April 7th, 2005, 08:00 PM
I came home today, in a relatively good mood, until I got my mail. Canada Revenue Agency sent me a letter, saying that they've reassesed my tax return for last year, and I owe them almost $1400.00!!!
I took a dog training course in 2003, and got a receipt for my $5000.00 tuition so I could claim it. I did my taxes with H & R Block, and they said that as long as I obtain employment in the dog training field in some way, that CRA would accept my course and I could claim it. So we submitted my tax return and I got my cheque. A few months later, my H&R rep called me and said she received notification from CRA that they reassesed me and that I owe them for the tuition claim as they were not accepting it. She told me that CRA would be contacting me to pay them, but I never heard a thing until today!!
In the letter, they're saying that because they didn't hear from me last year when they contacted H&R block, that they are now charging me interest!!! H&R block never told me I had to call them or reply to their letter! :mad: :mad: :mad:
Anyways, I did obtain employment for 3 months as a dog walker last year, and have my T4 to prove it. My question is, can they still make me pay them, even though I did as I was told I had to? I obtained employment walking dogs which my education helped me get, and kept it for 3 months. I only left because of money issues. I really can't afford to pay them! Anyone know anything about these issues with CRA?? :(
April 7th, 2005, 08:26 PM
Contact an accountant first to find out If you claimed correctly, then contact CRA, and if you do owe, ask if they can waive the intrest as you were never informed of this dept and ask for a repayment plan as you cannot afford this all at once. Contact a Accountant ASAP to find out.
That's why I never use H&R block, they always seem to screw up, and an accountant really does not cost that much, I only pay $150.00 for my hubby myself and a business.
Good luck and keep us updated.
April 7th, 2005, 08:45 PM
I thought H & R is supposed to back you up if any problems arise?? And if they make a mistake (if it was one) then THEY pay what's owed, not you.
I would look into it, I thought it was like one of their mottos....
April 7th, 2005, 08:48 PM
5000 or 500?
Did you get the proper tax receipt for the tuition? You would need that for a tuition claim. If you have that you can claim it regardless if you worked in the field.
If the organization that taught you cannot issue proper tuition tax receipts you wontbe able to claim it as such.
if you worked as an independent - not a salaried employee - you can claim it as a business expense without having the proper tuition tax receipt, but just proof of payment.
But get a professional opinion, don't rely on me. ;)
April 7th, 2005, 08:57 PM
It depends too if they gave you a real tuition tax certificate. It should say "Tuition and education amounts certificate" on it. If not, the govt may not even consider it as tuition.
April 7th, 2005, 09:26 PM
H&R Block made a mistake with mine this year and I owe half what you owe. They are NOT responsible for paying what you owe---if they made a mistake using what you gave them....not made an attempt bc you said you were going to be gainfully employed and then were not---they will give you a coupon for next year's taxes to be filed for free.
I know how you feel to pay--it sucks especially when you don't have that kind of money!! I'm in debt repayment and the money they want is simply money I wont have to pay down some of my debt...
What the problem I think is is that you only worked for 3 months....if you worked after you submitted your taxes and DID NOT notify the government of your related employment then how would they know?
Also, I've never heard of this sort of plan where taxes are concerned---as far as I know unless you receive a tuition credit slip then you can't claim it. Part time students also have less legs to stand on when it comes to taxes...
April 7th, 2005, 10:38 PM
I think H&R block bears some culpability here and if they assured you Rev Can would accept it, then they need to back that up. I am not a fan of H&R. They tend to hire ppl part time, pay them next to nothing and often the texes are completed by someone not neessarily qualified. (Of course, I am not keen on the many orgs who live off other people's hard earned money, sigh!)
You should also appeal your case and explain to someone higher up in the chain of comand - NOT somejust just hired for the few mos this work takes.
And, it has been my experience (in both my student lives and professor roles) that part time tuition is ever bit as equal as claiming full time tuition. You either take 1 course or an entire semester. It is all deductable.
The best way to ensure your tax claim is accepted is to have all the recipts (and keep copies), have everything done properly so it calculates properly. Most claims are not very complicated and a keeping their employees happy usually is a good thing (NOT trying to sound like Martha here, lol). In all the years I have sent in mine, small biz (dr's office IS a biz, sigh!!), I have never been audited once. (and I do it myself - usually with my mom's help - she took a course for fun once and likes the intricate detail of taxation policy - a strange hobby albeit a useful one for those of us related to her, haha - she even does my CA brother's taxes!).
I also encourage my patients or usuallu their parents ( ;) ) to claim every medical receipt they have, their mileage (kmage?) in visiting clinics, other hospitals and docs, medication costs not covered by health insuranace and the cost they pay, if any, toward their insurance and lodging and meals while travelling for medical reasons. (Even tho we have a place for parents of very ill children to sleep in their child's room, parents often have to stay at hotels, hostels and Ronald MacD House - and even tho most hotels near hospitals offer them special rates, it can all add up but it is DEDUCTABLE). I even tell them to keep relevant non prescription drugs (especially meds like ASA with codeine avail OTC in Canada but not in the US) or naproxen (avail in the US OTC but not in Canada). If they have a plan that covers those cosrs, I will write a script. If not, I dispence tax advice a my mom, :)
April 8th, 2005, 09:27 AM
This happened to me last year. Except I did it myself and it was an error with quicktax. I have contacted quicktax to see what they can do for me. They had the same question twice, when the second one should have been different. So i entered an amount that shouldn't have been there, and was overpaid. Except it was only $400 that revenue canada wants back, which they will deduct out of my return this year.
On a side note, at least money you own to the CRA doesn't affect your credit rating!
And you can appeal the decision. You need to get a copy of the letter sent to HR block, and there is a caseworkers name on it. Send him the info to proove your claim, and they can reverse the decision.
I'm paranoid now about my taxes this year, in case there was a mistake again with quicktax.
Also, never use H&R block, they get only like 10 hours of training, a book and that's it. They are not tax professionals. All they do is either do it by hand, using a current tax text book for help, or they use a program similar to quicktax.
Something you may want to consider signing up for is epass. http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/eservices/tax/individuals/myaccount/menu-e.html
Sign up, and they will send you a code in the mail in a couple of days. That way you can access all of your taxes ever submitted online, make changes, submit info, make appeals (I think it was one of the options).
April 8th, 2005, 09:57 AM
I'm not really sure what your options are at this point. Definitely contact an accountant to try and straighten this out (stay away from H&R :mad: ). An accountant may be able to advise you about some sort of payment plan.
I know that in some areas CRA also sets up kiosks where volunteers from CRA help taxpayers with their returns ... should be something on the CRA website about this. A CRA volunteer may be able to help you decipher this.
I don't know where you are located, but there might also be a Tax Services Office or Taxation Centre in your area and you can usually set up an appointment to talk to somebody there (at no charge).
Sorry I couldn't be more helpful ... I work at CRA but in the IT field so don't really know much about the rules and regs regarding T1 filing .... but I do know that you should definitely stay away from H&R ... they don't really have a great reputation :evil:
April 8th, 2005, 10:04 AM
Thanks for all your replies! :o
I phoned CRA this morning, and it was COMPLETELY H&R block's fault! They put my tuition claim under UNION DUES!! That's why CRA investigated it. The lady there said whenever someone claims a huge amount like $5000.00 in union dues, they have to investigate as people rarely ever claim that much for dues, unless they're filing a bunch.
The lady was shocked that H&R Block never sent me a copy of the letter CRA sent them. Also, in that letter, it stated that they were reclaiming the refund because the $5000.00 was for union dues! This should have been cleared up last year!!
I also asked her about my tuition receipt, and she said that as long as the receipt is for education to enhance or aqire new skills to be used in the work force, it's fine. She said they'll see on this years tax return that I did in fact gain employment in the field my education was directed at. She also said it doesn't have to be from an accredited university, as long as the institution is registered. I'm not sure if this person is registered or not, but other students of his tha have claimed their tuition, got refunds and no reassesment.
So anyways, I am taking all my receipts back to H&R Block tonight and making them refile my taxes properly and fill out the missing schedules for CRA. I'm also making them refund my money I paid them to do my taxes, and I'm not paying for the fixing of my taxes.
I'm just SOOOOOOOO relieved that this wasn't my fault, and that CRA has just erased the amount I owe them.They said I may even get some more money back once the taxes are filed properly. I was so mad last night, I accidently broke my laptop at home by pounding on the keys when the internet froze!! Luckily our friend can fix it for free. :o
Thanks so much for all your responses and I'll let you all know how my meeting goes with them tonight. This year, my mother in law is doing my taxes. She's been doing her whole family's taxes for years, so I'm sure she's good and we don't have a lot to claim. :)
April 8th, 2005, 09:39 PM
Good luck!!! Sounds like its under control though. H&R Blockheads are untrained and useless.
this year I had to pay $1000 back for a mistake made 2 years ago ...but I do my own taxes so I had no-one to blame...
Luckily I got back 4 large this year. :D
April 11th, 2005, 10:05 AM
Well, the news gets good, then bad again....
CRA is investigating the person I took my course through, to find out if he is in fact registered, or if I can even claim dog training!! If he's not, I can't claim my tuition, and I owe them $1300.00 back!! I'm soooo TICKED off! Even Revenue Canada said that if H&R Block filled out my taxes correctly in the first place, they never would have even looked at it! I also would never have claimed my tuition receipt if H&R Block didn't tell me too! IMO, if they didn't know if I could claim it, they should have found out first and then done my taxes.
Also, when I called the person I took my course through to tell him this, he says, "I know you can't claim it!" I was shocked! Everyone else who took the course with me claimed it, so he obviously never told us we couldn't. $5,000.00 is a lot of money to spend on school, and for him to think that we wouldn't claim it is rediculous. I asked why he thought I wanted a receipt then, if I knew I couldn't claim it, and he said that some people just want receipts!! As if!
The mojority of people I have talked to have told me that H&R Block should have to pay the CRA the $1300.00 back that I may owe them, due to their mistakes. Do you guys think that's possible? I don't think I should be responsible for this at all, as I was completely innocent, but can I do anything about it??
April 11th, 2005, 10:18 AM
I think I'd consult a real acountant on the matter and not leave it up to the CRA and HR Block to take care of the situation....both organizations that do not have YOUR best interest at heart.
No offense, but most likely HR Blockheads are going to blame you and say that you misrepresented the nature of the education deduction.
Correct me if I'm misinterpreting the situation, but, you if you have your own business and spent this money on training yourself, and it can't be claimed as an education amount.
Couldn't it then be claimed as a business expense of some type?!?!
April 11th, 2005, 10:28 AM
I don't know the chances of having them pay it for you, but I would definitly be escalating the issue to head office, and document everyone you talk to. I don't know how much it would help, but I personally think they should at least be doing the correction for free, and refunding you your filing fee, plus I would be demanding at least the interest since they failed to inform you properly of the payment.
April 11th, 2005, 12:03 PM
Unfortunately, I do not own my own business, so I can't claim it as a business expense. The two ladies that claimed the dog training aswell, did claim them under business expenses, but it's still considered training. I would think an education deduction would be the same.
I have faxed a nice 2 page letter to the ditrict manager ta H&R Block just now, outlining my situation. I hope to hear from him soon to at least discuss the nature of this problem. I'm super stressing out as I have a baby on the way, and I just don't have $1300.00!!! I wish I could have known more about tax filing, so I might have caught this mistake sooner and maybe this wouldn't be happening to me..... :(