Indi: Uniquely positioned to understand small business

Indi has always known the importance of hard work. When she was five, she immigrated to Canada with her parents and siblings from Guyana, South America. Her earliest memories are of Canada, and of her parents working hard to build a new life for their family.

When she started her career, she worked for various small businesses, including some mom-and-pop shops where she put in 70-80 hour work weeks to help keep them going. She has first-hand experience and understanding of the challenges that small businesses face, even in the best of times. All of this helped prepare her for the various roles she took on with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), especially as a Liaison Officer (LO) when the LO program was in its pilot stages in 2014.

Indi started with CRA as a personal tax call centre agent, went on to work in various other roles at the Agency that involved helping businesses, including working with the Business Enquiries Line, and is now back working as an LO, serving the greater Toronto area.

“Working as an LO actually gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling,” laughs Indi. “I have seen, first-hand, the daily challenges that small business owners face and how little time they have to sort through complex information that isn’t directly related to keeping their business running each day. I usually know exactly what kind of help they need!”

The LO service supports small businesses and self-employed individuals by helping them to accurately file their returns for income tax, as well as GST/HST. They also help business owners avoid and correct the most common errors. Through this program, officers provide tools, information, and support to help businesses manage their tax matters correctly from the start.

“This is the role that I love the most, it’s just such a natural fit for me,” says Indi. “I work with businesses that are incorporated – and every file is a different kettle of fish. Sometimes they have direct questions about their taxes, and sometimes they start off with a bigger picture – like they incorporated because someone told them to, but they don’t even know why. I start with ‘how can I help you’ and we go from there. If I can’t help them directly with something, I refer them to places who can.”

Indi feels hugely gratified when a business she is working with gets to a place where they feel more solid in their understanding of how to handle their tax matters and know how to move forward with it all, feeling like they got the help they were looking for.

“It’s always been important for me to share knowledge with anyone who asks. It’s just who I am. And the role of being an LO is all about sharing knowledge – it’s always been a really good fit.”

This story is part of a series to celebrate Small Business Week 2022.

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