Power of Attorney and Canada Revenue Agency

Last month I filed to be the authorized person on my mother’s tax account at Canada Revenue Agency. I had put it off for some time in case it was not neccessary, and also because I did not actually realize it was neccessary. Also, I did not know how.

After discovering a few problems with my mother’s affairs, I went to Service Canada to show them that I had power of Attorney for my mother who has alzheimer’s disease. They were not terribly friendly nor helpful but one lady rather reluctantly said I had to file my POA papers with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) separately, but did nothing to assist me beyond that.

Several late night long distance phone calls with CRA later (I live in Japan),They assured me that all I really needed to do was to send in the certified copies of my POA and supporting documents to the CRA office. I did not believe (after my experience wht Service Canada) that this would work but finally I decided I had little to lose but time and $10 postage.

Here is the cover letter I sent with the POA documents themselves.

Les Perras/n Address Address Address Address Greetings, I am writing to make application to act as my mother, Name Name's representative for all matters concerning her taxes. I have enclosed a certified copy of the Power or Attorney document, along with certified copies of two supporting letters from medical practitioners attesting to her inability to act on her own behalf. My mother's SIN number is: SIN SIN SIN. Her date of birth is date date. She currently resides in Place Place. I do not live in Canada, and have not filed a tax return for at least fifteen years, so I guess I am not eligible for a RepId to gain electronic access. As long as I can act as her representative, however, that should suffice. You can contact me at the address above, or by fax, or phone at:Phone (home) or Phone (business). Additionally I can be reached at the email address: email@email. I am also enclosing copies (not certified) of my passport and birth certificate. It is extremely difficult to obtain notarial services in Japan where I live (seven hours away from Tokyo and the Canadian embassy). I ask you accept these copies as proof of my identity. My SIN number is: SIN SIN SIN. I am more than happy to provide you with any information you may need to allow me to become representative. Please feel free to contact me as outlined above. Thank you for considering my application. Sincerely, -Les Perras

I did not hear from them for several weeks so I called again, and to my pleasant surprise, they had finished processing my requests and set me up with authority for my mother! Kind of too bad they didn’t tell me themselves but as all things go it was pretty good.

The folks at CRA have actually been pretty helpful and even gave me almost ‘recipes’ of what steps I had to take at each point. Call and talk to a rep if you are having difficulties. I recommend that you have a professional, polite and patient tone. Ask for help and they will give it.

They never gave me a hard time, but even still don’t call when you have a negative attitude or are in a bad mood. It might give you a different experience from mine which has been great so far!