education credits and capital losses.

You can view and download your Notice of Assessment online through My Account.

The CRA Notice of Assessment will either confirm that your tax return was assessed as filed or will identify adjustments made by CRA.

What if I haven’t received my Notice of Assessment from the CRA?

Your annual CRA tax assessment notice will only be issued after the CRA has completed their preliminary review of the T1 tax return you or your representative has filed with the agency.

If you feel you should have received it — but haven’t — contact the CRA or call 1-800-267-6999.

What if there is a discrepancy on my CRA Notice of Assessment?

Once you view your Notice of Assessment from CRA, its important to compare it against the calculations on your filed T1 or T2 income tax return.

Unfortunately, discrepancies between income tax returns and CRA tax assessments are not uncommon.

If you disagree with CRA’s tax assessment, start by calling the tax centre that processed your return. Some issues can be easily resolved this way.

If this step does not resolve the issue, you have the right to appeal the Notice of Assessment by filing an objection.

How do I object to my Notice of Assessment from CRA?           

To object to a CRA income tax assessment, you must file a notice of objection. Typically, the basis for an objection is a disagreement with the CRA assessment of taxes owed or a dispute over how the CRA has interpreted the income tax law. 

To file your objection, choose one of these options:

You must file your notice of objection within one year from the filing deadline of the tax return in question, or 90 days of the CRA mailing your Notice of Assessment, whichever is later. You’ll need to explain why you disagree and include all relevant facts and documents.

If CRA agrees with you, either completely or partially, it will adjust your tax return and send you a revised Notice of Re-Assessment. Otherwise, you’ll get written notice confirming the original tax assessment.

What if the CRA rejects my objection?

If you disagree with CRA’s decision on your objection, you can appeal to the Tax Court of Canada.

If your case is unsuccessful in the Tax Court, you could take it to the Federal Court of Appeal and, ultimately, apply for leave to the Supreme Court of Canada.

The whole appeal process can be daunting and requires a lot of time and expense if you handle it alone.

One option is to take advantage of the FBC tax service guarantee, which includes audit representation for FBC Members.

FBC – Helping Canadian Business Owners Optimize Tax Returns

Why FBC? Since 1952, tax professionals at FBC have worked exclusively with Canadian small business owners, farm operators and independent contractors to optimize their tax returns.

To learn more about FBC and how we can help keep more money in your pocket, call us today at 1-800-265-1002 or submit an online form to request an appointment.