The CRA has issued a news release for those people affected by the recent fires in Alberta.
I called the CRA this afternoon to get a bit more information for one of my customers who has lost her home in Fort McMurray. I found out that the CRA has set up a Fort McMurray help line. Call the general phone line at 800-959-8281 (individuals) or 800-959-8281 (businesses) and ask to be transferred. The Fort McMurray help line is located in Calgary and currently open 8-6pm MST.
If you are affected by the fires and unable to file or pay your taxes on time, you can request taxpayer relief. You can submit your request by filing form RC4288.
Here are a few things I found out about the form:
Who should file this form? Individuals or businesses affected by the fires who are unable to file or pay their taxes on time. This includes sales tax and payroll tax. Complete one form per taxpayer/business.
When should I file this form? As soon as you get any notices with penalties and/or interest. If you haven’t filed your tax return yet, wait until you do so. Don’t file the form until/unless there are penalties and/or interest to waive.
How should I file this form? Mail your form to the Winnipeg Tax Centre. The address can be found on the bottom of the form. You can also submit the form online using the CRA My Business Account or My Account for Individuals if you have it set up. Anyone you have added as a representative (your accountant or bookkeeper for example) can also submit this form online. As of right now, requests are not being taking over the phone, but this could change.
What address should I use? Use any address where you’re currently getting mail. This does not have to match what the CRA has on file, it’s simply a mailing address.
What about section 3 – Supporting documentation? The form mentions a police/fire report and insurance statements. I was told that as of right now, the CRA doesn’t have a whole lot of information on what exactly will be required if you’re filing for relief. Call before filing to find out what is required.
This is the information I have as of today. I’m sure that the CRA is busy sorting out the particulars and getting agents up to speed on processes. Again, if you have any questions at all, please call the help line. They are very helpful. My heart goes out to all of those affected by the fire.