Robins Appleby Barristers + Solicitors Logo

Tax Litigation

Feb 22, 2022

CRA with Faye - Why is CRA asking me for a document they already have?

I frequently receive this question from clients and lawyers facing a CRA audit. Typically it is followed by a second question: the auditor should already have it… shouldn’t they??!

These questions are always laden with frustration. Being audited is already time-consuming and unnerving. In a world where privacy is protected in most other contexts, audits can feel particularly invasive. To be asked for an already-filed return or form only adds to the irritation. Now the taxpayer must spend its own resources trying to source and produce that document. These requests can also exacerbate audit-related anxiety, leading to a third question: what could CRA possibly be looking for if they want to scrutinize a document they already have?! 

Here’s the answer. CRA is big. And when I say big, think HUGE. Huge as in there can be whole groups of people devoted to a line item on a particular trust tax return. And those people rarely if ever speak to the person who is peering into all your history and reporting relating to a year in which you filed taxes on that return. I can almost guarantee that Jill Auditor has never met Joe Line-Item and wouldn’t even know how to contact him/her/them. So the reason the audit department is requesting a document you already filed with the CRA is because, simply: a) they do not have it, and b) the easiest way to get it is to ask you.

This may not be a big revelation, but I hope it demystifies the audit process a little. By explaining the process, I aim to make audits a little less stressful and a little more amicable. In turn, this should help to bring you closer to the resolution you want.

more Tax Litigation posts

Related Lawyers

Related Practice Areas

Tax Law

Robins Appleby Barristers + Solicitors Logo and Wordmark

Robins Appleby LLP Suite 2600, 120 Adelaide Street West, Toronto, Ontario M5H 1T1
E. T. 416.868.1080 F. 416.868.0306

Member of: