Friday, September 07, 2007

Money Matters

My youngest son received a letter from the Tax Department yesterday.

And, yes, I opened it. He’s away at school.

Silly me – I thought he might be receiving money from them.

Uh-uh. They are conducting a “review program” as part of the self-assessment tax system and want to determine if they assessed his tax return properly.

(Gee. I thought they were paid to do it right the first time.)

The amount in question? His rent paid last year while attending university - $2800.00. Certainly not chicken feed but not a massive sum to investigate.

To support this claim, they need to see his rent receipt. I believe that since his tax return was done on-line, such information is not sent unless requested.

And, okay, okay, I’ll sent it but honest-to-God.

Just look at his tax return, people! He’s a student attending university in Hamilton whose home is in Toronto. He has to live somewhere and pay rent while away at school!

This same thing happened to my middle son a few years ago.

Don’t they have other people to REVIEW? You know, people with BIG BUCKS who might actually be hiding something?

Perhaps the Tax Department is utterly exhausted looking into Lord Conrad Black’s financial affairs.

They just want to do a no-brainer for a change of pace.

(This is one post I hope is not Googled by the powers-that-be. I don’t want to be subjected to a revenge audit…)


patricia said...

Ugh. What a royal pain in the tush. Gawd I hope that never happens to me.

A little word of advice, has been suggested to me by my financial adviser to never do one's taxes online. Yes, it's a pain to have to mail the darn thing, but apparently it's been proven that people who submit their tax stuff online tend to be red flagged more often for tax audits than those who do it the 'old-fashioned' way.

Just something to consider for the future...

Beth said...

Thanks for the head's up. Might explain why "we're" getting red-flagged.

bec said...

I read this on deloitte's website:

Periodically the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) conducts audits on both personal and corporate taxpayers, for a number of reasons. Usually it is done through a random sampling of taxpayers claiming various types of expenses.

So maybe it was just random?

Angela said...

What was it that the Beatles said about the tax man? Something along the lines of "AAAAARRRRRRGGGGGG!!!!"

Sorry that they picked his/your number this time. Red tape sucks. Best wishes for a relatively easy time of it.

All Mod Cons said...

I don't get it. I'm not up on Canadian tax laws...I guess that's something I'm going to have to learn before I get out there or I could find myself in a bit of poo!

You're definitely right, I would've thought that they would get it right the first time. I mean, that's their JOB right?

Princess Pointful said...

Seriously?? Wow. Because that rent amount will really make a world of difference in the grand scheme of things.

Beth said...

Random? A family "hit" twice as to rent money claims?
I THINK NOT! I think we're being targeted!
(thanks for looking it up)

Yeah, it was a pain in the ass finding the receipt in his tax papers, copying it, blah, blah, blah...
And the Government didn't even send an SASE!

all mod cons:
Yes, you're going to have to mind your "P's" and "Q's" re: the tax department while in Canada! Wouldn't want to find yourself in a "bit of poo."

princess pointful:
Well, it could pay for a nice lunch for some government officials!

Anonymous said...

Seems very silly and stupid to me. What a pain to have to go digging up old receipts and crap to prove a student had to pay rent. In the big picture it is not a lot of money. Seems strange that it happened to you two times. I hate when stuff like that happens, so frustrating and we have zippo power, just have to comply!
Have a good weekend, despite them!

Shari said...

Ugh. Taxes. I don't want to think about it.

It should be easy to prove if your son can get a receipt or saved his receipts. Don't they believe he lived in an apartment while attending classes because he's too far away from home? ( agree.

oreneta said...

They are getting other people Though I am not exactly in Lord Black's league either...

Princess of the Universe said...

Rent receipt? In my 7 years of renting before I became a grown-up (unwillingly I might add) and got a mortgage, I don't think any of my landlords ever gave me a receipt.

Ugh, that's so silly.

cipriano said...

Hey, good posting Beth.
This weekend I was asked to work about 95 hours overtime and my first thought was.... "You know what? What is the use? CANADA REVENUE is going to take all that damn extra money, and give it to someone who is NOT working!"
I give UP!

JR's Thumbprints said...

Believe it or not, this is how they sometimes catch tax cheats with fictious kids and fictious rent fees. I will say this, they should have a better idea of who they're checking. And yes, it's okay to use TurboTax but never never file your return online.

Beth said...

"Silly and stupid" - yes.
No choice in the matter - again, yes.
You don't mess with Revenue Canada!

Oh, it's easy to prove - I just thought common sense might prevail if they'd actually looked over his tax return.

You have my sympathies.
(hope you had a good trip back...)

princess of the universe:
Consider yourself extremely lucky you were never "reviewed" for rental payments!

Sounds like a scenario for "cash under the table..."
(Oops, did I write that?)

I checked with the accountant. Turns out we don't file on-line.
I had to laugh when I read "fictitious kids" - they are so real...

Lainey-Paney said... too. We got audited by the IRS from our 2004 taxes, as a "general review process."
It was NOT fun. And those receipts...if you can't find them, you WILL be taxed on that...with penalties & interests. It TOTALLY SUCKED for us.

Lainey-Paney said...

oh, you're in Canada, right?

Well, I'm in the US, and so our stuff was with the US IRS.

Beth said...

Receipts with a "s?" - as in more than one??
Sounds worse than our situation.
My sincere sympathies.

Attila The Mom said...


Beth said...

I'll second that.