Canada Revenue Agency Departmental Performance Report 2013-14

Program: Assessment of returns and payment processing

We assess and process tax returns and payments for individuals and businesses as quickly and accurately as possible, providing taxpayers with early certainty to help them manage their tax affairs with confidence. Our goal is to reduce red tape by providing comprehensive, streamlined and timely services to individuals and businesses while securing Canada's revenue base.

Assessment of returns and payment processing Financial resources (in dollars) Financial resources (in dollars) Human resources (FTEs) Human resources (FTEs)
Main Estimates 595,716,794   -  
Total authorities 713,165,971   -  
Planned   665,185,6071,2   6,547
Actual   649,108,1551,3   6,488
Difference (planned minus actual)   16,077,452   59

Sub-program descriptions

Sub-program Description
Individual returns and payment processing  The program ensures that individuals have the services they need to voluntarily comply with Canada's tax laws. It processes all the information filed and payments submitted by individuals. It also assesses and validates the information and advises individuals of the results of their assessment or reassessment.
Business returns and payment processing  The program ensures that businesses have the services they need to voluntarily comply with Canada's tax laws. It processes all the information filed and payments submitted by businesses. It also assesses and validates the information and advises businesses of the results of their assessment or reassessment. The program also registers businesses in Canada for a business number, maintains account status, and administers the excise programs.

Individual returns and payment processing

Individual returns and payment processing  Financial resources
(in dollars)
 Human resources
(FTEs)
Planned 313,389,102 3,994
Actual 309,585,473 3,979
Difference 3,803,629 15

The CRA contributes significantly to the Government of Canada's "Digital Canada 150" commitment to be a leader in using digital technologies to interact with Canadians, making it simpler and quicker to access services and information online.

Our digital services for taxpayers improve and increase each year as we add new features and functions to make it easier for taxpayers to securely file online, receive information, and communicate with us. We know  taxpayers are more likely to comply with their tax obligations voluntarily if we make it as easy as possible for them to do so, and provide a convenient and secure digital experience comparable to what they have come to expect from the private sector. At the same time, we maintain traditional paper filing, paper information resources, and call centres to support the taxpayers who prefer these methods.

80%

DID YOU KNOW?
80% of returns for individuals were filed electronically

Electronic tax filing has become the norm for most tax filers. For example, for the 2014 tax filing season electronic filing rates continued to rise, reaching 80%. This high e-filing rate indicates our long-term strategy of adding new online services every year is working.

REPORT CARD: The digital service experience

The vast majority of Canadians voluntarily report accurately because we provide quality services that make it easier to meet tax obligations. Our digital services are an essential part of our range of service options.

Each year, we measure how many individual taxpayers, businesses and benefit recipients have used the CRA's suite of secure, online services as their preferred way to meet their tax obligations and receive their benefits.

Key results:

  • 80% of individual returns were filed electronically for the 2014 filing season.
  • 83% of business returns were filed electronically for 2013-2014.
  • 70% of GST/HST returns by businesses were filed electronically for 2013-2014.
  • 71% of payments were received electronically (including payments remitted at financial institutions) for 2013-2014.

To drive these results higher, we continually improve our secure online services. New in 2013-2014:

  • On request, taxpayers can submit documents electronically for validation of tax information.
  • Taxpayers can pay taxes owing by pre-authorized debit.
  • Taxpayers can use online calculators for RRSP deductions and contributions.
  • Tax preparers can submit T1 returns for both the current and preceding tax year through the EFILE automated service on behalf of taxpayers.
  • Benefit recipients can view and update information on children in their care.
  • Businesses can file partnership returns electronically.
  • Businesses can use new notification and account management features in online mail service.

Electronic filing rates have grown steadily over the past decade; in the 2014 tax filing season, over 21.5 million individual returns were filed using our electronic filing services, compared to 11 million a decade ago.

50

DID YOU KNOW?
We offer more than 50 online functions for individuals

We are determined to ensure our e-service options keep pace with Canadians' evolving needs and expectations and now offer more than 50 online service functions which are readily used by individuals. Our online services are also heavily used by representatives and tax professionals. For example, 192,845 representatives were registered for the Represent a Client service at the end of 2013-2014, and increase of 32% over last year.

We are able to process electronic returns and payments faster, and provide faster and more efficient service at a lower cost than for traditional paper options.

We are also better able to detect and reduce non-compliance by analyzing returns. Our services aim to help Canadians get it right the first time. But when mistakes happen or non-compliance occurs, we can detect, prevent, or correct them by verifying claims for errors, reviewing high-risk claims, and matching the information in filed returns to third-party data. These are some of the compliance activities we use to protect tax revenue.

In a 2013 audit of government online service delivery, the Auditor General of Canada noted that the CRA initiative to enhance secure online services planned to:

  • enhance capacity for users to conduct end-to-end transactions
  • add the ability to conduct more taxpayer services online (such as filing, payments, submitting documents)
  • improve user satisfaction

Improvements to online filing for the 2014 tax season:

  • Tax preparers can submit returns for both the current and preceding tax year through the EFILE automated service on behalf of individuals.
  • Newcomers to Canada can file online.
  • Taxpayers and their representative can send additional supporting documents through My Account when requested by the CRA.
  • Taxpayers can authorize the CRA to withdraw a predetermined amount directly from their bank account through My Account.
  • T1 NETFILE filing process features direct links to e-payment options for every NETFILE return.
  • Taxpayers can change up to 10 years of prior returns in My Account.

28M

We assessed more than 28 million income tax returns for individuals

Key results:

  • We assessed 28.8 million income tax returns for individuals.
  • 14.6 million logins were made to My Account for individuals.
  • Over 660,000 individuals newly enrolled in My Account.
  • Representatives accessed over 7.7 million individual accounts through Represent a Client.
  • We identified $1.5 billion by verifying claims for errors, reviewing high-risk claims, and matching the information in filed returns to third-party data.
  • 298,930 individuals' returns were reviewed and taxpayers received beneficial adjustments to their tax returns with a total dollar value of $103.5 million.

14.6M

DID YOU KNOW?
14.6 million logins were made to My Account for individuals

REPORT CARD: Reducing red tape for small business

The CRA is committed to supporting small businesses by reducing red tape and making it easier for them to access services and fulfil their tax obligations. We held consultations with small businesses in November 2012 to help prioritize our reducing red tape measures, and extensive follow-up consultations will take place in fall of 2014. Based on our extensive initial consultations with small businesses and tax representatives across Canada, we have implemented a number of significant measures, including the following:

  • We launched the My Business Account online enquiries service which enables businesses or their representatives to email tax-related questions about their accounts to the CRA and receive answers online and in writing.
  • We implemented Agent ID for the CRA's business enquiries telephone service. Agents provide an identification number to business owners when they answer a call, offering better accountability and a more consistent experience for callers. This makes it easier for business owners to give feedback on CRA services.
  • We re-designed the CRA's audit web page to make it more user-friendly. We also developed a series of audit videos that contain important information about our audit process, and linked them to the audit landing page so that they are easy to find.
  • We created a new red tape reduction action plan webpage to give businesses up-to-date information on red tape reduction initiatives and make it easier for taxpayers and small businesses to identify their difficulties. More consultations to get small business input are planned in 2014.

For more information on how the CRA is reducing red tape for businesses, go to www.cra.gc.ca/redtapereduction.iv

Business returns and payment processing

Business returns and payment processing Financial resources
(in dollars)
Human resources
(FTEs)
Planned 208,796,505 2,553
Actual 196,750,468 2,509
Difference 12,046,037 44

Online filing increased from 2012-2013: there was a 31% increase in the online filing of T5 information returns and a 13% increase in the online filing of T2 corporate tax returns.

We continued to enhance our online services and implement new ones to make compliance easier for businesses. For example:

  • Business owners can receive online mail in the secure My Business Account portal and receive notification by email when new correspondence is available in their secure online account.
  • Employers and their representatives are able to view the PD7A Statement of Account for current source deductions online, and it is also available for e-delivery.
  • GST/HST returns and certain elections and rebates can now be filed online.
  • Partnership information returns can now be filed online.

3.4M

DID YOU KNOW?
Over 3.4 million businesses were registered for the GST/HST

We continue to work on enhancements to our online process for registering for a business number (BN), the numbering system that lets businesses deal with multiple levels of government based on one business, one number. The number of provincial, territorial, and municipal partners using the BN continues to grow.

Going the extra distance to serve small and medium size business  

We noticed recurring errors on T2 returns during the 2013 tax season so we approached tax representatives who work on T2 returns and showed them how to avoid the errors.

We then worked with tax software manufacturers to change explanations within the software and help users avoid the errors. This action will save time and resources for tax preparers, corporations, and the CRA.

More businesses are using our electronic services as we make it easier for them to access information and manage various accounts including GST/HST, payroll, corporation income tax, excise tax, and excise duties.

Key results:

  • Over 4 million logins were made to  My Business Account.
  • Over 114,000 business owners enrolled in My Business Account. This brings the total number of businesses to 1.9 million, an increase of 26%.
  • Representatives accessed over 3.9 million business accounts through Represent a Client.
  • We responded to over 6,400 enquiries online.
  • 83% of corporation income tax returns were filed online.
  • 70% of GST/HST returns were filed online.
  • We identified more than $60 million in additional taxes owing on corporation income tax returns.
  • We identified close to $133 million in additional losses through a review of corporate loss carryforwards from prior years, which can be converted into a present-value tax adjustment amount of more than $19 million.

Performance results

Strategic outcome: Taxpayers meet their obligations and Canada's revenue base is protected.
Program/sub-programs

Assessment of Returns and Payment Processing
Expected results Performance indicators Targets/threshold Actual Results
Individuals, businesses and registrants are provided timely and accurate tax assessment notices and tax payment processing Percentage of service standards targets that are met or mostly met relating to timeliness of processing for individual, business and GST/HST returns 100% 100%
Program/sub-programs
Individual returns and payment processing
Expected results Performance indicators Targets/threshold Actual Results
Individual taxfilers receive timely and accurate assessment notices

Percentage of service standard targets that are met or mostly met relating to T1 individual and T3 trust return activities:

  • Processing T1 individual income tax returns (electronic) within an average of two weeks of receipt (target: 100%)
  • Processing T1 individual income tax returns (paper) within an average of four to six weeks (target: 100%)
  • Responding to taxpayer-requested adjustments (T1) within an average of two weeks (electronic) (target: 100%)
  • Responding to taxpayer-requested adjustments (T1) within an average of eight weeks (paper) (target: 100%)
  • Processing T3 trust returns within four months (target: 95%)
100%  100%
  Percentage of individual (T1) returns processed accurately 98% 99.2%
  Percentage of individual (T1) returns received on time processed by mid-June 98% 99.8%
Individuals file electronically Individual (T1) electronic filing rates4 80% 80%
Validation activities detect and address non-compliance by individuals with the reporting requirements of the acts Percentage of planned validation reviews of individual returns (T1) completed 100% 101%
  Ratio of average dollar value assessed for targeted vs. random reviews Minimum ratio of 2:1 2.77:1
Program/sub-programs
Business returns and payment processing
Expected results Performance indicators Targets/threshold Actual Results
Business taxfilers receive timely and accurate assessment notices and payment processing

Percentage of service standard targets that are met or mostly met relating to business taxfiler (T2, GST/HST, excise and other levies) activities

  • Processing T2 corporation income tax returns (electronic) within 45 calendar days (target: 90%)
  • Processing T2 corporation income tax returns (paper) within 90 calendar days (target: 90%)
  • Processing GST/HST returns within 30 calendar days of receipt (target: 95%)
  • Processing excise tax, excise duty, softwood lumber, and air traveller’s security charge returns within 60 calendar days of receipt (target: 95%)
 100% 100%
  Percentage of T2 returns processed accurately  98%  98.5%
Payments to the Receiver General are processed on time  Percentage of payments to the Receiver General that are deposited within 24 hours of receipt   96% 98.9%

Footnote 1: Includes goods and services tax administration in Quebec sub-program:  
 – planned spending ($143,000,000) and actual spending ($142,772,214).

Footnote 2: Planned spending has been restated from the Canada Revenue Agency 2013-2014 Report on Plans and Priorities to distribute the real property accommodations funding (previously centralized in program 7 – internal services) to all applicable programs. Planned spending excludes severance payments, parental benefits, vacation credits and the carryforward of unused funds from 2012-2013 pursuant to the Canada Revenue Agency's two-year spending authority. This funding is received during the fiscal year and is only included in actual spending.

Footnote 3: The figure represents the actual spending for the CRA on a modified cash basis, based on Parliamentary appropriations used. See pages 106-107 of the Annual Report to Parliament for an explanation of how actual spending relates to results in the CRA Financial Statements – Agency Activities. 

Footnote 4: The values are based on data for the 2014 tax filing season from February to August 2014.

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