What is the CRA Notice of Assessment?
A Notice of Assessment is sent to you after the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has completed a preliminary review of your filed tax return.
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.
Be sure to keep your Notice of Assessment in a safe place to refer to when your returns are prepared next year.
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 CRA?
Your annual CRA tax assessment notice will only be sent to you 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 receive 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 or writing to 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 Appeal my Notice of Assessment from CRA?
To appeal a CRA income tax assessment, you must file a notice of objection. Typically, the bases for appeal are 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:
- Use the online services My Business Account or My Account for Individuals on the CRA website
- Use CRA Form T400A, Objection - Income Tax Act
- Send a letter to the Chief of Appeals at the appropriate CRA Appeals Intake Centre
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 Assessment. Otherwise, you'll get written notice confirming the original tax assessment.
What if the CRA Rejects my Appeal?
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, 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 protection for FBC Members.
If you're ever audited or challenged on an income tax return, FBC will represent you and will cover the court costs and legal fees.
To learn more about FBC Membership benefits, contact FBC tax services.