Taxes 2021 | Ottawa sent wrong figures to Quebec


PHOTO ALAIN DÉCARIE, LA PRESSE ARCHIVE

“Ottawa sent Quebec wrong figures on the RRSP deduction,” writes our columnist.

Marie-Eve Fournier

Marie-Eve Fournier
The print

Taxpayers who have already completed their tax returns should examine the assessment notice more carefully than usual. Ottawa sent Quebec incorrect figures on the RRSP deduction. Some people therefore find themselves having to pay a tax that is not properly due or are deprived of part of the expected refund.

Posted at 6:30 yesterday

This is an extraordinary situation, and both the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Revenu Québec are sparing comments.

It took more than a week for the CRA to confirm to me that it “is currently conducting an in-depth investigation in collaboration with Revenu Québec” on this matter. The Agency did not want to specify the number of taxpayers concerned, believing that it was up to Revenu Québec to disclose this information. In Quebec City, people just say that the problem affects “a very small part of the population”.

Étienne and his bride are both victims of this mistake.


PHOTO HUGO-SÉBASTIEN AUBERT, THE PRESS

The error is at line 214.

The amount of their RRSP deduction is not the same on the federal and provincial notices of assessment (line 214). The actual number is the one on the Ottawa notice.

In the Quebec notice, the “fixed amount” column shows an amount that is lower than reality for the two members of the couple.

As a result, this employee of a financial institution ends up with an inaccurate and inflated tax bill of a few hundred dollars. While her lover received a lower-than-expected tax refund.

“The 12 labors of Asterix”

“I wasted a whole day dealing with this. It’s very frustrating, ”sighs Étienne, who has the advantage of knowing taxation. Someone who is not vigilant could easily miss the error. Attention!

The many hours spent on the phone with the CRA and Revenu Québec did not allow Étienne to correct the mistake. Furthermore, he could not submit an online adjustment request, because it is impossible to send an attachment (in this case, his federal assessment notice) to Revenu Québec when the request is about line 214, he deplores it.

“The 12 labors of Asterix … In the end, I have to submit a paper compliance request to Revenu Québec. The documents, which contain a lot of personal information, were sent by registered mail as a precaution. A bill of around $ 17.

Incorrect compilation before upload

During his multiple calls to understand the situation, both in Ottawa and Quebec, customer service employees told Etienne that they get tons of questions about the RRSP contributions that don’t match. He was also warned that it could take up to 70 days to process his relief request.

In the meantime, he paid the tax demanded by Quebec so as not to end up with interest. He now he hopes for a refund. His wife was luckier. In less than a month he received a new assessment notice, his tax refund and the famous $ 500 from the Legalult government for inflation.

For two weeks I exchanged e-mails with Revenu Québec to find out if an adjustment request by post was the only possible solution. I was told that taxpayers should contact customer service “who will support them according to their situation”.

In the last few hours, however, the answer has changed. Eventually I was told that Revenu Québec “will automatically make the correction, by the end of May, without people having to do anything.” This is more appropriate in the circumstances.

The amount of the RRSP contributions is transmitted by the financial institutions in Ottawa, which then forwards the information to Quebec “through a six-monthly digital file transfer”.

To explain the source of the error, the CRA wrote me this: “The calculation program that generates the contribution chamber of the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) has filled in the data incorrectly. As a result, the program excluded a limited number of taxpayer files in the file provided to Revenu Québec. ”

The Agency says it has “added additional controls to prevent this mistake from happening again in the future”.

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