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My Mom started showing signs of dementia in 2006 at the age of 68 and was diagnosed as such two years later. Her condition worsened as happens with that horrible affliction and she became far too much of a burden for my Dad in 2012 so was placed in residential care. No complaints from us about the care she is currently receiving. My Dad moved in with my wife and I in December 2013 after his health declined. It was at that point we learned my Dad never arranged for power-of-attorney over my mom. My mom's OAS and very limited CPP go into her own personal account and we don't know if she even has a will. After my Dad got "caught" by the bank using my mom's debit card, they arranged for her monthly expenses to be automatically debited from her account and he wouldn't have to send them in a cheque each month. This scenario worked fine and my dad continued to pay for my mom's expenses not covered by her monthly automatic payment from his own account.

I completed my Dad's 2013 taxes last year (I have had POA over him for five years) and was told by CRA I could not complete my mom's taxes until I received her T slips via Service Canada (SC). Service Canada advised me I needed to complete an "agreement to administer benefits under Old Age Security Act..... by Private Trustee". I completed document in July and was told to wait for it to be processed and then request her T slips. October I contact SC who says I also need "Certificate of Incapability" completed by her doctor. I book appointment with doctor and in meanwhile are advised by Health Authority my mom's rent cheque has bounced. Turns out because her 2013 taxes were not completed her guaranteed income supplement was discontinued. Then because her taxes were not completed by December 31, her rent went up from $900.00+ per month to $3200.00+per month. My Dad has covered the shortfall since November and after I wrote a sob-story to the Health Authority they agreed to return her monthly debit to the $900.00 level until April 1. Remember all I have to do is complete my Mom's taxes to prove her limited income.

Since November I have acquired the certificate of incapability and finally after apparently having one of my mom's t-slips lost in the mail, received them end of January. CRA advised me to wait until Feb 9 to file because this was the first year her previous years taxes could be completed electronically. Given the urgency of the matter they thought it better to do it that way than send in hard copy. So February 9 I attend a tax filing company to ensure all documents are completed accurately. Lady at the office concerned I do not have a POA but we get in touch with CRA who advises to send in notice of incapability and letter from SC identifying me as "trustee to appointed to administer OAS and CPP payments" - Done!

Friday I receive a letter from CRA saying sorry the letter of incapability is not enough and taxes will not be completed. The letter indicates I need "POA for Property", "General POA" or a "Representation Agreement". I assume by "General POA" they mean "Enduring POA".

Sorry I tried to condense this story but failed!! Since early November I have attended the SC office three times, spoke on the phone to SC five times, spoke on the phone to CRA six times, and discussed my situation with the Office of the Public Trustee twice. This route I have taken was the direct result of advice given by all these agencies. At no time did anyone advise me I was on the wrong track, in fact most people seemed to be trying to help as best they could. Would you believe that when I spoke with the Public Trustee on Friday after I got the letter from CRA she said my mistake was apprising CRA all along the way - I should have submitted the taxes as if my mom had done them and no one would have been the wiser.

So now we are going to face a $3000+bill for my mom's rent and are still no nearer to completing her taxes!!! It seems wrong to abrogate our responsibility to my Mom's financial affairs and not pay the bill but we simply cannot afford to pay this amount - My Dad has a small pension (2200/month) and $28,000 in savings to last the rest of his life. I am meeting with a lawyer this afternoon and suspect I will have to petition a court to get POA - as well as fork over a bunch of cash for legal fees!

The lesson is obvious - get your freaking affairs in order before it's too late (for the record my wife and I have POA's on each other, wills, insurance policies and we're aware of their locations). I am a little disappointed in my Dad who led me to believe all was taken care of - but I should have asked him very specific questions - "have you completed power of attorney" - or I should have done it myself.

Any advice on the situation? I get the sense that employees at the CRA 1-800 number are entry level employees. Despite good intentions their advice was misleading and flat out wrong! I was told the Public Trustee was "the expert". Again she missed telling me CRA would require POA or a Rep Agreement. Any similar experiences or knowledge out there about this matter? I can't help but think this has happened to others!

Thanks and sorry for the War and Peace!
 

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^ I understand your situation, we have these things put upon us with no preparation, persons who we think are in positions of authority have all sorts of advice ... you say you are meeting with a lawyer this afternoon, I'm sure all will go well legally from here on, all the best ...
 

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Once you have everything they have asked for, my advice would be to now call CRA's T1 General Inquiries line (1-800-959-8281), explain the extreme in delay you've experienced in correcting your mother's tax affairs partially due to the incorrect/incomplete information you've been given by several CRA representatives in the past, and that you are very anxious to close these matters now finally having jumped through hoops to get all of the required information.

After explaining this to the front-line agent (so that they can document it), ask the agent to escalate your grievance to the Problem Resolution department. The front-line agent won't give you their number directly, but can have a Problem Resolution agent call you back at a number you provide. This department will be your best bet in terms of resolving these matters efficiently given the trouble you've already encountered.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for your responses. Lawyer advised me to approach this "3rd party company" that manages financial affairs for the elderly or fork over $6000.00+ for legal fees to apply to courts for "comity" allowing me to complete her taxes. So I call the 3rd party company the lawyer identified for me who advise all they do is file taxes on their clients behalf and then receive their future CRA statements at their office. They advise me to do the same - forget the 2013 taxes and complete my Mom's 2014 taxes changing her address to mine??? So I call health authority and plead case and they agree to continue with the rate deferment on my mom's rent despite no having 2013 tax statement. Next day ----> My mom's 2013 tax statement comes in the mail!!!! Either some one at CRA had a look at what was happening, saw how absurd it was and took pity... Or in classic bureaucratic fashion they processed her taxes blind to what was going on... The latter I suspect! Whether by error or reason, I have received what I needed and managed to get her taxes done. As much as I would love to point out the problems to CRA WiseOwl I think I am going to leave this dog to sleep.
 
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