COMMUNICATION BY CRA WITH TAXPAYERS
There are several “scams” occurring where unauthorized people are posing as representatives from the Canada Revenue Agency demanding immediate payment using threatening language.
CRA uses an established method dealing with taxpayers who are in arrears with their payments. This procedure is professional and respectful towards the taxpayer at all times.
- Taxpayers are sent several written notices of the debt and will be given a specific deadline as to when it is to be paid. You will always have an option to discuss the source of the debt. You will always have an option to object to the assessment. CRA will give you a telephone number to call to discuss the situation.
They will not talk to you until they go through a strict procedure to ensure they are speaking with the taxpayer.
- A collection officer may call you about your account if there has been no response to several written notices. They will give you their name and agent ID number to identify themselves. They will also ask you some personal information to prove they are actually talking to the correct taxpayer. The personal information may include your birthdate and financial information on your last notice of assessment.
- They will try to make a payment plan and ask for postdated cheques. The collection officer will ask you to fill out a form to prove the amount you are suggesting you pay is correct. If they feel you can pay more they can demand payment of that amount. Conversely, if you can prove you are unable to pay any amount you will be given temporary relief.
- If there is no payment plan they will take legal action. This legal action can be seizing bank accounts or garnisheeing wages. You will receive written notification if this is going to occur.
- If you ignore this last attempt they will proceed with the legal action.
CRA will never call you for immediate payment of an unpaid debt which you have not been previously been notified.
Further they will never threaten you verbally with imprisonment, immediate seizure of assets or any other negative action. CRA never takes payment on the phone by using credit cards. Further the caller will never ask you for your SIN number when speaking with you over the telephone.
There is a current scam circulating requesting that you call a “613” telephone number. If it was a legitimate demand you would be directed to the general information number of 1-800-959-8281.
If you are in receipt of any threatening telephone call concerning the Canada Revenue Agency you are requested to make a report with your local police department.