I have already posted about some issues I have been having with the CRA, them making a mistake and me having to fight with them and pay for it. Tonight I was watching W5 and it happened to be about A Taxing Problem where small business owners were taken out to dry by the CRA and even after it was eventually proven that the CRA was wrong, these people were left with nothing.
My employer has been facing a similar problem for years. We run a very small business and it's very easy to do the books because it's a daycare and the only money coming IN is from parent fees, and all the fees are the same. The only output is regular bills, food bills, etc.... Her books are clean and easy to follow. With only 3 staff members, it's easy to do the payroll. No overtime hours, we are not open on holiday, etc. Easy as pie right? NOPE. She has been audited so many times over the past 10 years it's ridiculous and the bills pile up. I have even helped her do payroll and tax payments because she could not figure out what she was doing wrong. She gets a booklet from the CRA and it's all there in charts,,, you follow along a line and put in the numbers and tada you're done, yet she still gets these gigantic bills from them.
In December 2009 an auditor from Lethbridge showed up and this time he said he had good news - that THEY owed HER just over $1000. She was thrilled! He said that she will be receiving bills but NOT to pay them because the credit will take a little while to appear on her account and if she keeps paying the bills it will muck up things. That sounded retarded but we thought 'okay, yay'. So she got a bill in January and did not pay it. A few weeks later she got their threatening reminder notice to pay right away or face late penalties. She phoned the man in Lethbridge and he assured her that the credit would be placed on her account soon, and NOT to pay ANYTHING... so then Feb and March roll around with more nasty letters from the CRA, and more phone calls to the Lethbridge office, and more assurances that all would be well.
Finally in April or May she got a bill showing the $1000 credit but guess what else was on there? Over $800 in late payment charges for January to March. Only $149 was left of her 'credit' for overpaying in the last year. Then she got a letter this month with more late payment charges for April. Her credit was totally chewed up by late payment charges and she has made repeated calls to the Lethbridge office and received NO calls in return. I heard the messages she left for the man who seemed so helpful in December. The man who kept telling her NOT to pay any of the bills until the credit had been applied. We are a small business and $1000 is a lot of money and now she owes MORE than that credit she was supposed to receive. So she overpayed last year and lost all of it to crap. It's nothing compared to the hundreds of thousands the men in the W5 slot lost, but it's still a loss and we wonder back to the times she received $3000 and $6000 bills and think about how much of that money was an error as well. What are they playing at? I don't get it. And it drives me insane to see this keep happening.
Believe it or not, taxation like this is supposed to be VOLUNTARY. It's even spoken of in the W5 clip. Voluntary participation in income tax my ass! If it's voluntary, why can people be sent to jail or have all of their assets sold off, or have their credit ratings destroyed by a boo-boo the taxman made? How long are we going to put up with this, knowing that our personal taxes are only going to keep increasing as time goes on, in order to pay for ridiculous programs that end up causing more havoc than good?