Our commitment to representing you doesn’t end with the preparation of your income tax returns. In fact, sometimes that’s just the beginning! Generally speaking, the Canada Revenue Agency will contact us directly if they require more information in order to process our filings, but if they do contact you, we prefer that you forward them on to us, and we’ll do our best to rectify the situation without causing you any undue stress or wasted time.
In recent years, the CRA has completely changed the way they review tax returns, so the word “audit” has somewhat changed its meaning. We’ve seen everything from a letter regarding the spelling of a client’s employee’s name on a T4 slip (with annual income of $70; the employee worked one shift) to the now-obsolete situation where the auditor actually attends our office and runs through ALL of a business’s records and filings. The latter situation has only happened to us once in the entire time we have been in business (since June 2007) though.
Within five years, it is a virtual certainty that either you or someone you know will be audited.
-We can help
Because we stand behind our work, we usually do not bill extra or hourly to handle audits for our clients; they’re a huge hassle, but we don’t want it to be YOUR hassle. The exception to this case is where we didn’t actually prepare the underlying materials. For example, if you get audited for a year we didn’t prepare, or if we didn’t do the bookkeeping for your business, we do not have immediate access to the records, and so we will need to bill for the time involved in accessing the data and preparing it in a way that the auditor can easily work with.
At Pi, we have always marketed ourselves as experts and great communicators; we tend to focus on how we can help you overcome business challenges, optimize your taxes, and stay compliant with the CRA’s rules. In the past, we didn’t emphasize the compliance aspect much because we didn’t want to suggest that if you wouldn’t be protected if you hire someone else. But in recent times, the Revenue Agency has gotten a LOT more aggressive with respect to the frequency and breadth of the items they audit. Within five years, it is a virtual certainty that either you or someone you know will be audited, especially if you’re self-employed. In short, it has never been more important to have accountants who aren’t pushing the “Grey Areas” in the first place, and can promptly deal with these audits with minimal expenditure of time and money on your part.