Canada Revenue Agency Competant Authority Services

Hi.  I have been meaning to do a post on so called Competent Authority Services office of the CRA in Ottawa. I do suspect there are some limitations in what the CRA can do under the treaty; however, I suspect for those that have renounced (such as Petros) or have lapsed Green Cards I suspect this office can be of some assistance. The CAS office is technically a free service of the CRA; however, it has a reputation for only providing services to the very wealthy and large corporations (something I think is due to the fact they are the only ones that know of its existence). I have linked to several information sheets the CRA has published regarding these services below. The key document to read is CRA information circular IC71-17R5.

I also linked below to the annual report of CRA CAS below that shows a staff directory of the people who work in this department in Ottawa.

The other key thing to note since 2007 is the US and Canada have a binding arbitration mechanism in their tax treaty. (Historically the US hasn’t liked binding arbitration and Canada is the only country the US has such a mechanism with).


4 thoughts on “Canada Revenue Agency Competant Authority Services

  1. The time to use such a service with regard to treaty issues may be when the IRS does not offer a reasonable interpretation of your taxes: such as FBAR fines for RRSPs or not allowing Canadian charitable contributions. Or for example, if they disagree with my reasonable interpretation of how much of my 2010 taxes were on unearned income and therefore not already exempted under the FEIE.

  2. From CRA PDF

    One of the significant benefits to taxpayers in the Fifth Protocol is the introduction of mandatory arbitration for residents of Canada or the United States who face potential double taxation that is not resolved by negotiation between the Canadian and United States competent authorities. For certain issues that the two competent authorities cannot resolve, taxpayers can compel them to refer their dispute to binding arbitration. This procedure is entirely elective for the taxpayer: the new rule is described as “mandatory arbitration” because it is mandatory for the competent authorities. The competent authorities for Canada and United States developed procedures and administrative practices for the implementation of mandatory arbitration.

  3. @Petros, I was thinking the same thing, thank you for remembering. I’m in the middle of writing another letter to John Weston MP asking him to elaborate on his suggestion that Article XXV of the treaty may eliminate our cap gain tax. I can ask him to at least give me a personal referral to this service. Thanks too to Tim, I’ll check them out.

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