Section 295

Subsection 295(5)

Administrative Policy

GST/HST Audit and Examination Manual, 9 – Taxpayer Rights and Taxpayer Relief – 9.1.6.3 “ The right to privacy and confidentiality

Informal request in lieu of ATIP request

When an access to information and privacy (ATIP) request is received, the Access to Information and Privacy Directorate of the Public Affairs Branch forwards the request to the appropriate party(ies) to obtain the relevant information. If the parties providing the information believe that some of it should not be released, they make severing recommendations which will be reviewed and approved by the ATIP analyst.

A registrant may make an informal request for information to you, rather than filing a formal ATIP request. If you receive such a request, as long as you can release the information without going against the CRA's confidentiality and security policy, do so. You should not force the registrant to file a formal request if the information would be released anyway. If you are uncertain what information you can provide, contact the ATIP liaison in your office for guidance.

Permitted scope of informal request

Some examples of information that can be released to a registrant or authorized representative under an informal request include:

• the T20 Report

• external and internal correspondence, including memoranda, appropriately severed where necessary

• related correspondence with Headquarters such as technical interpretation requests or opinions and referrals to specialized sections about a specific person

• working papers, excluding third-party information, leads, disclosure of audit techniques, and information from informants

• related reports from external and internal valuators, appraisers and electronic commerce audit specialists,

• severed versions of operations manuals available to the public

Examine the documents before releasing them to ensure no confidential information about a third party is released.

Prohibited disclosures

Examples of information that cannot be released are:

• information obtained in confidence during an audit or examination that may prejudice the results of the audit or examination, such as Criminal Investigation reports, Royal Canadian Mounted Police reports, or documents obtained as part of an investigation

• audit techniques and specific audit guidelines

• information about investigations in process when a decision is pending

• documents of a related file under investigation

• confidential information about another registrant

• Department of Justice correspondence and information under solicitor-client privilege, including legal opinions from the Legal Services Branch (for more information, go to Disclosing legal opinions and Use of legal opinions inside the Agency)

• specific advice and recommendations developed by or for a government institution or minister of the Crown that may restrict the CRA's ability to administer the ETA if they are disclosed

• accounts of consultations and deliberations involving officials or employees of a government institution or a minister of the Crown that may reasonably be expected to cause injury or restrict the CRA's ability to administer the ETA if disclosed

• information released to a third party, other than specifically permitted by paragraph 295(5)(d) of the ETA or where consent is given by the registrant

• copyright material

• computer printouts from CRA computer systems. Instead, transcribe relevant registrant information from the printout and include it in a letter to the registrant.

Subsection 295(5.01)

Administrative Policy

26 February 2015 CBA Roundtable, Q. 1

strict limits on provision of evidence to police

When will CRA provide confidential information to the police? CRA indicated that:

… [N]o information will be released to the police or other law enforcement agencies without the approval of the Assistant Commissioner of the Compliance Programs Branch.
… Since enactment in June 2014, the CRA has not exercised its authority under the new legislation.

Locations of other summaries Wordcount
Tax Topics - Income Tax Act - Section 241 - Subsection 241(9.5) release of information to police must first be approved by the CPB Assistant Commissioner 136