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Board of Management

Creation of the Board of Management

  • In 1999, Parliament established the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) (the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency at the time) and created the Board of Management (Board)
  • The Canada Revenue Agency Act outlines the composition and the responsibilities of the Board, as detailed below

Board of Management role

  • Oversees the organization and administration of the CRA and the management of its resources, services, property, personnel, and contracts
  • Responsible for the development and approval of the Corporate Business Plan, as well as the approval of the CRA's Departmental Results Report and its audited financial statements
  • May advise the Minister of National Revenue on matters that relate to the general administration and enforcement of program legislation
  • Provides a challenge function, ensuring the CRA is properly managing and exercising its authorities by reviewing quarterly performance reports, financial statements, and dashboards
  • Brings a forward-looking, strategic perspective to the CRA's operations

Responsibility for day-to-day management rests with the commissioner and CRA officials:

  • The Board may not direct the commissioner or an employee in the exercise of statutory power, duty, function or in the administration or enforcement of program legislation
  • The Board is not authorized to receive personal/business information or information obtained under program legislation


  • Appointed by the Governor in Council (GIC) to serve “at pleasure” for a period of no more than five years that can only be renewed once
  • Must preside at meetings of the Board that occur six times a year, of which four are normally in-person

Biography: Suzanne Gouin


  • Appointed by the GIC to serve “at pleasure” for a period of no more than three years that can be renewed twice
  • A short list of nominees is provided to the Minister of National Revenue, from the nominating province's Minister of Finance, who then recommends a nominee to the GIC
  • Two federal positions are appointed by the GIC, on the recommendation of the minister, based on an open and transparent selection process

15 directors: Chair, commissioner (ex efficio), 10 provincial, 1 territorial (rotating), 2 federal

Name Nominated by
Kathryn A. Bouey Ontario
Dawn S. Dalley Newfoundland and Labrador
France-Élaine Duranceau Federal government
Mary Ference Saskatchewan
Colin Younker Prince Edward Island
Vacant Alberta
Susan Hayes Nova Scotia
Francine Martel-Vaillancourt Quebec
David W. Reid Manitoba
Mireille A. Saulnier New Brunswick
Joyce Sumara Federal government
Vacant British Columbia
D. Stanley Thompson Yukon
Bob Hamilton Ex Officio

At the time the election was called, appointment processes were underway for: Alberta (currently vacant as of January 31, 2020), British Columbia (vacant as of September 16, 2021), Manitoba (re-appointment), Nova Scotia (re-appointment), Ontario (re-appointment), and Quebec (current member does not wish to be re-appointed). Members are permitted to serve past the end of their term while new nominations or re-appointments are processed. As a result, there are currently no issues with quorum. Timely nominations are strongly recommended to ensure ongoing effective Board operations.

Board secretariat

The Board is supported by the Board of Management Secretariat, led by the Board Secretary, who reports to the commissioner.

Taxpayers' Ombudsperson overview

Mandate of the Taxpayers' Ombudsperson

The Taxpayers' Ombudsperson position was created in 2007 to serve as a special advisor to the minister. The current Ombudsperson, Mr. François Boileau, was appointed by the Order in Council P.C. 2020-0703 for a non-renewable term of 5 years to enhance the CRA's accountability in its service to, and treatment of, taxpayers and benefit recipients.

Biography: François Boileau

The mandate of the Ombudsperson is to assist, advise, and inform the minister about any matter relating to services provided to taxpayers by the CRA. The Taxpayers' Ombudsperson fulfills this mandate by:

  • Upholding 8 of the 16 taxpayer service-related rights outlined in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights
  • Providing an independent and impartial review of unresolved complaints from taxpayers about the service or treatment they have received from the CRA
  • Reviewing any matter within the Ombudsperson's mandate at the request of the minister

The Ombudsperson identifies and reviews systemic and emerging issues related to:

  • Service matters that impact negatively on taxpayers
  • Facilitating access by taxpayers to redress mechanisms within the Agency to address service matters
  • Providing information to taxpayers about the mandate of the Ombudsperson

The Ombudsperson will generally review a complaint only after all CRA internal complaint resolution mechanisms have been exhausted. There are certain types of complaints that the Ombudsperson cannot review, such as:

  • Complaints that are not service-related or have been addressed by the minister's office
  • Matters that are before the courts

Taxpayer Bill of Rights

Taxpayer rights

  1. You have the right to receive entitlements and to pay no more and no less than what is required by law
  2. You have the right to service in both official languages
  3. You have the right to privacy and confidentiality
  4. You have the right to a formal review and a subsequent appeal
  5. You have the right to be treated professionally, courteously, and fairly Footnote 1
  6. You have the right to complete, accurate, clear, and timely information Footnote 1
  7. You have the right, unless otherwise provided by law, not to pay income tax amounts in dispute before you have had an impartial review
  8. You have the right to have the law applied consistently
  9. You have the right to lodge a service complaint and to be provided with an explanation of our findings Footnote 1
  10. You have the right to have the costs of compliance taken into account when administering tax legislation Footnote 1
  11. You have the right to expect us to be accountable Footnote 1
  12. You have the right to relief from penalties and interest under tax legislation because of extraordinary circumstances
  13. You have the right to expect us to publish our service standards and report annually Footnote 1
  14. You have the right to expect us to warn you about questionable tax schemes in a timely manner Footnote 1
  15. You have the right to be represented by a person of your choice Footnote 1
  16. You have the right to lodge a service complaint and request a formal review without fear of reprisal

Commitment to small business

The CRA is committed to:

  1. Administering the tax system in a way that minimizes the costs of compliance for small businesses
  2. Working with all governments to streamline service, minimize cost, and reduce the compliance burden
  3. Providing service offerings that meet the needs of small businesses
  4. Conducting outreach activities that help small businesses comply with the legislation we administer
  5. Explaining how we conduct our business with small businesses

Ombudsperson Liaison Office

The Ombudsperson Liaison Office (OLO) is located in the Service, Innovation and Integration Branch, serving as the designated point of contact in the CRA for the Office of the Taxpayer Ombudsperson (OTO) for service-related issues. OLO facilitates the OTO's activities in the Agency and provides assistance to the Ombudsperson to fulfill the office's mandate in a timely manner.

Taxpayers' Ombudsperson publications

Since the OTO's inception, 12 annual reports have been published along with 15 Systemic Examination (SE) reports. An SE report presents evidence and findings arising from the Office's examination of a specific systemic issue and makes recommendations for corrective action to the minister. When the OTO issues recommendations for the CRA, the CRA has an opportunity to review and approve these recommendations for technical accuracy and acceptance by the commissioner prior to their publication. A systemic issue is one that negatively impacts large numbers of taxpayers or a segment of the population. In 2020, three SE reports were published:

  • Back to Basics: An examination into whether the CRA is using the Taxpayer Bill of Rights as a foundational document to guide its daily activities; and how the CRA ensures it is continually accountable in upholding taxpayer rights and reports publicly on how it does this
  • Reaching Out: Improving the CRA's Community Volunteer Income Tax Program
  • Sub-Standard: Delays and lack of transparency in the CRA's processing of individual income tax and benefit returns and adjustment requests

A paper was also written in 2020 called: Taxpayer Rights in the Digital Age: The benefits and risks of digitalization for vulnerable populations in the Canadian income tax context. Papers do not contain recommendations but still undergo a technical accuracy review and acceptance by the commissioner prior to publication.

In past years, only SE reports contained recommendations; however, this year, the Ombudsperson's Annual Report will include recommendations.

The Ombudsperson must submit to the minister and to the Chair of the Board of Management an annual report on the activities of the Taxpayers' Ombudsperson, which must contain information regarding the carrying out of the Ombudsperson's mandate in the previous fiscal year and statistics related to those activities for that year. The minister must cause a copy of the annual report to be tabled in each House of Parliament.

For more information on the Taxpayers' Ombudsperson, including all publication details, go to the Office of the Taxpayers' Ombudsperson.

Office of the Auditor General – performance audits

The Office of the Auditor General of Canada (OAG) serves Parliament by providing objective, fact-based information and advice on government programs and activities. Parliament uses OAG reports to oversee government operations and hold the federal government to account for its handling of public fundsFootnote 2. Karen Hogan was appointed Auditor General of Canada in June 2020.

The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (PACP) is Parliament's standing audit committee, and it reviews the work of the Auditor General of Canada.

Recent audits

The CRA is routinely the subject of OAG performance audits regarding our operational capabilities and program delivery. Media and public interest tends to range from low to high depending on the subject matter. In 2020-21, the OAG undertook three audits of the CRA:

Canada Child Benefit (CCB) Program

The CCB program provides a non-taxable monthly payment to eligible families based on their net income. The CRA is responsible for the administration of the CCB, which involves determining eligibility, issuing payments, and related communications.

The audit covered the period from April 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020. It focused on the CRA's assessment of CCB eligibility and the timeliness and accuracy of payments. The month of May 2020 was also included in scope to review the one-time additional CCB payment that was issued to help eligible families during the COVID-19 pandemic. The resulting OAG report, including findings and recommendations, was tabled in Parliament on February 25, 2021.

The CRA agreed with the OAG's recommendations and is reviewing the CCB applicable procedures and communication tools, such as the website, applicable guides and forms.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

The CERB was launched as part of the Government of Canada's COVID-19 response. The CERB was administered on behalf of the Government of Canada by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and the CRA. ESDC was responsible for its administration to those eligible for employment insurance (EI), while the CRA administered to those who were ineligible for EI.

The audit covered the period from March 1, 2020, to January 10, 2021. It focused on the initial design and subsequent adjustments to the CERB. It also examined the mechanisms to limit abuse of the benefit and ensure only eligible applicants received support. The resulting OAG report, including findings and recommendations, was tabled in Parliament on March 25, 2021.

ESDC and the CRA agreed with the OAG's recommendations. Work is underway to align verification and compliance activities.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

The Government of Canada announced the CEWS to help employers retain their employees during the pandemic and to ensure that workers had a source of income. The subsidy also encouraged employers to rehire workers who were laid off as a result of the pandemic and helped position employers to resume normal operations more easily.

The audit focused on whether FIN provided analysis on the CEWS program and whether the CRA limited abuse by establishing appropriate controls in its administration of the program. The resulting OAG report, including findings and recommendations, was tabled in Parliament on March 25, 2021.

FIN and the CRA agreed with the OAG's recommendations. The CRA is developing an action plan to strengthen GST/HST compliance and will work towards using automated validations with a unique identifier for future emergency programs it administers. The CRA will also continue to work to give Canadians access to any secure government service and will strengthen the integrity of the CEWS program by using business intelligence information.

Parliamentary consideration of the above-noted audits

PACP has studied the above-noted OAG reports and has conducted its own hearings on the subject-matter of each. PACP has prepared three separate reports (43rd Parliament, Second Session):

PACP had requested formal government responses to each of its reports. Upon resumption of Parliamentary business, the committees will be reconstituted and it is expected that PACP will renew its request for formal government responses to each report.

In progress audits

  • Outreach to Vulnerable Populations (Outreach)

Upcoming audits

  • Payment Verification under the Canada Emergency Response Benefit
  • Cybersecurity of Personal Information in the Cloud

Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) is the administrative agency that supports the Treasury Board of Canada (Treasury Board), which is a committee of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada. TBS plays a central oversight role in government-wide management practices and ensuring value for money.

The TBS submits recommendations and provides advice to the Treasury Board on all matters relating to:

  • General administrative policy and organization in the Public Service of Canada
  • Financial and asset management policies and procedures, review of annual and long-term expenditure plans and programs
  • Determination of related priorities

As an Agency, the CRA has certain statutory authorities over matters that are overseen by TBS for the core public service. The CRA does, however, seek to align its corporate policies with the core public service, and works closely with TBS to ensure effective government-wide operations.

The CRA makes a variety of submissions to Treasury Board throughout the year (e.g., to access funds for new programs, and seek approval of its Corporate Business Plan), and works with TBS to ensure their quality prior to their presentation to ministers.

Please see the central agencies section for more information on the role and function of TBS.

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