Audit Shield is a fee waiver service we offer that allows us at least $10,000 in professional time per year.
This allows us to respond to an audit, enquiry, investigation, or review by the CRA or a provincial authority on behalf of our clients. Business owners buy a fee waiver service from us so they won’t be faced with paying our hourly rates should a regulatory body ask them to defend their tax filings, such as payroll, corporate tax, GST, or personal tax.
The cost of the fee waiver service is based on the business group’s annual revenue and is not set by the accounting firms that offer Audit Shield. The cost to prepare a defense against the regulators can be substantial and many business owners prefer the peace of mind of knowing they won’t have to pay a lot more than they already have should a filing be challenged.
Audit Shield covers the eligible costs* of responding to audits of the following:
- Corporate tax filings
- Personal tax filings
- GST/HST filings
- Employer compliance audits
- Tax reviews and audits
- Any query of any lodged filing where the client is compelled to respond or act
CRA Audits Are On the Rise
It is a common misconception that you will only be investigated if you are not compliant. This is incorrect. The CRA runs various programs to check information in our self-assessment system that are not based on compliance.
What we are seeing is that the CRA and other government revenue bodies have significantly increased the number of targeted enquiries, audits, and reviews they are now undertaking. These organizations are using powerful data-matching capabilities so even compliant and correctly prepared filings can be selected for scrutiny. For this reason, we offer the Audit Shield Fee Waiver Service, which guards against unexpected and potentially significant professional fees incurred in responding to these investigations.
How Audit Shield Works
If you are subject to an investigation, enquiry, audit, or review from the CRA (or any relevant provincial revenue agency) in relation to your submitted tax and Worker’s Compensation filings, we will waive the professional fees associated with the response process (up to a maximum amount). Audit Shield provides full retroactive cover, so all previously submitted tax and Worker’s Compensation filings are covered automatically, provided that you receive notice of the investigation during the term of the Audit Shield Fee Waiver Services.
You only have to pay a flat fee per year, which covers the cost of any investigations, enquiries, audits, or reviews during the 12 months following your payment. Payment for the Audit Shield Fee Waiver Service is tax deductible for businesses and is typically collected in July.
* Eligible costs do not include pre-assessment personal income tax reviews and matters considered errors and omissions.