The Fear of it All

As some of you know, I have been dealing with an issue from Revenue Canada that dates back from 2007 with regards to a failed venture. Myself and four other partners invested money towards a government contract that went “South” (it was rejected in the final minutes of finalization) becuase of the new mandate from the now current government. The idea was to create and promote programs that would have worked hand in hand with Corrections Canada in working with existing programs of out-take inmates from Half-Way-Houses, once they have served their prison terms. Sadly, the Federal Government did an about face (180 degree turn) and dashed all hope of any government funding and co-operation towards our venture, and subsequently we were given a flat out “no” after months of work we put into it. The tax portion of the money raised was left unfinished (except for my portion) as we all retracted our investments, and we moved on to our individual endeavours (lives) since.

FEAR thomasso Oct 2013 - small image

Now fast forward two-and-a-half years. I received a letter from Revenue Canada stating that there was an issue of ten-thousand dollars outstanding in taxes by the Federal Government that had to be paid immediately from money that was used for our initial investment. The problem was that none of my colleagues were aware that we had sign off on that money to release it back to the investors without risking any tax penalties. My mistake was that I knew, and filed the appropriate paperwork with Revenue Canada, but assumed that my colleagues had done so too. None of them did, and so as a consequence, all Revenue Canada had were my records to do the follow-up, and they issue me the remaining portion of the said taxes that were due.

From 2007, until last month, I had received 77 letters, which included 10 couriered notices, two notices of services from the Courts, and an estimated 400 hours of time spent in correspondence dealing with this.Not to mention the four hour arbitration hearing itself.

In August of 2013 I had my hearing with the tax lawyers, and of course my former partners were no where to be seen. The arbitrator listened and read the arguments from both sides, and then we waited for his decision. I received my copy of the decision towards the end in September of 2013, from which it clearly stated that “all” of my taxes had been properly dealt with, and that it was up to Revenue Canada to seek their money from my former collogues themselves. In other words, I owed nothing, ever; I was in the right the whole time.

Yesterday, Friday, I received a letter form Revenue Canada, a “Notice” to pay the debt from the original amount that I had gone to Court over with from before. My heart almost stopped as I read the letter. I remember feeling the anxiety of having to go through all of this again, and felt like I wanted to walk outside to scream. I kept cool, and re-read the letter a dozen times just to make sure I fully understood what it was saying. Then I phoned the Revenue Canada Business line just to make sure that this was a mistake. The very kind lady that I spoke with said that this was an error, and to simply ignore it, as her records showed that the matter was dealt with.

The shock that this letter sent through my mind was horrific. Right now, I am just shaking my head at the Federal Government as a whole. I know the bureaucrats are under funded, and they have a mountain of work to do, with dimensioning resources to do it in, serving Canadians. I expect a high performance from my government, and right now I feel like I getting a far less satisfactory “bang for my buck” from it all.  I am wondering, is Conservatism really benefiting Canadians? Well, I say no, and right now they will not received my vote come next election!

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