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Whatever the nature of your dispute, you should act if you do not fully agree with the amounts claimed. Beware, many « professionnals » don’t hold any profesionnal titles and only attorneys can go to Court. Title-less « professionnals » will sometimes charge fortunes for oppositions and then say it’s pointless to file an appeal in Court. They can’t file appeals in Court.  Basic oppositions should not cost more than 1000$ and appeal are usually well worth the cost.

The first step: the opposition. At municipal, provincial and federal levels, you must object to the tax authorities within 30 to 90 days of sending the notice of assessment. You may be relieved of the failure to object within that period if it was impossible to comply with it. In response to your objection, the authority may cancel, ratify or amend the assessment or it may issue a new assessment. While it is always possible to win an opposition, it is likely that your objection will be dismissed as it really is only a review by the auditor. Tax authority reviews are usually them telling you that the assessents and perfect and you need to pay.

If you do not object within the statutory timeframe, even if you are clearly right, you will no longer be entitled to challenge the amounts assessed and you will have to pay these amounts in addition to all penalties, interest and miscellaneous expenses applicable.  Don’t rely on tax forgiveness programs, they never get granted.

After the assessment, it is normal that the authorities are not very active in your file, they can not yet force you to pay. Be careful, this is not a "good sign" and you have not been forgotten. Instead, they wait until you are out of time to collect the amounts owed.

As soon as you are out of time to oppose, your file will be transferred to the collection. Perception does not negotiate, it perceives. When the seizures begin and a bailiff takes an inventory of your furniture, it is possible that your right to object is prescribed.

The second step is an appeal to a court. The appeal is the most important stage of the challenge, it is the first review of your case by a neutral third party, a judge, and not a simple review from the tax authority. 

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