December 11, 2013 9:27 am

Toronto woman’s bank account frozen over back taxes just before Christmas


WATCH: A woman in dire financial straits has had her bank account frozen after she didn’t pay some of her taxes. Sean O’Shea reports.

TORONTO – Marion Hill is struggling to pay for food and rent after her bank account was frozen due to back taxes she owes and is pleading with the Canada Revenue Agency to give her a chance.

“Let’s settle this. I’ll give you half, let’s be fair, but I can’t. Please don’t take everything from me,” said the Toronto woman.

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Hill says her sole source of income came from the $20,000 sale of a house following a divorce with her husband.

The money was placed in a TD Bank account which has since been deactivated by the federal tax agency.

A little more than a year ago, Hill said she tried to work out a payment schedule with the agency’s collectors, but they wouldn’t agree to take monthly payments.

“When you live without money a long time, you’re hungry, when you get money, you try to hold it for a long time,” she said.

Her efforts to get the tax department to give some of the money back have so far proved unsuccessful.

In addition to her financial issues, Hill also suffers from a myriad of health problems including diabetes.

She currently has no insurance to pay for insulin and other vital drugs.

Hill says she’s not on social assistance and has no way to afford to pay for the hundreds of dollars of drugs each month.

“I pleaded and begged with the woman on the phone, give me a chance.”

Accountant Darryl Hayashi says Canada Revenue collectors can be open to compromises but it often depends on the circumstances and who you speak with.

“It depends on the collection officer that you get,” said Hayashi. “Some are a lot more humane, they understand your situation. Especially at Christmas time for this to happen it’s kind of unfortunate.”

The Office of the Minister of National Revenue issued a statement on Hill’s situation saying, “individual circumstances should be taken into consideration to avoid causing undue hardship to Canadians.”

It further states that “the CRA will mitigate collection efforts when a taxpayer can adequately demonstrate that they are experiencing hardship.”

Until her situation is resolved, Hill continues to wonder how long her diabetes drugs will last and if she’ll be able to stay in her modest rented apartment.

“It can happen anytime, to anyone. Everything can be taken away, and nobody cares,” she said.

-with a report from Sean O’Shea

© 2013 Shaw Media

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