Is the CRA Working for You?

May 2, 2019

Is the CRA Working for You?

Under Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Government, Canadians have been stuck in one-never ending tax season. It might look like flowers are sprouting in the garden, but Canadians know it’s just the carbon tax making life less affordable. When not forced to listen to the Liberal Government’s cacophony of excuses, Canadians know that life’s necessities are more expensive. Despite the hardship and sacrifices they are facing, Canadians are still dutifully paying their taxes. And when it’s time to file taxes, taxpayers turn to the Canada Revenue Agency for guidance.

Employees at the CRA should be working hard on behalf of Canadians; however, many Canadians find the CRA’s services are not all that client oriented. This is a problem. When Canadians have questions about their taxes and benefits, they trust that the CRA will have the answers. When the CRA picks up the call, Canadians expect to receive fair and reliable service. Since interacting with the CRA is unavoidable, the process should not require pulling teeth. But after calling into the CRA, many Canadians experience difficulties.

The Liberal Government promised to make the CRA more client oriented, but so far, they have voted against improvements to the CRA. In 2016, the Liberal Government opposed a Conservative motion that sought to make the CRA more accountable for its mistakes, improve communication, and address complaints in a timelier manner. This motion was intended to protect taxpayers from negligence and mistakes by establishing a duty of care owed by the CRA to taxpayers. By enhancing the enforceability of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights – Conservatives offered a meaningful solution toward making the CRA more client oriented. Unfortunately, the Liberal Government prefers to break their promises rather than protect taxpayers’ rights.

While the Liberal Government takes a humdrum approach to improving the CRA’s services, confusion at the CRA can result in immediate hardship and, in some cases, put businesses out of business. For example, the Liberal Government has promised to go after ‘tax evaders’, but instead their actions have targeted small businesses like campgrounds, having labelled them as too small to be a small business, when their work is anything but. To make matters worse, the CRA is making some family-run campgrounds pay taxes at three times the rate of other small businesses – the same that large multi-national corporations pay. These changes are part of a long pattern of the Liberal Government treating small businesses as tax generators rather than the job creators and backbones of our community that they are. Small businesses have continually been treated disrespectfully by a Liberal Government that has imposed many crippling tax changes such as the job-killing carbon tax, payroll tax increases, and their attempt to make changes to the small business tax rate that would disqualify thousands of small businesses. Canadians need the CRA to provide the clarity, guidance, and fairness that the Liberal Government lacks. Instead, the Liberals have imposed rules and regulations that pit the CRA against our important small business community.

The CRA is opening online consultations until June 18th. This is your opportunity to rate the CRA’s performance and services, as well as provide written examples of your stories and complaints. To complete the consultations go to https://www.cra-engage-arc.ca/en click on Participate Now! then Serving Canadians Better. And, you can write to the Minister of National Revenue at Diane.Lebouthillier@parl.gc.ca.

Paying taxes isn’t new and the Liberal Government cannot act surprised that taxpayers deserve to be treated respectfully. I know the Liberals will never stop creating taxes, but until Conservatives take office and reverse that trend, Canadians at least deserve some rights when they go to pay them.