Big bad tax guys. It’s the government department responsible for gathering the bucks that make roads, pay for healthcare, and fund the retirement of all your favourite former prime ministers.
They send you letters. The odd call. If you’re not hearing from them, it’s probably a good sign.
How to Deal with the CRA
Dealing with the CRA isn’t fun. They can be near impossible to reach on the phone, and an unexpected letter from them inevitably leads to reams of paperwork.
My recommendation is always deal with them promptly, and ask a lot of questions. When it comes to the tax code I’m not sure anyone really knows what’s going on, but they’re the ones who decide whether your guesses pass muster. Take every chance you get to grill them for information.
Remember as a self-employed freelancer… the more you understand about your own business (TAX DEDUCTION, CREDITS, AND THE BASICS OF HOW IT’S CALCULATED) the better you’ll be equipped to talk to the CRA. Dealing with freelance artists is NOT part of their normal day. Know your business, and it’ll make everything easier from the first step onward.
How to contact the CRA:
Sometimes it seems like a “don’t call us… we’ll call you situation”… but you can call them.
For Personal stuff: 1-800-959-8281
For Business stuff: 1-800-959-5525
For other questions: check out the REST OF THEIR 100 DEPARTMENTS
Fun (READ: disturbing) Fact:
The call centre has a 25% error rate when dealing with questions about the self-employed (THAT’S YOU). It’s not because they’re incompetent… it’s just because the self-employed tax rules are not well defined. Make sure to ask to speak to a ‘higher up’ if you have a specific self-employed questions.
And don’t be mean. They’re people too.