Tax Audit Solutions (TAS)
By Dan White, President of TAS
TAS is an active member in the local business community. They are members of the Whitby Chamber of Commerce and are a client of the Spark Centre.
The business evolved from a firm that focused on international business companies, (IBCs) high end tax strategies and regular tax accounting, to a firm that focuses on helping taxpayers who found themselves in trouble with the Tax Man. The understanding of IBCs and tax strategies was instrumental in the morphing into a different business model, where an understanding of complicated tax scenarios is extremely useful.
The transition to becoming a Tax Representative occurred over time because there is no formal training for Tax Representatives. This is a specialized field that one learns in the trenches. Representatives must learn and understand the inner workings of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and tax policy. Reps must know income and excise tax law and how to stand firm on facts and law during a tax audit.
All audits are investigative by nature and a Rep must understand they are dealing with a civil law investigator. There is a profound difference between a civil investigation and a criminal investigation and a representative must understand the distinction. Although auditors have broad powers, there are strict rules governing what they can and can not do. The Rep’s job is to ensure that audits do not cross the Rubicon. (A tax term for crossing the line.)
Hosting an audit is not about explaining what was done and answering a never ending stream of questions, rather it is about presenting the facts and tax law in a manner where numbers are not disputed, and the issues can be resolved.
Being Audit Ready requires accounting to be done in a manner similar to forensic accounting. CRA has made it standard policy to consider a net worth assessment in all audits. Therefore the rep must take note of money transfers and any gains in taxpayer wealth that is not accounted for, because that is what CRA will watch for.
The knowledge and skill TAS has gained has allowed them to extend their services in support of other accountants, lawyers and trustees.
In order to run their business efficiently and to keep client’s costs to a minimum, TAS developed their own Practice Management software. The code name is “Ogeemo.” The software has been cloud based for over a decade and features its own virtual operating system. Ogeemo offers an integrated business package including accounting, email, document management, task management, project management and knowledge base.
The Ogeemo software has its own intelligent data base that is capable of running highly complex business processes. It will also be able to automatically create on line forms, which will be a huge cost saving to any company that requires large amounts of on line data entry.
TAS is working with the Spark Centre to take phase 3 of Ogeemo to the market at large. Currently it is in ‘In House” beta version and will be rolled out to users sometime this year.
TAS is a good example of how today’s business can ride the technology curve to increase their business efficiency.