Canadian Sales Tax Audits: Preparation Strategies

Getting Ready for Tougher GST, PST and HST Examinations

Recording of a 110-minute CPE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Thursday, September 15, 2011

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Course Materials

This teleconference will provide tax executives with fresh insights into the practical realities of Canadian federal GST/HST and PST audits. The panel will outline new alternatives to consider in crafting a comprehensive strategy to managing the audit process from the taxpayer perspective.


Over the last year, audit challenges have continued to pile up for companies selling goods and services in Canada. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is only now starting to audit transition periods and the new provincial harmonized sales tax (HST) in Ontario, while British Columbia voted out its HST.

As the provincial sales tax (PST) has wound down in Ontario, audit activity has ramped up. Meanwhile, the CRA works under new rules to audit for federal goods and services tax (GST), HST and PST, and impactful new rules involving financial services institutions.

As the CRA and provincial governments push comprehensive audits and documentation demands, U.S. corporate taxpayers must take an aggressive, proactive approach to plan for and manage these audits. Insights from Canadian tax advisors are invaluable in this regard.

Listen as our panel of experienced Canadian tax practitioners briefs you on current key trends and tactics in federal and provincial transactional tax audits, and guides you in shaping a more effective general audit strategy for your company.



  1. Relevant background trends
    1. Revenue pressures facing Canadian revenue agencies
    2. Implementation of Ontario and British Columbia HSTs on July 1, 2010
      1. July 2011 British Columbia rejection of HST, effective in 18 months
  2. Fundamentals of federal and provincial audits
    1. Legal rights for auditors and taxpayers, under current law
    2. Trends and tactics from recent audits
      1. Auditor behaviors to anticipate
      2. Common taxpayer errors being cited during audits
        1. Inadequate ITC documentation, or not restricting ITCs where required
        2. Failure to remit GST on taxable benefits
        3. Ignoring GST on supplies between related parties
        4. Incorrect use of small supplier rule
        5. Sales incorrectly categorized as exports
        6. Other common errors
  3. Realities of post-audit appeals process
    1. Delays in getting objection assigned to officer, and for the officer to make a determination


The panel will address these and other relevant audit topics:

  • Latest audit red flags: CRA and provincial auditors' areas of focus—mathematical and clerical errors, improper calculation of input tax credits, failure to follow place-of-supply rules for e-commerce, and other issues.
  • Records and documentation requirements: Specific records that must be kept as a best practice. How long and in what format records should be kept for more granular activities like ITC claims.
  • Auditor powers and taxpayer rights: How aggressively federal and provincial auditors are acting under current law—and corporate taxpayers' rights under that law.
  • Audit staffing changes: What the shifting of audit personnel from provincial agency offices to the CRA could mean for you.

Following the speaker presentations, you'll have an opportunity to get answers to your specific questions during the interactive Q&A.


Cyndee Todgham Cherniak
Cyndee Todgham Cherniak


She is assigned to the firm's tax law and international trade law groups and also has client expertise in goods and...  |  Read More

Heather Weber
Heather Weber

Leader, Indirect Tax Group

She works with clients on all indirect taxes including GST, PST, and excise and property taxes. She is a former Canada...  |  Read More

Cathy Kuhrt
Cathy Kuhrt

Partner, Sales Tax
Grant Thornton

She has more than 23 years of tax advisory service, directs her firm's Ontario sales tax practice and oversees the...  |  Read More

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