Canada Revenue Agency Departmental Performance Report 2013-14
A message from the Commissioner of the Canada Revenue Agency
This was a rewarding year to serve as Commissioner of the Canada Revenue Agency. I am proud of the significant steps we took to advance our organizational priorities—service, compliance, integrity, and security.
The way the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) serves Canadians is changing. By adding more online options every year we have improved service for taxpayers, and increased the efficiency of tax administration. This shift to electronic services has enabled us to keep pace with changing taxpayer needs, and demonstrates our support for Government priorities such as red tape reduction. Taxpayer use of our online services shows we are on the right track. In 2013-2014, 80% of Canadians filed their individual tax returns electronically, our website received more than 125 million visits, and our call centre agents and automated services answered more than 22 million calls.
Importantly, in 2013-2014, more than 92% of individual taxpayers filed their taxes on time without intervention from the CRA – a profound demonstration that service and compliance go hand in hand. By enhancing our service channels to provide the information and tools Canadians need to meet their tax obligations, we help clear away the barriers to voluntary compliance.
The CRA is continuously looking for ways to make compliance easier, and to deter non-compliance. To this end, our Minister announced three new programs for small and medium enterprises to help protect the integrity of the tax system and reduce red tape. These programs are aimed at providing early support to Canada's entrepreneurs to help ensure they understand and can easily access the information they need to comply with their tax obligations, as well as working more closely with tax representatives. Our goal is to provide assistance at key points in the small business lifecycle to help prevent costly and time consuming errors, and ultimately reduce the need for audits.
"Canada’s tax system can only work effectively if the CRA maintains public confidence in the fairness and integrity of our processes." — Andrew Treusch
To deter non-compliance, we are taking a strong stance against international tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance, implementing a number of measures announced in Economic Action Plan 2013. These included the Offshore Tax Informant Program, new reporting requirements for international electronic fund transfers, a streamlined process for obtaining third party information, and expanded reporting requirements for taxpayers with foreign income or property. We have also continued to increase the number of auditors working on international files in 2013-2014, to ensure we have the on-the-ground capacity to get the job done.
Canada's tax system can only work effectively if the CRA maintains public confidence in the fairness and integrity of our processes. In 2013-2014, we continued to build on our existing culture of integrity and solid business practices, taking several steps to reinforce security and maintain public trust in the tax system. These included additional measures to protect taxpayer data and prevent inappropriate access, physically segregating the audit and selections functions to ensure the independence and objectivity of each, and putting in place a new level of security screening for individuals in positions warranting a high degree of public trust.
Every employee plays a critical role in maintaining the CRA's integrity while advancing service and compliance, and I extend a warm thank-you to everyone in the organization. Our employees demonstrated strong capabilities and resilience during a time of rapid transition. With their help and dedication, the CRA is well-positioned to serve Canadians for years to come.
Commissioner of the Canada Revenue Agency
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