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Update to ‘Income Tax Tip for Canadian Writers’

2014 March 23

I was hoping  if and when I updated my March 3, 2012 post about writer/artist income tax and the T5 slip, it would be a positive update where I could report that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) had finally recognized it was not correctly handling certain T5 slips issued to freelance writers, photographers and artists and had taken steps to address the issue. But alas, that is not the case. This February I received the same reassessment I have been receiving almost annually from the CRA, in this case with regard to my 2012 return and the T5 slip issued by Access Copyright, the Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency. As I explained in my earlier post, the reassessment claims I have not reported this income when in fact I have.

However, this time there was a new wrinkle. When I phoned the CRA, using their toll-free number as I have in the past, I was informed that the CRA no longer initiates changes to its reassessments over the phone. Instead, I would have to write a postal letter to the CRA explaining how my T5 slip was reported; this despite the fact that I already had reported this to the CRA in a physical, postal letter I submitted in addition to my electronically filed 2012 tax return.

So, as instructed, I wrote and sent said letter, but I did not stop there. I also wrote a letter of complaint to Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, Minister of National Revenue, with copies to Access Copyright and The Writers’ Union of Canada (who has championed this issue in the past). If you feel the same, I strongly suggest you write a letter to the Minister as well! It’s easy to interpret this treatment by government as harassment, and it just might be. But if we don’t complain, it won’t change.

From → Tax

  1. Peggy Herring permalink

    Thank you, Don, for having so thoroughly investigated and posted your experiences with Access Copyright, the T5 and CCRA. This was my first year to receive the same reassessment notice as you have. Being able to speak intelligently on the subject to the CCRA rep on the phone was due to what I learned from your post. Unfortunately, it didn’t change anything. Posted my paper letter and supporting documents today. Hard to believe the small amount of money we’re talking about warrants so much attention.

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