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Archived - Minister Findlay reminds individuals and businesses affected by wildfires in British Columbia, the Prairie provinces and Ontario: you can request taxpayer relief

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July 21, 2015 - Ottawa, Ontario – Canada Revenue Agency

The Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of National Revenue, today reminded individuals and businesses in the areas affected by wildfires in B.C., the Prairie provinces and Ontario that taxpayer relief is available to them if they cannot meet their tax obligations.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) understands that natural disasters can cause difficulties for taxpayers, whose primary concern during this time is their families, homes, and businesses. Individuals and businesses unable to file or pay taxes on time because of wildfires can make a request to the CRA to have interest and/or penalties waived or cancelled, using Form RC4288, Request for Taxpayer Relief. The CRA will consider these requests on a case-by-case basis.

Taxpayers and businesses still need to file a return. They should ensure that proper back-up records are maintained at all times, and if any electronic records are lost, destroyed, or damaged, they must report this situation to their respective CRA Tax Services Office and, to the best of their ability, recreate the files within a reasonable period of time, using back-up information such as bank and suppliers’ records. For more information, please contact CRA at 1-800-959-8281.

Quick facts

  • Approximately 8,000 wildfires occur each year in Canada. The average area burned in Canada is 2.5 million hectares/year. (Source: Public Safety Canada)
  • Taxpayers living in areas prone to wildfires should take extra precautions when storing their books and records.
  • Taxpayers who maintain electronic records are encouraged to keep a back-up in a secure off-site location.
  • The taxpayer relief provisions apply in situations where taxpayers or businesses are unable to file a tax return and/or make payments on time because of circumstances beyond their control, such as tornadoes, flooding, landslides, hurricanes, forest fires as well as human made disasters.

Quotes

"Wildfires can cause significant disruption in the lives of Canadians living in these hard-hit regions, and the Government of Canada wants to support those who may have difficulty fulfilling their tax obligations as a result of this threat. If you need help, I encourage you to make use of the taxpayer relief provisions available to you.”

- The Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of National Revenue

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Rebecca Rogers
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of National Revenue
613-995-2960

Philippe Brideau
Media Relations
Canada Revenue Agency
613-941-6269


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