Filing late return under Canada's Fairness Legislation


A friend voluntarily filed returns from 1998 until 2002. While the returns
for the years 2000 - 2002 were correctly assessed by CCRA, the returns for
1998 & 1999 were assessed by them separately showing rather large amounts
owing. Essentially the information supplied for those returns was ignored.
When my friend contacted the agent he was told that the CCRA had done an
assessment on their own which is why this happened. As a solution he asked
that my friend should file his return under 'fairness'.
Question1 - Isn't it rather bizarre that since all 5 returns were sent on
one day and only 3 were processed correctly??
Question2 - How do you go about filing a return under Fairness?
Your help is greatly appreciated.

Thank You

david ingram replies:

Your friend filed his '98 and '99 returns too late. He only had three years to file them which is why the CCRA accepted the 2000, 2001 and 2002 returns without question.

After the CCRA issued the 1998 and 1999 Assessments, he had 90 days to object or appeal them. I am going to assume that they were arbitrarily assessed in 2000 or 2001 and when he finally filed in 2003, it was too late.

However, under Canada's Fairness Legislation, he can write to the FAIRNESS COMMITTEE at his local CCRA office, explain his position and what happened and why he was late, and ask the Committee to open the returns because it would be "fair" to do so.

It is my experience that they will be opened but he has to ask.

This only applies to Canadian returns.


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