Queen’s Park chases used car buyers who were undercharged taxes

Source: Richard J. Brennan, Toronto Star, September 30, 2015

The Ontario government is chasing motorists who purchased used vehicles in the spring and didn’t pay enough tax — ranging from $100 to $500 for most — through no fault of their own. The government says because of a computer error by CarProof, some 6,500 motorists who purchased used vehicles between May 1 and 27 were charged less retail sales tax than actually owed, totalling $2.4 million. CarProof is a private company that provides a history on used vehicles and assigns values to them. … In the legislature, New Democrat MPP Catherine Fife blamed the government’s “appetite for privatization” for the “costly computer error” and said it’s unfair to leave car purchasers “on the hook.” Sousa’s office stated that as soon as ServiceOntario became aware of this error in late May it notified the finance ministry and “our government immediately took the necessary steps to resolve the situation,” adding the finance ministry, along with government services and transportation, has put in a review process to ensure the error is not repeated. Sousa’s office explained the glitch was caused by formatting issues “which caused the system to generate the incorrect value for the sold used cars when the file was uploaded into government systems.” …