Canada Revenue Agency Collections Policy has the Potential to Ruin Your Life

The Canada Revenue Agency has a very aggressive collection policy. Their mandate is to collect past due tax debts and they have what appears to be limitless authority to do so. This article will outline the top 4 tactics that the Canada Revenue Agency will deploy to collect from you when you have an outstanding tax debt. 1. Wage Garnishments. The Canada Revenue Agency routinely places wage garnishments on taxpayers who have an outstanding income tax debt. A wage garnishment served upon an employer could result in a garnishment of your wages of up to 50%. Secondary income like pension income, insurance income, etc. can be garnished up to 100%. Once the Canada Revenue Agency serves your employer with instructions to garnish your wages, they must and will comply. Once a wage garnishment is attached it can be very difficult to remove. 2. Property Liens. The Canada Revenue Agency will place a lien on your home, vehicle or equipment (in the case of a business), if they learn that you have an asset. Even if you have no equity in the asset and no ability to refinance it, they will still place a lien on it. If you cannot raise the money to pay your tax debt in full, they can force you to sell the asset and will take any proceeds (if any) to cover the tax debt. 3. Requirements to Pay on Bank Accounts. If the Canada Revenue Agency sends your bank a requirement to pay, your bank account will be frozen. The bank will hold the money in your bank account for 30 days and then send it to the Canada Revenue Agency. Outside of the fact that you will lose all the money in your bank account, it will also alert your bank to the fact that you have a tax problem. In many cases this will permanently damage your relationship with your bank. 4. Set-Off’s on Invoices. If you are a small business owner, the Canada Revenue Agency can send a set-off notice to your customers. This notice will direct your customers to forward the payment of your invoices to the Canada Revenue Agency. Not only can this put you out of business because you will have no business income coming in; in addition, your clients may be apprehensive about continuing to work with you under these circumstances. Depending on the severity of your tax problem, the Canada Revenue Agency could take more than one of these collection actions, concurrently. You do not have to let things go this far; there are services available to help individuals and businesses that have an income tax debt. If your wages are already being garnished or your bank account has already been frozen, there are Federal Government programs available to help. Once you participate in one of these programs, the Canada Revenue Agency will immediately, and must by law, remove a wage garnishment and/or unfreeze your bank account.

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