Words and Phrases - "reasonable error"

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7 October 2020 APFF Roundtable Q. 1, 2020-0852131C6 F - Meaning of reasonable error

What is meant by reasonable error in s. 204.1(4) and s. 207.06(1), and when will CRA exercise its discretion thereunder? CRA responded:

[R]easonable error means in the first instance that the excess is genuinely the result of an error and that the taxpayer did not intentionally overcontribute. For the error to be reasonable, it must also be considered by an impartial person to be more likely to occur rather than less likely to occur based on the circumstances of the taxpayer. …

If the excess arose as a result of the taxpayer's negligence, carelessness or ignorance of the requirements of the Income Tax Act, the CRA will not generally waive the tax payable on the excess contributions. …

While the mere fact that a taxpayer relies on third-party advice is not, in and of itself, sufficient to conclude that an assessment arising from such advice is a reasonable error, in certain situations the CRA may consider it appropriate to waive tax arising from a third-party error, depending on the circumstances. …

[H]ere are examples of … excess contributions [considered] to be the result of a reasonable error:

  • The taxpayer's notice of (re)assessment) indicated an RRSP deduction limit of $0, where in fact the limit was a negative amount, so that the taxpayer may have mistakenly believed that the taxpayer was entitled to the $2,000 allowance …;
  • The taxpayer, through no personal fault, had over-contributed due to inaccurate information provided on the RRSP deduction limit statement [or by] the CRA…;
  • The taxpayer's RRSP deduction limit had been reduced retroactively, due to events such as the late submission of a pension adjustment or amended pension adjustment, or the late submission of an exempt past service pension adjustment or T215 slip … for exempt past service pension adjustments;
  • The taxpayer, a TFSA holder, had made multiple contributions to and withdrawals from his TFSA with the objective of maintaining a TFSA account balance below the contribution limit.
Words and Phrases
reasonable error
Locations of other summaries Wordcount
Tax Topics - Income Tax Act - Section 207.06 - Subsection 207.06(1) examples of what CRA has accepted as a “reasonable error” in making an RRSP or TFSA over-contribution 303