Info Source (formerly Information about Programs and Information Holdings in 2022)

Sources of Federal Government and Employee Information

Table of Contents

Introduction to Info Source

General Information

Institutional Functions, Programs and Activities

Internal Services

Contracts, Agreements, and Arrangements – New

CRA Manuals

Additional Information

CRA Reading Rooms Services

Appendix - Personal Information Banks (PIB)

Appendix - Classes of Record

Introduction to Info Source

Info Source: Sources of Federal Government and Employee Information provides information about the functions, programs, activities and related information holdings of government institutions subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. It provides individuals and employees of the government (current and former) with relevant information to access personal information about themselves held by government institutions subject to the Privacy Act and to exercise their rights under the Privacy Act.

The Introduction and a list of institutions subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act are available centrally.

The Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act assign overall responsibility to the President of Treasury Board (as the designated Minister) for the government-wide administration of the legislation.

General Information


In 1927, the Department of National Revenue Act established the Department of National Revenue by renaming the Department of Customs and Excise. The Department was responsible for assessing and collecting duty and tax, monitoring the movement of people and goods across the Canadian border, and protecting Canadian industries from foreign competition.

The same act created a second department to collect income tax, a responsibility that a commissioner from the Department of Finance had been meeting. Both departments had the same minister, but each had its own departmental organization and deputy minister.

On April 29, 1999, Parliament passed the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency Act, which established the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (now the Canada Revenue Agency). The change in status from department to agency, which took place on November 1, 1999, has helped build a modern organization that is committed to leadership, innovation, and client service.

On December 12, 2003 the government announced the creation of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), which is responsible for Canada's customs operations. Two years later, on December 12, 2005, legislation came into effect to legally change our name to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) administers tax legislation and regulations, such as the Income Tax Act and the Excise Tax Act, for the Government of Canada and for most provinces and territories. The Agency also administers various social and economic benefit and incentive programs delivered through the tax system. The Departmental Results Report is the primary document for communicating our results to Canadians and Parliamentarians. The Departmental Results Report provides a comprehensive report on the performance of the CRA for the previous fiscal year, and a discussion of the CRA's achievements against the key targets and indicators set out in our Corporate Business Plan and Report on Plans and Priorities. The Departmental Results Report also contains the audited financial statements.


The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is the principal revenue collector in the country and is responsible for distributing benefit payments to millions of Canadians each year.

The Agency was created to: provide better service to Canadians; offer more efficient and more effective delivery of government programs; foster closer relationships with provinces and other levels of government for which the CRA delivers programs; and provide better accountability.

The CRA contributes to two of the Government of Canada’s strategic outcomes: Federal organizations that support all departments and agencies; and Income security and employment for Canadians.

The CRA is mandated to administer tax, benefit, and other programs on behalf of the Government of Canada and provincial, territorial, and certain First Nations governments. The CRA exercises its mandate within a framework of complex laws enacted by Parliament, as well as by provincial and territorial legislatures. Our mandate reflects the broad role that we assume in the lives of Canadians.

No other public organization touches the lives of more Canadians on a daily basis than the CRA. Each year, we collect billions of dollars in tax revenue and deliver income-based benefits, credits, and other services that help families and children, low- and moderate-income households, and persons with disabilities. These programs contribute directly to the economic and social well-being of Canadians.

The following two strategic outcomes summarize our contribution to Canadian society: Taxpayers meet their obligations and Canada’s revenue base is protected; and eligible families and individuals receive timely and correct benefit payments. In addition to the administration of income tax and benefit programs, the CRA now administers the harmonized sales tax (HST) for five provinces.

The CRA also verifies taxpayer income levels in support of a wide variety of federal, provincial, and territorial programs, ranging from student loans to health care initiatives. In addition, we provide other services, such as the Refund Set-Off Program, through which we aid other federal agencies and departments, as well as provincial and territorial governments, in the collection of debts that might otherwise become uncollectible.

Institutional Functions, Programs and Activities

Core Responsibility - Tax

To ensure that Canada’s self-assessment tax system is sustained by providing taxpayers with the support and information they need to understand and fulfil their tax obligations, and by taking compliance and enforcement action when necessary to uphold the integrity of the system, offering avenues for redress whenever taxpayers may disagree with an assessment/decision.

Tax Services and Processing

We give taxpayers access to accurate and timely information they need to comply with Canada's tax laws by modernizing our services, including expanding our digital services and enhancing our telephone platform, making it easier for taxpayers to meet their tax obligations. In addition to the individual returns program, we register businesses for a business number and administer T2, T3, GST/HST, excise, and other levies programs. We help businesses and individuals to voluntarily comply with Canada's tax laws by processing their information and payments as quickly and accurately as possible and telling them the results of their assessment or reassessment.


We administer a national program for the regulation of charities, registered Canadian amateur athletic associations, and registered national arts service organizations. We are responsible for activities that span the full spectrum of the administration, including registration, education and outreach, processing and examination of required filings, audit and enforcement, as well as providing policy and technical guidance. We ensure charities understand their obligations under the law and work to safeguard the interests of taxpayer donors, while helping charities and other qualified donees meet their legal obligations under the Income Tax Act.

Registered Plans

The Registered Plans Directorate (RPD) is part of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The RPD is responsible for registering and monitoring deferred income and savings plans to make sure they comply with the Income Tax Act, Income Tax Regulations and related administrative rules. The RPD gives information and advice to employers, plan administrators, promoters, issuers, their advisors and other tax professionals on the legislation and administrative rules related to deferred income savings plans in order to help them fulfill their tax obligations. Investing in people, education, technology, and responsible enforcement activities allows the RPD to protect the integrity of Canada’s deferred income and savings plan regime and to provide Canadians with knowledge and tools that support compliance with legislative requirements.

Policy, Rulings and Interpretations

We offer taxpayers, registrants, and tax intermediaries binding rulings and non-binding interpretations of the acts the Canada Revenue Agency administers, including the Income Tax Act, Excise Tax Act, Canada Pension Plan and the Employment Insurance Act. In doing so, we give taxpayers certainty by explaining how the law applies to specific situations. We work closely with the Department of Finance Canada in developing legislative policy, as well as providing legislative policy and administrative services to other Canadian government organizations. We continue to introduce and advance initiatives designed to provide early certainty on tax matters, help prevent errors and, in some cases, reduce the number of individual requests for rulings and interpretations. We also administer legislation related to excise duties and taxes. As a result of this work, taxpayers are more aware of available technical information, better informed of their tax obligations and entitlements, and better able to apply the law correctly.

Service Feedback

We offer clients a process to provide feedback, including complaints, suggestions and compliments, and resolve problems about the service, quality, or timeliness of the Canada Revenue Agency’s work, as described under the service rights in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. The service issues raised by clients provide valuable insight and that feedback in turn helps the CRA identify and implement ongoing service improvements.

Objections and Appeals

We offer an impartial review process for taxpayers who wish to file a formal dispute relating to assessments or determinations the Canada Revenue Agency made under the Income Tax Act, the Excise Tax Act, the Canada Pension Plan, and the Employment Insurance Act. We also work with the Department of Justice on appeals before the courts. We provide education and assistance to taxpayers to make them aware of their rights to dispute resolution as well as when it is appropriate to register a formal dispute.

Taxpayer Relief

We administer the process under which the Minister of National Revenue may, under legislative provisions, grant to taxpayers relief from penalties and interest that arise through no fault of their own, an inability to pay, or circumstances beyond their control. Our activities, including taxpayer education and assistance, are resulting in increased taxpayer awareness of the penalties and interest relief provisions and what they should do to seek relief. We review requests in an impartial and timely manner so that taxpayers obtain relief where warranted.

Reporting Compliance

We protect the integrity of Canada's self-assessment tax system through education and proactive efforts that are aimed at helping those who want to comply. We also work to ensure that Canada receives its share of taxes from international and large entities with complex financial transactions and taxpayers with offshore accounts.

We identify non-compliance both domestically and internationally, through extensive business intelligence and risk assessment activities, including predictive analytics, legislative reviews and work with informants. Depending on the level of risk identified, the appropriate approach is taken to address and deter non-compliance through a graduated approach including targeted communications, examinations, audits, and where warranted, penalties or criminal investigations. We work closely with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC), domestic law enforcement agencies, and international partners to ensure that the most serious cases of tax evasion and fraud are thoroughly investigated and referred for criminal prosecution.

We are committed to ensure that applicants for tax assistance and incentives have the information and timely services they need, are aware of their tax obligations, and that tax credits, incentives and refunds are delivered in a prompt, consistent, and predictable manner.

Returns Compliance

Through a variety of education and validation activities, we encourage individuals, businesses, and trusts to better understand their tax obligations and the consequences of non-compliance. We continually seek ways to proactively educate taxpayers with the goals of ensuring self-identification and deterring non-compliance. We enforce registration and complete validations and reviews to ensure that individuals, businesses, and trusts are compliant with their withholding, remitting, reporting, and filing obligations including payroll deductions, GST/HST, other levies, and non-resident taxes.


We collect tax and non-tax debts on behalf of the federal, provincial, and territorial governments, as well as for other government departments and agencies. We continue to evaluate new approaches to strengthen and streamline tax collection activities, facilitated by improved information technology and data analysis, which allow a more targeted and risk-based approach. By differentiating lower-risk taxpayers (those who can and want to pay, or those who owe but need time to pay) from those who do not intend to pay, we can customize our approach to encourage or enforce compliance, as needed. We strive to educate all taxpayers to ensure they are aware of, and understand, their tax filing obligations and the consequences of non-compliance to promote self-resolution of debt.

Core Responsibility - Benefits

To ensure that Canadians obtain the support and information they need to know what benefits they may be eligible to receive, that they receive their benefit payments in a timely manner, and have avenues of redress when they disagree with a decision on their benefit eligibility.


We deliver a range of ongoing benefits, credits, and one-time payment programs that support the economic and social well-being of Canadians. Through processing activities, we make sure that Canadians receive their rightful benefits in a timely manner. We offer benefit recipients timely and accessible information on their entitlements and obligations both through our call centres and securely online, which helps Canadians become more aware of the benefits they are entitled to and how to receive them.

Core Responsibility - Taxpayers’ Ombudsperson

Canadians have access to trusted and independent review of service complaints about the CRA.

Taxpayers’ Ombudsperson

The Office of the Taxpayers' Ombudsperson allows people to request independent and impartial examinations of service-related complaints if they feel they have been treated unfairly or unprofessionally by the CRA.

Internal Services

Internal Services refer to the activities and resources of ten distinct services that support program delivery in the organization, regardless of the Internal Services delivery model in a department. These services are: Acquisition Management Services, Communications Services, Financial Management Services, Human Resources Management Services, Information Management Services, Information Technology Services, Legal Services, Materiel Management Services, Management and Oversight Services, Real Property Management Services.

Acquisition Management Services

Acquisition management services involve activities undertaken to support the acquisition of goods, services or construction services identified as necessary for a department to fulfill its ongoing mandate and purpose. These activities include processing, monitoring and reporting, developing and implementing departmental policies and procedures, and activities that support the sound management of procurement contracts.

Communications Services

Communications services involve activities undertaken to ensure that Government of Canada communications are effectively managed, well-coordinated and responsive to the diverse information needs of the public. These activities ensure that the public receives government information, and that the views and concerns of the public are taken into account in the planning, management and evaluation of policies, programs, services and initiatives.

This Internal Services category refers to communications that are corporate in nature, affecting the entire department whether through internal communications to all employees or external communications on behalf of the department.

Financial Management Services

Financial management services involve activities undertaken in the department to ensure the prudent use and stewardship of financial resources in an effective, efficient and economic manner. Activities include planning, budgeting, accounting, costing, reporting, control and oversight, analysis, decision support and advice, and financial systems.

Human Resources Management Services

Human resources management services include activities related to supporting human resources (HR) planning and reporting; reviewing, assessing and developing organizational design; reviewing and assessing job descriptions and classifications; supporting staffing processes; collecting and processing employee information related to compensation, leave and transfers; identifying and coordinating organization-wide training and learning requirements; promoting values, ethics and employment equity; managing employee recognition and awards programs; addressing workplace management and labour relations; and developing and maintaining HR information systems within the organization.

Information Management Services

Information management services involve activities undertaken to achieve efficient and effective information management to support program and service delivery; foster informed decision making; facilitate accountability, transparency, and collaboration; and preserve and ensure access to information and records for the benefit of present and future generations. Information management (IM) is the discipline that directs and supports effective and efficient management of information in an organization, from planning and systems development to disposal or long-term preservation.

Information Technology Services

Information technology services involve activities undertaken to achieve efficient and effective use of information technology (IT) to support government priorities and program delivery, to increase productivity and enhance services to the public. IT management activities includes planning, developing (or procuring), and operating IT computing, telecommunications, infrastructure and applications.

Legal services

Legal services involve activities undertaken to enable government departments and agencies to pursue policy, program and service delivery priorities and objectives within a legally sound framework. Activities include the provision of the following services: legal advisory, litigation and legislative services.

Management and Oversight Services

Management and oversight services involve activities undertaken to ensure that federal government service operations and programs comply with applicable laws, regulations, policies and plans. Activities include providing strategic direction, governance and corporate planning; allocating resources and taking investment decisions; and analyzing exposure to risk and determining appropriate countermeasures.

Materiel Management Services

Materiel management services involve activities undertaken to ensure that materiel can be managed by departments in a sustainable and financially responsible manner that supports the cost-effective and efficient delivery of government programs. Treasury Board’s Policy on Management of Materiel defines materiel as “all movable assets, excluding money or records, acquired by Her Majesty in right of Canada.” Movable assets are tangible and include a broad range of goods such as equipment (e.g., office, information technology, telecommunications, scientific), furniture and furnishings, and larger goods (e.g., vehicles and ships). Most materiel expenditures are specific program expenditures. However, as an Internal Services category, materiel management services include the expenditures from policy and administrative support for those who manage and dispose of materiel throughout the department.

Real Property Management Services

Real property management services involve activities undertaken to ensure that real property (e.g., land, bridges, and buildings) is managed in a sustainable and financially responsible manner throughout its life cycle to support the cost-effective and efficient delivery of government programs. Most federal real property services are captured under specific program expenditures. As an Internal Services category, real property management services are limited to those expenditures associated with office accommodations that are not funded by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), as well as to expenditures for real property services. Also included in this category are the expenditures of any FTEs that provide real property policy advice to real property practitioners throughout the department.

Travel and Other Administrative Services

Travel and other administrative services include Government of Canada travel services, as well as those other internal services that do not smoothly fit with any of the internal services categories.


Contracts, Agreements, and Arrangements – New

Summaries of contracts, information sharing agreements and information sharing arrangements that involve the disclosure of personal information. 

CRA Manuals

Appeals Branch

Assessment, Benefit, and Services Branch

Collections and Verification Branch

Compliance Programs Branch

Legislative Policy and Regulatory Affairs Branch

Service, Innovation and Integration Branch

Additional Information

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is subject to the legislative requirements of the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. The Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Directorate, part of the Public Affairs Branch, supports the CRA in meeting its requirements under both acts.

For information on Access to Information and Privacy at the CRA, as well as both formal and informal access procedures under the provisions of the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act, please consult CRA's Access to Information and Privacy Web site. There you will find information on:

Requests outside of the ATIP process

The Government of Canada encourages the release of information through requests outside of the ATIP process. You can access most of your personal information, and other information the CRA holds by consulting:

Formal requests for information

If you cannot get the information you are looking for outside the ATIP process, please see the link How access to information and personal information requests work for information on formal access procedures under the provisions of the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act.

In addition, the following outlines how to make a formal ATIP request to the CRA:

ATIP Online Request or mail your letter or Form RC378, Access to Information and Personal Information Request Form along with any necessary documents (such as consent or the $5.00 application fee for a request under the Access to Information Act) to the following address:

Director General, ATIP Directorate
Canada Revenue Agency
555 MacKenzie Avenue, 5th Floor
Ottawa ON K1A 0L5

Privacy assessment summaries

The CRA conducts privacy assessments to ensure that privacy implications are appropriately identified, assessed and resolved before a new or substantially modified program or activity involving personal information is implemented. Visit the Privacy assessments page to see the summaries.

For additional information about the programs and activities of the Canada Revenue Agency, please see CRA's Web site.

CRA Reading Room Services

In accordance with the Access to Information Act and Privacy Act, an area on the premises  will be made available by appointment should an applicant wish to review materials on site.

To make an appointment for the CRA reading room located in Ottawa, or to request an electronic copy of a CRA reading room manual, please call 1-866-333-5402 or send an email to the CRA ATIP General Enquiries.

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