A Message from the Minister

The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, P.C., M.P., Minister of National Revenue
"The CRA is taking action on a number of fronts on issues related to service and outreach."
The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier

This Departmental Plan shows how the CRA, through innovation and the services it offers to Canadians, is striving to be a world-class tax and benefit administration. We face many challenges, and I am proud of the tremendous work that the Agency's 40,000 employees are doing. I am especially proud of their ongoing efforts to improve and expand the services the CRA offers, and to implement more effective, fair and efficient compliance measures to protect Canada's revenue base.

In my role as Minister, I especially want to see the CRA exemplify service excellence in all aspects of its operations. The Fall 2017 Report of the Auditor General on the operations of our call centres shows that we do not always provide Canadians with the help they need to meet their tax obligations. The report greatly concerned me. My ministerial mandate focuses on the importance of treating taxpayers and benefit recipients as valued clients and not just as taxpayers. To this end, the Agency will improve the services it provides to Canadians so that clients receive the assistance that they deserve and rightly expect. I will also ensure progress is closely monitored.

The CRA is taking action on a number of fronts on issues related to service and outreach, most notably in how we are working to offer better support to Canadians who live in remote communities and to Indigenous peoples. Initiatives to improve our service and outreach over the next three years include: taking concrete and meaningful steps to make CRA services to northern residents more helpful and easier to use; supporting the Government's goal of renewing and establishing a better relationship with Indigenous peoples; and expanding the popular and very useful Community Volunteer Income Tax Program, allowing individuals with a modest income and simple tax situation to get help with their taxes from a local community organization.

Growing and strengthening the middle class has been a key priority for the Government. The Canada child benefit (CCB), administered by the CRA, has been instrumental in achieving this goal. The Government's Fall Economic Statement suggests strengthening the CCB by increasing the benefits annually to keep pace with the rising cost of living. Indexing the CCB for the 2018-2019 benefit year will provide an additional $5.6 billion in support to Canadian families from 2018 to 2023. The CRA, in administering these benefit payments, will therefore continue to play a vital role in supporting Canadian families and reducing child poverty.

Meanwhile, Canadians can be assured that the Agency is taking action against those who seek to evade, or aggressively avoid, their tax obligations. Further to recent revelations in both the Panama Papers and Paradise Papers, we undertook major work and invested significant funds to crack down on tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance. Our goal is to ensure a fair tax system and a level playing field for all Canadians. Non compliance with Canada's tax laws will not be tolerated as it erodes the integrity of the tax system. Readers of this Plan will see how the CRA is continuing to combat the underground economy within Canada as well as continuing to focus attention on reviewing, risk-assessing and, where warranted, auditing the offshore accounts of Canadians.

I am confident this Plan outlines how the CRA will deliver on the Government's and the Agency's goals of improving service to Canadians and enhancing compliance with Canada's tax laws. It also provides an excellent roadmap for the CRA's journey to becoming a truly world-class tax and benefit administration. As Minister of National Revenue, and on behalf of the Canada Revenue Agency, I am very proud to present the Agency's Departmental Plan 2018-19.

Original signed

The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, P.C., M.P.
Minister of National Revenue

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