Withdrawing an Objection
Under section 93.1.1 of the Tax Administration Act (TAA), you can object to an assessment under a fiscal law by filing a written notice of objection. The notice must set out the reasons for the objection and the relevant facts, and it must be filed no later than 90 days following the date the notice of assessment was sent.
In accordance with section 93.1.6 of the TAA, when we receive a notice of objection, we begin by thoroughly re-examining the assessment. We then either cancel, confirm or amend the original assessment or issue a reassessment, and we send our decision by mail.
After filing an objection, you may wish to withdraw it for various reasons. For example, you might realize that the assessment was accurate. Or, our examination of the reasons for the objection might reveal an error in the contested part of the assessment that results in an increase in the duties payable.
However, according to case law, objecting to an assessment is part of the assessment process, which does not end until we have determined the definitive amount of the tax liability, either by issuing a reassessment or by cancelling, confirming or amending the original assessment.
As a result, you cannot withdraw your objection to avoid a greater assessment or because you no longer want to continue the objection process—the objections officer tasked with making a decision on the objection must re-examine the assessment and either cancel, confirm or amend it or make a reassessment, in accordance with section 93.1.6 of the TAA.
Likewise, even if you decide to withdraw your objection because you agree that the assessment is accurate and you have no other arguments to make, the objections officer will nonetheless re-examine the assessment. In most cases, they will confirm it. However, if they discover an error that results in an increase or decrease in the contested duties, they will amend the assessment to correct the error.
Our objection process is the same as that used by the Canada Revenue Agency. What's more, going through the full process is a prerequisite for filing a contestation before the Court of Québec under section 93.1.10 of the TAA.
Generally speaking, a decision increasing the amount of an assessment can only be made during the regular assessment period. However, such a decision can be made outside this period under section 25.1 of the TAA, paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of section 1010 of the Taxation Act or subsection 298(4) of the Excise Tax Act. That said, the decision to increase an assessment is an exceptional measure and can only be made if, while examining the reasons for the objection, the information in the file or newly revealed or submitted facts, the objections officer discovers an error in the contested part of the assessment.