Fairness provisions now called taxpayer relief provisions

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Fact Sheet June 2007

Since the legislation was introduced in the early 1990’s, the term fairness provisions has been used to describe the discretion given to the Minister of National Revenue to provide the following relief where warranted by the taxpayer’s circumstances:

* cancel and waive penalties and interest;
* accept certain late-filed, amended, or revoked income tax elections; and
* issue income tax refunds beyond the normal three-year period to an individual and a testamentary trust.

Fairness is much broader than the legal provisions that give the CRA the legal basis to help taxpayers resolve certain tax-related issues. Fairness is also a concept built into the Agency’s overall commitment to provide Canadian taxpayers with fair treatment in the administration of our tax laws and programs, with service excellence, and with the knowledge of their rights, obligations, and entitlements under the Income Tax Act. This commitment is expressed in the guiding principles of our Fairness Pledge.

We have changed the name from fairness provisions to taxpayer relief provisions to better reflect the distinct legislation that permits ministerial discretion within various CRA programs, and to lessen the confusion between fairness as allowed by legislation and fairness as a key corporate value that the Agency commits to when dealing with taxpayers. As in the past, the taxpayer relief provisions will continue to be an important part of the Agency’s commitment to fairly administer the tax system.

For more information about the taxpayer relief provisions, please visit the CRA Web site at: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/agency/fairness/fair-prov-e.html

SOURCE: CRA Newsroom

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