You wouldn’t be the first person to do a Google search for Taxpayer Relief examples. You won’t be the last either. The problem is; taxpayer relief application examples harvested from the internet are template solutions to problems that are usually quite specific. Using a taxpayer relief sample letter is like using a wheelbarrow tire to replace the front tire on your car. It might get you to the end of your driveway, but not much further.

As an ex-CRA taxpayer relief adjudicator, I can tell you, the people that review relief submissions can spot a template application a mile away. Your circumstances are unique, so your penalty and interest relief application needs to be unique. Although creating a unique and compelling relief application is important, it’s not the only task at hand. Separate and apart from saying all the RIGHT things in a relief letter, it’s equally important not to say any of the WRONG things. (By “wrong things”, I mean things that will get you disqualified rather than qualified.)

The taxpayer relief legislation is very specific, and quite counter-intuitive. If you’re not familiar with the categories under which an application for taxpayer relief may be made, or the decision making factors Canada Revenue Agency uses to determine relief eligibility, try using a professional who specializes in this area. Applying for taxpayer relief without foundational knowledge is a bit like walking into a casino with the total penalty/interest amount, and gambling that you’re going to say all the right things without disqualifying yourself.