Saskatoon

'Why do we have 4 car seats?': Saskatoon man uses family pictures, sarcasm to respond to federal tax review

A Saskatoon man has responded to a Canada Revenue tax review with a 29-page letter, full of family pictures and sarcasm.

Family reviewed 2 years in a row responds with family pictures, Costco membership, vitriol

Devin Dubois responded to a Canada Revenue Agency audit with humour. (Facebook)

It looks like Devin Dubois is headed back to his family photo albums for the second year in a row to provide evidence for a federal tax review.

In 2014, during a tax review, the Canada Revenue Agency asked Dubois for a wide range of information— including proof that he and his wife were Canadian citizens.

Why is our house a disaster and why are there raisins and Pepperidge Farms goldfish ground into our carpets, car seats and couches?- Devin Dubois said in a letter to CRA

So, Dubois wrote back in earnest. He sent the CRA a 29-page letter, complete with annotated pictures of his family and a court case where he served as a lawyer.

"We've been taxpayers for decades," he said. "Some of the information they were looking for, confirming our very existence, it seemed very odd, the whole affair."

When he was asked to prove whether or not he had children, Dubois admits the sarcasm got turned up several notches.

"If our kids haven't existed for the past three and [a] half years, why the hell are we so tired?" reads the letter. "And why are we consistently doing laundry? Why is our house a disaster and why are there raisins and Pepperidge Farms goldfish ground into our carpets, car seats and couches? And why do we have four car seats?"

Now the CRA is back, asking for Dubois to provide similar information for his 2015 tax returns.

Family pictures submitted by Devin Dubois, complete with notes. (CBC News)

"Needless to say, now I'm maybe even more engaged in this particular response," he said. "We're in the drafting stages."

While Dubois has decided to fight this particular battle with humour, tax reviews are no laughing matter. Many families have seen their Canada Child Benefit payments suspended until they provide a significant amount of information about their situation.

"Hearing the story last week about the number of families who actually have some financial struggles as a result of this, it kind of bothered me, a little bit."

In a response to last week's story on the CRA reviews, the agency has not said what prompts the reviews, only that they're part of its regular work to keep people accountable.

"In a self-assessment system such as ours, impartial and non-discriminatory reviews are completed to validate information such as residency, marital status and primary care of children, all of which affect benefits and credits," wrote the agency in an email.

"The CRA is committed to paying the correct amount of benefits to every eligible individual."

An excerpt from a letter written by Devin Dubois to the Canada Revenue Agency. (CBC News)

For a link to Dubois' full letter, click here.

With files from Saskatoon Morning, The Morning Edition

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