Letter: Grief for no reason

On Dec. 16, we received a notice from the Canada Revenue Agency with regards to my father’s estate.

On Dec. 16, we received a notice from the Canada Revenue Agency with regards to my father’s estate, who passed away in late November of 2014.

The notice stated that my fathers 2014 estate taxes had been reassessed and that we owed $12,740, because there was apparently $26,000 of unreported income for the tax year 2014. Of course, this sent my two sisters and I into panic mode. Oh, by the way, the payment due date listed on the document was Jan. 3, 2017. Thanks for giving us two weeks to pay. Much appreciated.

We contacted the firm that did my father’s estate taxes and couriered all the paperwork to them so they could figure it out.

While we were waiting for an answer, it dawned on my sister what had occurred. Because my father passed so late in the year, we actually had to file two estate returns; one for 2014 and one for 2015 (to cover interest earned on his estate while it was in probate). She was sure the estate income listed in 2015 was around $26,000. She was right, We ended up owing nothing.

Now if the clerk doing the reassessment had not been so lazy, scrolled to the top of their screen, and changed the tax year from 2014 to 2015 to do a quick check, they would have found the missing $26,000 in question within about 15 seconds and this whole mess could have been avoided.

To CRA personnel I say do your job properly and if there is a discrepancy, especially one that big, take a few seconds to investigate it before you start sending out huge tax bills at Christmas time and causing grief for no reason.

I would sincerely like to thank CRA for unnecessarily causing my sisters and I added stress during an already stressful time of year. I will not be holding my breath for an apology, because I know one will not be forthcoming.

Merry Christmas to all, and for those who do not celebrate Christmas, I wish you all the best for the holidays. Remember folks, don’t drink and drive, be safe and have a wonderful New Year.

Mark Billesberger, Penticton

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