Canada Revenue Agency’s Agent ID improves services for businesses

The 2013 federal budget put the spotlight on a number of Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) measures to cut red tape in the tax system.

The 2013 federal budget put the spotlight on a number of Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) measures to cut red tape in the tax system. Among them, the Agent ID program should go a long way toward enhancing CRA’s telephone enquiry services for businesses.

Before, when a business owner called the CRA’s Business Enquiries service with a question, the call centre agent would provide their first name only as a part of their greeting. If asked by the caller, the agent would provide their Agent ID. An Agent’s ID consists of their first name, a number, and a regional suffix (such as O-N-T for Ontario or A-T-L for the Atlantic Region) at the beginning of each call.

The CRA believes that incorporating the Agent ID into the greeting creates an awareness of the existence of the Agent ID. In doing so, the Agent ID number ensures a consistent experience for callers and makes it easier for business owners to provide feedback on CRA services. This initiative responds to a request from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business to increase accountability for business calls to the CRA.

Budget 2013 also says the CRA has created a dedicated team that is responsible for coordinating and addressing small business issues. CRA has mandated the team to consider the needs of small business in its approach to service improvements, with a renewed and enhanced focus on cutting red tape.

CPA Canada welcomes initiatives like the CRA’s Agent ID program that streamline access taxpayer services and make tax compliance easier. We welcome experiences people have had with this program, both positive and areas for improvement, that we might share with the CRA.

Join in the conversation

What other steps can the Canada Revenue Agency take to reduce red tape and improve services for Canadian businesses? The better we understand the issues you face, the better we can represent them to government and other stakeholders.

Post a comment below, or email Bill Dobson directly.


Conversations about Tax is designed to create an exchange of ideas on tax policy and practice developments and issues and their impact on Canadian accountants who practice tax. Comments received can provide helpful input to the public interest advocacy positions developed by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada.

About the Author

Bill Dobson