ARE THEY THAT STUPID AT THE CANADA REVENUE AGENCY?
How easy it is to dismiss the people who work for the government as stupid. I have done so, but know it is not true. There is a method to their stupidity.
In this blog on October 4, 2015, I mentioned how I filed twelve years of income taxes starting in the Spring and finishing in the Fall. (https://seniorimaginarynumber.wordpress.com/2015/10/04/i-survived/
The only problem was that I could not find any tax forms, tax guides and tax papers for 2008. I had this information for every year except 2008. Where was my tax information for 2008? Did ISIS take it?
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) told me to average amounts between 2007 and 2009, and use the information they had on file about my income for 2008 and the tax deducted. I had to print off tax forms for 2008 from the CRA’s website.
When I sent in my 2008 tax return, I included a letter clearly explaining how 2008 was the only year, of the twelve, that I had lost all my tax information. I also stated that I have not owned a car since 1995 and have relied on public transit every year since then by buying monthly passes. I explained how I had contacted the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and found out that a monthly pass, for 2008, was $109. I claimed $1308.00 (12 X 109.00) as a deduction.
In October, the Preassessment Review Section, of the CRA, sent a letter requesting public transit receipts for 2007 and 2008.
What a coincidence! The government owes me a large refund for 2007, and more so for 2008. The CRA wants receipts for those years only? Hmmm . . .
I sent in the receipts for 2007 along with a letter clearly stating how all information for 2008 was lost. I repeated how I have used public transit since 1995, and continue to do so now. How reasonable to assume that I used public transit in 2008.
The Preassessment Review Section sent me a letter in December:
“We have adjusted your 2008 claim for the public transit amount from $1308 to $0.00 for the following reason: You did not provide the documentation we requested.”
Are they that stupid? The answer is, “No, they are not.”
The Preassessment Review Section has to justify its existence by assessing claims and disallowing them thereby eliminating or reducing tax refunds. Why should they work hard when they get paid the same if they work easy?
I suspect a hard-working CRA employee thought, “This will be easy! He says he has no tax information for 2008. We will send him a letter requesting it. When he can’t produce it, we will disallow his claim, reduce his tax refund and make Canada a better place.”