Report on Plans and Priorities 2016-17
I am honoured to lead the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) as the Minister of National Revenue. This is an exciting time for the Government of Canada, and I am grateful for the opportunity the Prime Minister has given me to serve Canadians.
This Report on Plans and Priorities 2016-17 of the CRA provides information on how the Agency will support the Government on achieving our agenda in the coming year and I am fully confident that the CRA is prepared to successfully support me and work with our partners inside and outside government to deliver for Canadians. However, given our commitment to more effective reporting, this year's report will be the final submission using the existing reporting framework.
The Prime Minister and the President of the Treasury Board are working to develop new, simplified and more effective reporting processes that will better allow Parliament and Canadians to monitor our Government's progress on delivering real change to Canadians. In the future, the CRA's reports to Parliament will focus more transparently on how we are using our resources to fulfill our commitments and achieve results for Canadians.
These new reporting mechanisms will allow Canadians to more easily follow our Department's progress towards delivering on our priorities, which were outlined in the Prime Minister's mandate letter to me (http://pm.gc.ca/eng/minister-national-revenue-mandate-letter).
Since my appointment in November 2015, I have been working closely with CRA officials to develop a plan to deliver on our government's priorities: improving service to Canadians, strengthening our efforts to tackle tax evasion, and modernizing the rules for charities. This plan describes how we will make our commitments a reality.
With this plan, and in collaboration with our many partners, the CRA is well placed to support and deliver on the government's priorities over the next three years. — Diane Lebouthillier
I am deeply committed to making sure all Canadians, whether individual taxpayers, benefit recipients, or businesses, are treated respectfully and can deal with the Agency more easily. To illustrate:
- The demand for the CRA's online services is growing, and some 69% of those services are already delivered electronically. This number makes the CRA a leader among Government of Canada organizations in providing digital services. However, we must—and will—do more to meet Canadians' service expectations, including helping more Canadians file their income tax and benefit returns without using paper forms.
- As a former social worker in the Gaspé region of Quebec, I know many families depend on benefit payments for a large part of their household income. Benefit programs offered by the federal government and the provinces and territories support the economic and social well‐being of Canadians across the country. Our government is determined to make sure Canadians receive the benefits and credits to which they are entitled. The CRA will reach out to those eligible for benefits but not yet receiving them.
- The CRA's Community Volunteer Income Tax Program helps hundreds of thousands of Canadians with modest incomes to prepare income tax and benefit returns every year. I have asked the CRA to expand on this success by providing more help to Canadians with low and fixed incomes and whose tax situations do not change from year to year.
- It is a fundamental responsibility of government to communicate with citizens in understandable and helpful ways. This year, the CRA is launching clear and easy-to-read new formats for its most common communications with Canadians. We will continue to expand on these efforts in the years to follow.
Service to Canadians must also include making sure the system is fair for all and Canada's revenue base is protected for the benefit of all. Our government is committed to supporting the CRA in its efforts to crack down on tax evasion—particularly on those who willfully and aggressively avoid paying the taxes they owe.
To keep pace with today's global economy and rapidly evolving technology, the CRA must continue to work closely with tax administrations in other countries. This plan shows how the Agency will continue its important work with international organizations and other countries to obtain and exchange information faster and better, so the integrity of Canada's tax system remains protected.
Our government firmly believes charities and non‐profit organizations make a valuable contribution to society and to public policy, and there must be clear rules they can understand and follow to guide their political and other activities, free from interference. I and my officials will work with our federal partners and with the charitable sector itself to deliver on this commitment and make sure charities can continue their important work.
With this plan, and in collaboration with our many partners, the CRA is well placed to support and deliver on the government's priorities over the next three years. But success is measured in results, and as Minister, my priority will be to make sure we achieve what we have committed to under the plan.
As the Minister of National Revenue, I am very proud to present the Report on Plans and Priorities 2016-17 for the Canada Revenue Agency.
The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, P.C., M.P.
Minister of National Revenue
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