How We Dealt With An Overagressive Tax Collector
Most CRA collection agents will consider a reasonable request for a temporary stay of collection action while we work with a client to reorganize his or her finances to address payment of a large tax debt.
But sometimes you can run into a grandstander – an overly aggressive tax collector who is new on the file or is simply determined, for whatever reason, to bring home a fresh kill.
Such a person will renege on a payment arrangement agreement, move without warning to seize a taxpayer’s bank accounts or issue Third Party Payment demands to the client list of a business owner, or a landlord’s tenants.
Some CRA agents threaten to take overly aggressive actions to collect unless the taxpayer terminates his/her relationship with their lawyer. They do this because it’s easier to succeed without having to first fight the taxpayer’s protector.
In one of our own cases, our client advised us that he was told by the CRA collector to terminate our services after which a good deal could be made. We asked him to speak to the agent again and to record the conversation. He did so. We then wrote to Tax Services Office manager and provided him with a recorded copy of the threat. We advised that legal action could ensue for interfering with a lawyer/client relationship if he was not severely admonished.
A few days late we got a letter from his manager which read, in part, as follows:
“I acknowledge receipt of your letter. The facts and circumstances of your letter and attachments (the tape recording) have been added to my dossier pertaining to my internal investigation of the allegations that have been raised against Mr. X by your firm.
Effective …….he was directed to cease and desist from contacting your law firm or any clients your law firm represents. This will allow me to complete my investigation without further aggrieving the matter. Mr. Y has taken carriage of the files where your firm is a named representative.
Should you become aware of any instances where Mr. X is not abiding by the above edict please contact me directly at……..
Thank you in advance for your cooperation in this matter and I trust that my actions as identified above are in line with your request.
Mr. Z – Manager,
Hamilton/Tax Services Office
Canada Revenue Agency”
To this day, this letter is framed and mounted on the wall of our law firm.
The word must have gotten around to the other collectors because the problem never arose again.
The foregoing provides only an overview and does not constitute legal advice. You are cautioned against making any decisions based on this material alone. Rather, specific legal advice should be obtained in the context of your own particular circumstances.