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Revenue Canada to pay student $17K after tax dispute

An Ottawa woman says the Canada Revenue Agency has promised to pay her back $11,000 it withdrew from her bank account, plus outstanding refunds, after a four-year dispute over scholarship money.

Promise of refund comes day after CBC News report of incident

An Ottawa student says CRA has promised to put back $11,000 it had withdrawn from her bank account after they resolved a four-year dispute. 1:52

An Ottawa woman says the Canada Revenue Agency has promised to pay her back $11,000 it withdrew from her bank account, plus outstanding refunds, after a four-year dispute over scholarship money.

Heather Gilberds, a PhD student at Carleton University, received more than $45,000 in scholarships in 2010.

Because she was a full-time student, she didn't have to pay taxes on the scholarships. But Gilberds didn't file the right form when she initially filed her taxes through H&R Block.

Gilberds has since been reassessed and has repeatedly submitted the proper form, but CRA had continued to claim that she owed $11,000 in taxes for the scholarship money. The CRA withdrew the amount from her account earlier this year.

Gilberds said a day after CBC News reported the dispute, H&R Block called to tell her CRA had done a "quick reassessment" and that she would be getting close to $17,000 back — the $11,000, plus outstanding tax refunds from 2011 to 2013 the agency had withheld while the dispute dragged on.

Gilberds is happy but said, having been reassessed six times already, she won't be completely assured until the money arrives on May 11.

"There seems to be a real disconnect between the citizen filing taxes and what the Canada Revenue Agency receives and thinks is appropriate," she said.

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