Notice of Assessment
MILLAR KREKLEWETZ LLP is a boutique Canadian law firm with lawyers who have significant expertise in assisting businesses and individuals with notices of assessment issued with respect to GST, excise tax, and provincial retail sales tax (including gasoline tax, and tobacco tax issues).
The following is a short introduction to our services in this area.
Notice of Assessment
Notice of Assessment General
A notice of assessment (or a Notice of (Re)Assessment) may be issued by the appropriate administrative body in virtually every tax context, including income tax, GST, excise tax, provincial retail sales tax, and other provincial taxes, including gasoline tax, and tobacco tax).
Generally, a notice of assessment sets out information such as the amount of taxes payable, a brief explanation of the assessment, and the period within which an objection to the assessment may be filed. The administrative body cannot usually enforce a collection of taxes owing by a person without first issuing a notice of assessment.
GST Notice of Assessment
Pursuant to Excise Tax Act (ETA), the Minister generally has the ability to assess, reassess or make an additional assessment of:
- the net tax of a person;
- any tax payable by a person under Division II (GST), Division IV (imported taxable supplies other than goods) or Division IV.1 (property and services brought into a participating province); and
- any penalty or interest payable.
Any person may be assessed, including vendors or purchasers of taxable goods and services and importers of intangible personal property and services.
Generally, no assessment may be made more than four years after the amount assessed was required to be paid or remitted. This time limit does not apply where there has been misrepresentation attributable to neglect, carelessness or willful default, where there has been fraud, or where a waiver has been filed.
Objecting to your GST Notice of Assessment
Generally, a GST assessment is final and binding on the person assessed, unless an objection is filed with the CRA.
A person may object to an assessment by filing a notice of objection within 90 days of the date the notice of assessment is sent. The notice of objection must be in prescribed form and set out all the relevant facts and the reasons for the objection. The Minister is then required to reconsider the assessment, and vacate or confirm the assessment, or reassess, and to send the person a notice of the decision by registered or certified mail.
After the Minister has confirmed the assessment (or has reassessed), the person may appeal to the Tax Court of Canada to have the assessment vacated or a reassessment made. There is also a right of appeal directly to the Tax Court where 180 days have elapsed, where the person has not received notification from the Minister as to its decision in respect of the objection.
PST Notice of Assessment
Notices of assessment are also issued by the appropriate administrative body of provincial governments in respect of provincial sales tax payable. Such notices of assessment tax provide the amount that a taxpayer is liable to pay or remit under the respective provincial sales tax statute, and may include penalties and applicable interest.
Similar to the GST context, there is a time limit for the appropriate administrative body to issue a PST notice of assessment; however, these time limits do not generally apply where there has been misrepresentation attributable to neglect, carelessness or willful default, where there has been fraud, or where a waiver has been filed.
Each provincial sales tax statute generally provides that a person may object to an assessment, by filing a notice of objection, within a certain time period from the date the notice of assessment is sent. As the time limits differ between provinces, it is advised that you seek tax advice in determining when the objection needs to be filed.
The notice of objection must be in prescribed form and set out all the relevant facts and the reasons for the objection. The PST administrative body is then required to reconsider the assessment, and vacate or confirm the assessment, or reassess, and to send the person a notice of the decision by registered or certified mail. A notice of assessment may be further appealed by the taxpayer to the appropriate provincial court.
As the form, detail, and time limit for the objection varies with respect to the type of notice of assessment issued, it is highly recommended that you seek advice regarding the preparation of the objection as soon as possible.
Other Excise Taxes
A collection of other excise taxes and duties, including spirits, wine, beer, and tobacco products, are enforced by the issuance of a notice of assessment. However, as the relevant rules for these notices of assessment (including the rules for filing objections) can be very different, it is highly recommended that you seek advice as soon as possible.
Millar Kreklewetz LLP advises clients on all aspects relating to notices of assessment, including discussions with the administrative body at the audit stage and thus before the notice of assessment is issued and the preparation of an objection. Where necessary, Millar Kreklewetz LLP litigates notices of assessment before all relevant bodies, tribunals and courts, including the Tax Court of Canada, Federal Court, Federal Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada.