The CRA responds to Canadian Accountant over NOAs

We get a response to the complaints of practitioners over notice of assessments

Author: Jeff Buckstein

OTTAWA – “Electronically filed returns are assessed quickly and are usually completed before the payment can be processed,” acknowledges David Walters, a spokesperson for the Canada Revenue Agency in Ottawa. 

When a payment is remitted to the CRA, it is processed first by the taxpayer’s financial institution and then by the CRA, a process which can take several days. This means that any payments on filing are unlikely to be reflected on the taxpayer’s Notice of Assessment (NOA) and they would not be displayed in the new Express NOA service, Walters explains.  

As a result, the CRA has included the following message on the NOA to inform taxpayers that their payments may not be reflected, says Walters. 

We assessed your return, and you have a balance due. If you paid this balance, please ignore this request. If you have not paid this balance, you can avoid additional interest charges by paying the full amount by [date]. You can view your account balance and statement of account online using My Account.

In such cases, the original payment date is still recognized and applied, and any interest charged is automatically reversed. Where the taxpayer pays the amount in full within 20 days of their NOA or reassessment, any interest charged from the date of that notice to the date of payment will be reversed, says Walters. 

“The CRA recognizes that there is a growing gap between the speed of our real-time processing, and the slower processing of payments through the banking system," Walters reiterates. 

As a result, the CRA will improve its communication in its NOAs as well as in its My Account interaction with the taxpayer for the 2018 tax filing season. in order to make it clearer that their payments will take several days to process, he adds.

Jeff Buckstein, CPA, CGA, is an Ottawa-based business journalist.


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