Revenue Agency gaffe displaces HG villages

  • Mar. 28, 2015 5:00 a.m.

By Evelyn von AlmassyHaida Gwaii ObserverHaida Gwaii residents applying for the Northern Residents Deduction may be denied their claim this year, following a string of instances where the Canadian Revenue Agency has failed to recognize islands communities as actually being a part of Haida Gwaii.At their regular meeting March 9, Masset’s mayor and council received notice that some community members have been denied their Northern Residents Deduction when filing their taxes with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Council learned some have also been given notices of being audited. It appears individual communities are no longer listed as being within their prescribed zones, but rather under the umbrella of Haida Gwaii/Queen Charlotte Islands. As the official addresses don’t include the actual place name of “Haida Gwaii”, many residents have had their claims denied.”The only thing [I] could think of accounting for that would be continental drift,” Coun. Brett Johnston said.To prove where they are living, some residents have sent maps of Haida Gwaii to the CRA. Contacted by the Observer, The office of Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen said they are very much aware of the issue and have taken steps to request that this be corrected. A spokesperson called the situation “completely ridiculous.” Meanwhile, in an email response to the Observer’s questions, the media relations department with the CRA’s Pacific Region read that all places in the Queen Charlotte Islands/Haida Gwaii are indeed within a prescribed intermediate zone. “A taxpayer has to demonstrate that their locality is within that prescribed zone to be eligible for the claim at Line 255,” the email reads. Whether any residents in Port Clements have had the same difficulty as in Masset, a call to Kim Mushynsky, the Port Clements Village Administer stated “I have heard that…it’s very, very silly.” She noted that it is “just an emerging problem.”For people who are being denied their northern resident’s claim after filing their taxes, Nathan Cullen’s office asks you contact them to intervene at 250.622.2413 or email Nathan.cullen@parl.gc.ca.

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