Use Your Accountant!
How do I make sure I never have to call you?” It’s a question Dean Blachford hears often after telling business people that he specializes in helping people refute audits and reassessments by the CRA. According to Dean, a tax dispute resolution and litigation lawyer with HazloLaw – Business Lawyers, it’s a very good question: “Getting audited and reassessed is extremely stressful and costly. People should do everything they can to stay out of the CRA’s crosshairs.”
So how does Dean answer the question? “I say the same thing every time. Use your accountant!” Dean doesn’t just mean having an accountant complete your company’s financial statements and file its tax returns. He means regularly seeking the advice and guidance of your accountant to make sure your company is complying with all of its income tax and GST/HST obligations.
People are always shocked when they see the time and resources that the CRA allocates to auditing small and medium-sized businesses.
Dean’s advice isn’t just for large companies. He finds that people often wrongly assume that the CRA focuses on big businesses or people with tax-shelter accounts in the Bahamas. “People are always shocked when they see the time and resources that the CRA allocates to auditing small and medium-sized businesses.” Ma and Pa restaurants, construction businesses, auto-sales businesses and start-up tech companies are just a few examples.
Ultimately, you can never fully guarantee that the CRA won’t disagree with the amount of tax your business has reported and there is hope if they do. (Most of Dean’s clients obtain significant positive results). But to the extent that you can avoid all that, by leaning heavily on your accountant, Dean says you should.
“I work closely with Ottawa’s mid-market accounting firms, as well as the large firms and solo-practitioner accountants”, Dean says.
“Ottawa’s accountants are some of the best in the country. Relying on them heavily goes a long way in keeping a business out of trouble with the CRA.”