The Manitoba Consumers’ Bureau is advising caution when dealing with individuals and companies charging a fee for assistance in completing and filing forms for the federal Disability Tax Credit.
Direct selling usually requires a licence and the Consumers’ Bureau has been made aware that there may be unlicensed companies and individuals selling this service door-to-door or making group presentations throughout the province.
These sellers offer to complete the forms for the consumer and forward the information to the Canada Revenue Agency. In most cases the consumer is asked to provide important personal information to the company like social insurance numbers, health information, previous tax refund documents and income verification slips.
If an individual or business selling this service comes to your door, your apartment complex or calls you on the phone:
· Ask to see their direct seller’s licence. If they can’t provide a licence, or if it is a telephone sale, write down the person’s name and the name and address of the company represented and then contact the Consumers’ Bureau.
· If you are applying for the Disability Tax Credit, call the Canada Revenue Agency. It provides information that can help people complete the application form on their own at no charge. Call 1-800-959-8281 for service in English or 1-800-959-7383 for French or visit http://www.mbchamber.mb.ca/wp-includes/js/tinymce/plugins/paste/www.cra-arc.gc.ca.
· Be extremely careful before giving anyone personal financial or health information.
· If you feel as if you are being pressured or rushed, you can walk out of the presentation, tell the salesperson to leave or hang up the phone.
· Read the entire contract before signing and make sure it is fully completed.
· Draw lines through any blank spaces.
Consumers who enter into direct sales agreements with a licensed business have 10 days to cancel the contract or up to one year if the business is not licensed. Consumers who cancel a contract must do so in writing and in most cases the seller must provide a full refund.
If you are unsure whether the company you are dealing with is licensed to conduct this type of selling or want more information about direct sales contracts contact the Consumers’ Bureau at 204-945-3800 or 1-800-782-0067 (toll-free in Manitoba) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To make a complaint about a business or individual, contact the Consumers Bureau or call the Winnipeg Police Service Commercial Crime Unit at 204-986-6231 or your local police.