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Canada: “Fairness relief” deadline for 2009 is 31 December 2019

Canada: “Fairness relief” deadline for 2009

Taxpayers in Canada are reminded that they have until 31 December 2019 to file a “fairness relief” request related to 2009.


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The 31 December 2019 deadline applies to relief requests relating to the 2009 tax year, any reporting period that ended during the 2009 calendar year, and any interest that accrued during the 2009 calendar year for any tax year or reporting period.


The taxpayer fairness relief provisions limit the discretion of the CRA to:

  • Cancel or waive penalties and interest when taxpayers are unable to meet their tax obligations due to circumstances beyond their control
  • Accept certain late-filed, amended, or revoked income tax elections
  • Issue income tax refunds or reduce income tax payable beyond the normal three-year reassessment period (only for individuals and testamentary trusts [starting in 2016, graduated rate estates only].)

These provisions only apply to tax years that ended within the 10 calendar years immediately preceding the calendar year in which a request is made.

The fairness relief provisions of the excise tax law limit the CRA's discretion to cancel or waive interest and certain penalties. This limit applies to reporting periods that ended within the last 10 calendar years preceding the year in which a request is made.

KPMG observation

Taxpayers may want to consider making a protective request for potential relief at any stage in a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) assessment or reassessment process (e.g., when a taxpayer requests an adjustment, or at the audit defense or notice of objection stages) to avoid missing the 10-year deadline.

Read a November 2019 report prepared by the KPMG member firm in Canada

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