Audit Shield and CRA Activity Involving COVID-19 Federal Support Programs

The COVID-19 Federal Support Programs for businesses intended to get money into the hands of business owners and employees quickly.   This objective was achieved to varying degrees of success, with various methods of verification and enforcement forthcoming.  With the completion of the first calendar year of these programs, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will increase its compliance efforts related to these programs. The CRA has indicated that the main approach to compliance activity on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) and Canada Emergency Rent Support (CERS) will come in the form of reviews or audits of tax returns. To help our clients with unforeseen professional fees incurred to defend against potential increased CRA Audit activity, we offer Audit Shield.   Audit Shield represents an insurance policy to cover the payment of professional fees in the event that your business and/or personal tax returns are selected for an audit, enquiry, investigation or review by the CRA. Note that Audit Shield will only reimburse professional fees when the CRA reviews or audits a government support program as part of its regular audit/review of a tax return. If the CRA review or audit is solely focused on a government benefit, outside of a filing of a tax return, the related professional fees will not be covered by an Audit Shield policy. 

By offering Audit Shield, we have saved clients substantial amounts of money when representing them in the course of numerous CRA audits and reviews. The CRA, bolstered by its 2019 budget increases of more than $200 million over five years, will strategically target areas they assess to have a high rate of tax non-compliance.  We believe Audit Shield to be valuable for many of our clients, and we encourage you to reach out to your Bateman MacKay Business Advisor for more information on how Audit Shield can protect you from unforeseen professional fees related to CRA audit/review activity.

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