In Quebec a non-profit organization called “Tax Mediation Association”, founded by five woman provides mediation services for provincial tax disputes. The philosophy behind the organization is that it promotes not only an alternative way to resolve tax disputes but users find peace at the end of the day when their particular tax issue is resolved.
And the new service seems to be working. One distraught taxpayer threatened suicide feeling completely overwhelmed by their tax situation. The individual is a farmer deeply in debt who had lost his appeal at court and threatened to kill himself. The service stepped in and created a compromise that both parties could accept. The impact of the settlement is obvious – it saved a life and promoted peace. The objective of the project seems to be truly being met.
The project has included 25 participants and so far appears to be a success. It was designed to deal with tax claims that have a significant impact on small business and individuals. The project has brought civility and fairness to the system which seemed to lacking. It also has brought with it efficiency to a overburdened provincial tax system in Quebec.
The projects illustrates once again how mediation can provide a much better solution for all involved.