• Last Updated:
  • Nov 10th, 2013 8:53 pm
[OP]
Member
Dec 23, 2009
402 posts
46 upvotes

CRA Bill

Hi all:

Wondering what's going on here...I received a bill from CRA that stated that I was paid GST/HST credit that I was not entitled to for 6 months, even though I reported on my taxes as common-law and paid my refund. Should I still have to pay, or was it a admin error and they should be eating it? Thanks.
13 replies
Deal Fanatic
Nov 11, 2008
7427 posts
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Are you sure the notice was for this tax return? They can go back as much as 5 years sometimes.
Deal Addict
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Sep 1, 2013
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If you were entitled to the credit, you should not have to pay. You can file an appeal on these grounds.

If you were not entitled to the credit, then yes, you have to pay it back. If you file an appeal on the grounds that the CRA has to eat their own admin errors, you will lose.
[OP]
Member
Dec 23, 2009
402 posts
46 upvotes
Positive. I filed as single my whole life until the most recent tax return.
Deal Fanatic
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Mar 12, 2005
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Victoria
I had this happen when I report myself as being common law a number of years ago. I'm having a hard time remembering how you fill out the tax return in that part. Do you specify a date you became common law? Because there's a lag between that date and when your tax return is processed, you tend to collect a few payments during that time. IE if you reported yourself as common law for all of 2012, you wouldn't file that tax return until March/Apr 2013. That could well over a year of unqualified GST rebates :(
Deal Fanatic
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Mar 20, 2009
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When the CRA sends you a bill, it's safest to pay first and ask questions later. The CRA can and does take arbitrary drastic actions like garnishing your bank account while you are still trying get an error fixed. Often the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing, so you can't rely on talking to just one party at the CRA. It's not worth taking any chances.
Deal Addict
Sep 1, 2005
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Vancouver
zod wrote:
Nov 8th, 2013 10:21 am
IE if you reported yourself as common law for all of 2012, you wouldn't file that tax return until March/Apr 2013. That could well over a year of unqualified GST rebates :(
+1 this is a very common reason for a GST clawback. You are meant to call CRA as soon as your marital status changes, that would avoid such an issue. The GST credit is based on family income, so likely at the date of becoming common law your family income changed drastically making you ineligible for the tax credit (effective at that date)

The letter i THINK describes the general reason for the clawback, and so may describe such a situation as above.
Jr. Member
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Apr 22, 2008
108 posts
keano wrote:
Nov 8th, 2013 9:21 am
Hi all:

Wondering what's going on here...I received a bill from CRA that stated that I was paid GST/HST credit that I was not entitled to for 6 months, even though I reported on my taxes as common-law and paid my refund. Should I still have to pay, or was it a admin error and they should be eating it? Thanks.
This is a common mistake with people changing their marital status. YOU DO NOT WAIT to file your tax return to change your marital status, you call them when there are changes. What I bet happened here is you filed you tax return as common law for 2012, when you do that your common law date would be DEC 31 2012, which will affect you GST that they paid you as single for JAN 2013 and APRIL 13.

Remember that the rule on common law is 12 months living together or if you have a child together. In this case, update your common law date by calling GSTC Line at 1-800-959-1953 with your partner. if your common law date is before DEC 31 2012, you may owe more money. Keep in mind as well that income will be based on the previous tax year.

2011 GSTC gets paid JULY 2012-APRIL 2013
2012 GSTC gets paid JULY 2013-APRIL 2014 and so on.

Hope this helps.
Deal Addict
Dec 7, 2011
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calgaryboy wrote:
Nov 8th, 2013 9:38 pm
Remember that the rule on common law is 12 months living together or if you have a child together.
I thought that depends on the province and it could be 1, 2 or even 3 years.
Deal Fanatic
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Feb 7, 2008
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sokolov wrote:
Nov 9th, 2013 3:06 pm
I thought that depends on the province and it could be 1, 2 or even 3 years.
The definition of common law for the CRA does not depend on the province as the CRA is a federal agency.
Jr. Member
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Apr 22, 2008
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sokolov wrote:
Nov 9th, 2013 3:06 pm
I thought that depends on the province and it could be 1, 2 or even 3 years.
Yeah under the ITA (Income Tax Act), which governs benefits administered by CRA, 12 continuous months.
Deal Fanatic
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Apr 4, 2009
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keano wrote:
Nov 8th, 2013 9:21 am
Hi all:

Wondering what's going on here...I received a bill from CRA that stated that I was paid GST/HST credit that I was not entitled to for 6 months, even though I reported on my taxes as common-law and paid my refund. Should I still have to pay, or was it a admin error and they should be eating it? Thanks.
CRA is not a retail store, it has no goodwill policy. (Hell, no government agency has a goodwill policy, so stop dreaming.)

OP MUST pay it back. There is no alternative, the sooner the better.

They will keep it on your account, and deduct it from your next tax refund (for example). Or if they feel they cannot recover it from you, take it from your bank account (or garnish - block all withdrawls from your bank account until the get their last penny, then release your account.)
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Apr 22, 2008
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Busybuyer888 wrote:
Nov 10th, 2013 1:39 pm
CRA is not a retail store, it has no goodwill policy. (Hell, no government agency has a goodwill policy, so stop dreaming.)

OP MUST pay it back. There is no alternative, the sooner the better.

They will keep it on your account, and deduct it from your next tax refund (for example). Or if they feel they cannot recover it from you, take it from your bank account (or garnish - block all withdrawls from your bank account until the get their last penny, then release your account.)
If its 5k owing or more yes. This is GSTC, probably around $130 owing. The agency would not waste time and taxpayer money to recover it by garnishment or freezing your bank account. Always has been a misconception.

If you dont have money leave it for now, these kinds of benefits does not accrue interest.
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Apr 4, 2009
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North York
calgaryboy wrote:
Nov 10th, 2013 2:26 pm
If its 5k owing or more yes. This is GSTC, probably around $130 owing. The agency would not waste time and taxpayer money to recover it by garnishment or freezing your bank account. Always has been a misconception.

If you dont have money leave it for now, these kinds of benefits does not accrue interest.
I know of a situation where the CRA garnish a tax payer for less than $1,500 owing. It is all up to the CRA representative.

For $130, they would likely not act to strongly. Send out quarterly reminder letters. (But they will not forget/forgive.)

It will sit on OP's CRA balance until it is dealt with. Tax refund times (or other government benefits) is when it might pop-up as a deduction from that refund/benefit cheque.

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