Monday, November 27, 2006 - Editorial - More bungling from tax bureaucrats - Editorial - More bungling from tax bureaucrats: "

Revenue Minister Carol Skelton ought not go to sleep one more night without correcting a couple of ludicrous tax-filing provisions implemented by her department.
Stories brought to light by Sun parliamentary correspondent Kathleen Harris give us a perfect examples of what happens when bureaucrats are let loose to develop and implement policy.
Harris tells of an Alberta businessman who owed the feds almost $2.9 million in taxes collected from employees. A few days before the money was due he dropped off his payment at his local federal tax office, where it was stamped “delivered by hand” and the cheque deposited to the Receiver General of Canada.
That, he says, is the way he has done his tax remittances for several years.
But if the businessman was expecting a federal thanks for getting his money in early, he was in for a nasty surprise. Instead he was slapped with a $287,000 fine for not making the payment at a bank.

Not only that but as far as the Revenue people were concerned, his payment didn’t even exist. They advised the business owner to pay up immediately or face potential “legal action being taken without further notice.”
CRA spokesman Jacqueline Couture said the Income Tax Act rule requiring businesses to make source deduction payments at financial institutions has been on the books since the early 1990s, but enforcement and a mandatory 10% fine only began last month.
Harris also revealed that CRA plans to refuse cash payments at government service counters.
Only in the rarefied atmosphere of a government agency can such nonsense be imagined. What company would turn away a customer who dropped by early to pay his $3-million bill and tell him to drive across town and drop "

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