It is not the end of the world if you miss paying taxes, while there is really no excuse, it can happen for many legitimate reasons. In this situation, however, there are penalties that are applicable and this is where individuals begin to imagine the possibility of something catastrophic happening.
Nonetheless, as stated the federal government is always ready and willing to work with individuals that wish to come forward voluntarily and pay their back taxes. The best way to handle this is to hire a tax accountant to explain the process and to calculate what is owed. At the same time they will deal with the CRA in all correspondence, because they can speak the language and understand the tax laws that pertain to the given situation, e.g. overdue taxes.
While individual situations vary, some reasons presented for not filing seemed to stretch beyond common sense such as:
- Not understanding the requirement to pay taxes
- Being unable to pay taxes for whatever reason
- Poor health
- Travelling out of the country
- Not wanting to
- Having the mindset that a refund always comes, so why bother
Because it is a requirement for living and working in Canada filing yearly should not be difficult for any reason. If you are unable to pay at the time of filing the CRA will work with you in designing a payment plan. However, in the event that there are overdue returns on record the following situations are cause to address overdue or back tax records:
- Filing due to a request by family law, (financial disclosure for divorce proceedings)
- Receiving a “demand to file” notice
- Being audited
- To regain access to benefits lost from not filing on time in the past
- To receive possible refunds from the overdue taxes not taken by the penalties