To err is human…even for the CRA and IRS

Posted on: January 29th, 2014 by Real Estate Accountants No Comments

MistakesWe all make mistakes, and this applies equally to the Canada Revenue Agency and the Internal Revenue Service for the United States. But often when taxpayers get a letter or call from the CRA or the IRS, they assume that “the government must be right”. This is definitely not the case.

We have had to deal with:

  • miscalculations from the CRA or IRS
  • a client who received a letter from the IRS apologizing (yes apologizing!) for their error and providing a refund, months after we indicated the error was the IRS’ fault and not ours
  • in rare cases, auditors who have distorted their findings.

Luckily, however, the majority of folks we deal with in these organizations are good people.

So, what is the lesson in all this?

Yes, everyone makes mistakes, including us. However, please don’t assume that you (or us) are automatically wrong if “the CRA/IRS says it”. Just because it’s in an official letter (or verbal comments from an auditor) it really doesn’t mean that the person who was working on your file is correct. There are lots of excellent folks working for these organizations, but it doesn’t mean you got that person.

If you do receive a letter from the CRA or IRS, call us and ask us to review it.

And, make sure you send do this as soon as possible. We have specific deadlines by which we must object to findings, otherwise you can be stuck paying for an error that the government made.

We stand behind our work, and own up to mistakes when we make them, but we can’t stand behind the errors the CRA or IRS makes. We can, however, help you get them fixed.

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply