How can the CRA do better?

Although the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)’s latest consultations on taxpayer services have ended, the CRA says it’s always open to ideas. Here’s what CPA Canada is recommending. What would you add?

The CRA’s Serving You Better initiative is a key part of its commitment to gather feedback from small and medium enterprises — and to help it improve its programs and services.

Last fall, the CRA hosted a cross-country series of town halls, and CPAs joined in, sharing their experiences and suggestions for service enhancements. CPA Canada also developed a submission, detailing ways the agency could improve the efficiency of the tax system. Among the ideas, we encourage the CRA to:

  • improve its helpline services by assigning a single helpline agent to take ownership for ensuring callers’ more complex questions or issues are resolved when these questions or issues are referred to other parts of the CRA
  • rationalize processes to ensure that taxpayer information is collected only once and that all taxpayer information is accessible by all CRA agents who need it
  • work with Finance Canada to amend or allow extensions to the T1 and T3 filing deadlines and give taxpayers a reasonable amount of time to receive and manage the information they need to file their T1 tax returns
  • improve T1 EFILE verification processes and automated risk selection and verification processes for foreign tax credits
  • alleviate the Form T1135 filing burden
  • consider several measures for streamlining the objection and appeals processes

The CRA says its commitment to ensuring a world-class tax system is ongoing, so there’s no need to wait for its next round of consultations. If you have taxpayer service improvement ideas, I’d like to hear them.

Keep the conversation going

What more can the CRA do to make compliance easier for SMEs and those who advise them? Post a comment below.

CPA Canada’s Tax Blog is designed to create an exchange of ideas on tax policy and practice issues, and their impact on those who practise tax. Your comments can provide helpful input into the public interest advocacy positions developed by CPA Canada.

About the Author

Gabe Hayos, FCPA, FCA, ICD.D

Vice-president, Taxation, CPA Canada