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Taxes 2021 | Ottawa transmitted incorrect figures to Quebec

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PHOTO ALAIN DÉCARIE, LA PRESSE ARCHIVES

“Ottawa sent Quebec incorrect figures about the RRSP deduction,” writes our columnist.

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

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

It took more than a week for the CRA to confirm to me that it “is currently conducting a thorough investigation in collaboration with Revenu Québec” on this matter. The Agency did not want to specify the number of taxpayers affected, judging that it was up to Revenu Québec to reveal this information. In Quebec, we are limited to saying that the problem concerns “a very limited part of the population”.

Étienne and his spouse are both victims of this mistake.


PHOTO HUGO-SÉBASTIEN AUBERT, THE PRESS

The error is on 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 notice from Ottawa.

On the notice of Quebec, the column “established amount” displays an amount lower than the 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 his lover received a lower than expected tax refund.

“The 12 labors of Asterix”

“I wasted an entire day dealing with this. It’s very frustrating,” sighs Étienne, who has the advantage of knowing about 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 have the error corrected. He was also unable to send a request for adjustment online, because it is impossible to send an attachment (in this case, his notice of federal assessment) to Revenu Québec when the request concerns line 214, deplores he.

“The 12 labors of Asterix… At the end of the day, I have to file a paper request for adjustment with Revenu Québec. The documents, which contain a lot of personal information, were sent by registered mail as a precaution. A bill of about $17.

Incorrect compilation before upload

During his multiple calls to understand the situation, both in Ottawa and in Quebec, Etienne was told by the employees of customer services that they receive tons of questions about RRSP contributions that do not match. He was also warned that it could take up to 70 days to process his request for relief.

In the meantime, he paid the tax claimed by Quebec to be sure not to end up with interest. He is now hoping for a refund. His wife was luckier. In less than a month, she received a new notice of assessment, her tax refund and the famous $500 from the Legault government for inflation.

For two weeks, I exchanged emails with Revenu Québec to find out if the request for adjustment by mail was the only possible solution. I was told that taxpayers should contact customer service “which will support them according to their situation”.

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

The amount of RRSP contributions is transmitted by the financial institutions to Ottawa, which then forwards the information to Quebec “by means of a biannual transfer of digital files”.

To explain the source of the error, the CRA wrote to me this: “The calculation program that generates the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) contribution room compiled the data incorrectly. Consequently, the program excluded a small number of taxpayer files in the file provided to Revenu Québec. »

The Agency claims to have “added additional controls to prevent this error from happening again in the future”.



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