14. CRA Audit Manual
This manual contains a wealth of information much of it not generally available to the public in the past. We have captured as much of the Manual as has been made available to the public (23 of the 40 Chapters) and put it into a bookmarked format to make it easy to flip to any particular Chapter. This will be an invaluable resource particularly when dealing with CRA auditors who are proposing to assess your clients. Unfortunately you will notice that whole sections of the Manual have been blanked out wherever you see "PROTECTED". And while there is a huge amount of material with the Manual sitting at 2058 pages, don't forget you can use the binocular search function on the left hand side of the Manual to search for specific terms and phrases.
CRA notes in Chapter 1.0 that the Audit Manual is an evergreen document produced by the Compliance Programs Branch with the help of CRA's auditors, technical advisors, and team leaders from many tax services offices (TSOs).
The Audit Manual consolidates operational policies and procedures for the administration of income tax and the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST). It is noted that the excise tax procedures are in a separate manual. The Audit Manual is available electronically to all CRA auditors.
CRA also advises that the material in the Audit Manual reflects national audit policies and recommended procedures that replace manuals, Communiqués, Directives, and Memoranda that deal with audit activities. The Taxation Operations Manual (TOM) and GST/HST Audit Manuals have been taken out of circulation. Communiqués, Directives, and Policy Statements issued previously will be archived for reference.
The Audit Manual is a single source of reference for audit policies, procedures, and technical application guidelines about audit issues. CRA's Auditors are advised that they can conduct research efficiently and effectively when they use electronic search engines to access information to select, plan, conduct, and finalize an audit. The Audit Manual includes:
- examples of audit checklists and working papers
- specific audit techniques
- sample letters
- technical information to apply legislation administered by the CRA
- sector profiles that describe business operations
- references to court cases
For more details have a look at the Tables of Contents which lists out the almost 40 Chapters which make up the Audit Manual (some of the Chapters are reserved for future use). The Manual is divided into three sections; I. Audit Policies and Procedures, II. Technical Issues, and III. Sector Profiles.