Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Side Effects of Income Tax Reassessments

A change in the way that stock options are taxed has meant that I will get money back on my 2009 income taxes. Even though the change was announced in the March federal budget, it didn’t become law until December and continued delays have forced me to continue overpaying my taxes throughout 2010 and now into 2011.

When it became obvious that this change would reduce my income tax payable in 2009, CRA didn’t demand that I take out a mortgage to pay the tax bill. Instead they estimated how much I would have to pay based on the new rules and let me pay this amount. This estimate was higher than the real figure will ultimately be, but was manageable. This is the happy part of the story.

So, the CRA automated system thinks I owe a huge sum, but there is a hold on collecting the money. A side effect of this “debt” is that I couldn’t file a T1213 form in 2010 to get permission for my employer to take off less tax on each pay. Total withholding taxes turned out to be more than double the amount that I actually owe on my 2010 taxes. But I can’t get this money back until 2009 is settled.

Back in December of 2010 I filled out an RC310 form to trigger the required reassessment of 2009. This form is only one page long, but CRA still hasn’t managed to process it. This means that I can’t file a T1213 for 2011 yet and I continue to pay a few hundred dollars too much on each pay.

I’m not starving or anything, but continuing to advance loans to CRA is becoming tiresome. I know of one other person whose RC310 form was processed in less than 5 weeks, but mine is up to 10 weeks and counting. I’m just lucky I guess.

The only moral I can think of for this story is that keeping your financial life simple has value.


  1. Hey, that's getting to be quite a large loan indeed. Do you think you will get interest paid on the excess? I should really bookmark this post for when I'm doing my taxes and I get annoyed at all the data entry and head scratching. My issues are simple compared to this.

  2. @Gene: Other people in my situation were paid interest. However, I'm more concerned about the possibility that this won't get worked out. Any interest would be just a bonus. I hope your situation stays simple. I plan to keep my financial life simpler after this hassle is over.