The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) introduced temporary electronic submission processes to expedite urgent requests for certain international waivers, “section 116 certificates of compliance,” and clearance certificates.
The CRA generally implemented these temporary processes in response to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic-related restrictions that affected CRA access to previously submitted requests that were made by mail or fax. Affected taxpayers that made submissions after 12 March 2020, need to must review these new processes to determine whether they need to resubmit requests or documentation, or follow any additional procedures.
The CRA's new procedures allow taxpayers to submit requests and documentation to new dedicated CRA email accounts, and in particular will be of interest to those taxpayers seeking “Regulation 102 and Regulation 105 waivers,” non-resident employer certification, or section 116 compliance certificates. Similarly, legal representatives need to be aware of the CRA's new dedicated email submission process to request clearance certificates.
International waivers and notifications for certificates of compliance
The CRA has asked taxpayers to make electronic submissions—rather than paper mail or fax—of the following “urgent requests,” as part of a new temporary procedure:
Supporting information, as applicable
While processing times may be longer than usual, the CRA is continuing to review international waivers and requests for a certificates of compliance. The CRA stated it may not be able to access any documents previously sent by mail or fax after 12 March 2020, due to its current restrictions on mail operations.
Requests for individual tax numbers (ITNs)
The CRA currently is not processing applications for ITNs alongside taxpayers' waiver applications or requests for certificates of compliance. Instead, taxpayers are directed to complete an ITN request separately by completing Form T1261, Application for a Canada Revenue Agency Individual Tax Number (ITN) for Non-Residents, and following the mailing instructions on the form.
The CRA has encouraged legal representatives to resubmit clearance certificate requests or supporting documentation sent after 12 March 2020. This general guidance comes as clearance certificate requests and documents sent by mail or fax to the CRA before this date may not be included in inventory for processing, due to limited office access by CRA employees during COVID-19.
Re-submissions need to be sent either through the CRA's “Represent a Client” process or to a new email address set up by the CRA for this purpose. While clearance certificates continue to be processed (i.e., Forms TX19, Asking for a Clearance Certificate, and GST352, Application for a Clearance Certificate (under section 270 of the Excise Tax Act)), this new email process is a temporary solution to address difficulties resulting from COVID-19, and will continue to be used until further notice.
Read a June 2020 report prepared by the KPMG member firm in Canada
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