Tax Audit Process

There are two types of tax audits:

  • remote audits, conducted in our offices; and
  • on-site audits, conducted at your place of business.

Every auditor is required to follow procedure when conducting an audit at your place of business. There are a number of steps in the process.

Important

Auditors are authorized by the Minister to exercise the audit and examination powers and duties provided for by the Tax Administration Act. They are also authorized by the Minister to exercise the audit, examination and inspection powers provided for by the Excise Tax Act and the Tax Administration Act.

Auditors must introduce themselves and, upon request, produce a document signed by the Minister attesting their authority.

Before the audit

  • An auditor will contact you or meet you in person, making sure to clearly introduce him or herself.
  • The auditor will tell you which years or periods are covered by the audit.
  • The auditor will request the information, electronic files and documents he or she needs to carry out the audit. For information, see the Guide to Preparing Electronic Accounting Files [IN-425-V].
  • The auditor will schedule a meeting with you and confirm the date in writing. The written confirmation will include the contact information of the auditor and the auditor's manager.

During the audit

  • The auditor will inform you of your rights and obligations, and give you a copy of brochure COM-366-V, Your Rights and Obligations During a Tax Audit.
  • The auditor will give you an estimated timeframe for the audit and reach an agreement with you on the dates of subsequent meetings, if necessary, and the dates on which the auditor will contact you. 
  • The auditor will make a preliminary list of the items to be examined and will make sure you understand the scope of the audit.
  • The auditor will keep you informed of the progress of the audit and will notify you if the audit must be extended.
  • The auditor will complete the audit as quickly as possible.
Note

If you are being audited, it is in your interest to clarify any contentious or unresolved points with the auditor. This can help the audit go more quickly.

After the audit

  • If applicable, the auditor will give you a draft assessment and complementary documents. He or she will then explain the proposed amendments and answer any questions you may have.
  • You will generally have 21 days to give the auditor any new information that could affect the draft assessment, after which the auditor will examine the new information and make any necessary adjustments, including any refunds.
  • The auditor will notify you once your file has been closed. If the auditor discovered any anomalies, he or she will make recommendations on changes to be made in the future.
  • The auditor will give you information about your options for recourse.
  • The auditor will remain available to provide any additional information concerning the notice(s) of assessment issued based on the draft assessment.

The audit procedure may differ depending on your situation.

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