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Partnerships and stakeholders

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) maintains partnerships with a wide range of government, not-for-profit, and private sector organizations to support the administration of taxes and benefits.

The CRA also engages key stakeholder groups to help advance its goals and priorities and to extend its influence and expertise. Stakeholder engagement includes interactions with specific clients, client representatives, and other organizations such as professional and civil society associations and groups.

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CRA partnerships

Federal

The most important federal partnership the CRA has is with the Department of Finance Canada (FIN), given its role in developing Government of Canada tax policy and legislation. The CRA provides FIN with input on proposed legislative changes and is responsible for the administration of tax legislation.

The CRA also maintains working relationships with other central agencies. The CRA works closely with the Privy Council Office in carrying out the direction of the Government of Canada. The CRA works with the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) on Treasury Board submissions, the launch of new programs and the development of regulations. The CRA also participates in various interdepartmental committees, councils and other fora to inform and influence Government of Canada policy direction and management. In addition, the CRA follows central agency guidance on collective agreement negotiations, external communications, and public opinion research.

Additional information: central agencies

In addition to its relationship with central agencies, the CRA partners with other government departments in a variety of ways:

  • Administering taxes and benefits. The CRA works with other government departments that deliver benefits, such as Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), to coordinate the delivery of social programs
  • Exchanging information and data. The CRA and partner departments and agencies, such as Statistics Canada (StatCan) and Elections Canada, exchange information and data to improve the delivery and outcomes of programs and services
  • Receiving corporate services. The CRA receives centrally-provided corporate services from partners such as Shared Services Canada (SSC)

The CRA engages on key files with a variety of federal partners, as summarized in the table below:

Federal partners and associated key files
Federal partners Key files

ESDC and Service Canada

Joint administration of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) and the Canada Recovery Benefits (CRB): these COVID-19 emergency and recovery measure were launched to support workers and students who lost income or had their work hours reduced as a result of the pandemic.

Supporting the administration of various social support programs by exchanging information with ESDC, including: Employment Insurance, Old Age Security, Guaranteed Income Supplement, the Canada Pension Plan, Registered Disability Savings Plan, and Canada Education Savings Programs.

ESDC, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada (ISED), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), Payments Canada, and TBS

Analyzing and developing potential options for implementation of a real-time e-payroll system. Efforts to advance the e-invoicing initiative are also being conducted in conjunction with other federal departments and agencies including PSPC, ISED, GAC, and Payments Canada.

ISED

Providing the technical solution for an ISED-led Government of Canada Business Number (BN) Adoption Initiative. The BN is used throughout the Government of Canada as a common identifier for businesses, improving service, standardizing data collection and sharing and eliminating redundant data collection.

StatCan

Partnering in the StatCan-led National Routing System; receiving birth/death registration information from the provincial/territorial Vital Statistics Offices; and providing statistical services and tax data.

Sharing data and consulting on how it can leverage StatCan data by linking CRA data with the Census and other data sources to measure the impacts of CRA programs on diverse populations, in an effort to enhance service delivery.

Elections Canada, Correctional Service Canada and others

Receiving information in support of the administration of taxes and benefits.

SSC

Receiving support from SSC, a centralized provider of information technology and other services (email, telecommunications) to government departments and agencies.

Department of Justice, ESDC

Providing legal and litigation services.

Partnering to resolve tax and CPP/EI disputes and obtain legal advice.

Provincial, territorial, and Indigenous

The CRA works with provincial and territorial ministries of finance in administering and benefit programs, and sharing information. This includes individual and corporate income tax for nearly all provinces and territories, and harmonized sales tax in Ontario and the four Atlantic provinces. Exceptions are Alberta, which administers its own corporation income tax regime, and Quebec, which administers its own individual and corporate tax regimes and also administers the GST on behalf of the CRA in the province. The CRA maintains strong working relationships with both jurisdictions to facilitate effective tax administration. The CRA also partners with some Indigenous governments in administering their sales and income taxes.

The CRA's administration of provincial and territorial corporation and personal income taxes is governed by Tax Collection Agreements signed by federal and provincial or territorial finance ministers. The basic administration of provincial or territorial income tax and related benefit programs is free of charge. However, the provinces or territories may request enhanced services from the CRA, such as increased verification of tax credit claims, on a cost-recovery basis. The CRA's administration of First Nations Sales Tax, First Nations Goods and Services Tax and First Nations personal income tax programs are governed by agreements signed by the federal finance minister and various Indigenous governments.

International

While FIN leads on policy issues in representing Canada internationally at various tax-related forums, the CRA collaborates with other tax jurisdictions at an administrative level. This collaboration promotes the exchange of knowledge and best practices, helps ensure effective and non-duplicative approaches to tax administration across borders, and supports efforts to strengthen tax administration capacity in developing countries. The CRA has developed a close working relationship with other tax administrations such as the Internal Revenue Service (United States), Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (United Kingdom), the Australian Taxation Office, and New Zealand's Inland Revenue.

The CRA participates in the activities of several international organizations, including the following:

CRA stakeholders

Key stakeholders

CRA engages with key stakeholders to gather business intelligence and enlist support for Agency efforts to deliver its mandate. Working closely with stakeholders gives the CRA a more genuine understanding of their perspectives on key strategic issues, which may have an impact on their organizations as well as on the CRA clients they serve. It also promotes openness and transparency in CRA decision making on policy and program development. The following represent some of the key stakeholders that the CRA engages with on tax related issues:

In 2014, the CRA and CPAC established a framework to foster an enhanced relationship that would facilitate the development of a closer collaboration to ensure a well-run tax system in Canada. The following were identified as potential areas for collaboration: service, compliance, tax administration, scientific research and experimental development, commodity tax, red tape reduction, and training.

The CRA meets twice a year with CFIB through the Small Business Consultation Forum. This joint forum was launched in 2015 and provides the Agency with valuable feedback from the small and medium business community.

The CRA also has ongoing relationships with a variety of software development companies who produce tax preparation software that Canadians can use to file their taxes. The CRA certifies this software for use in time for the start of each tax filing season. The Digital Services Collaboration Agreement with Tax-filer Empowerment Canada expires at the end of the current filing year. Work continues with the organization to determine how industry and the CRA can work together to assist vulnerable and low-income Canadians in meeting their tax obligations to obtain the benefits and credits they need.

The CRA administers the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program across the country and in partnership with Revenu Québec in that province, where it is called the Income Tax Assistance – Volunteer Program. This program allows partner organizations to host tax preparation sessions for modest income taxpayers and those with simple tax situations. The CRA offers training, tax software, and telephone support to the volunteers.

Finally, the CRA has established strong channels of communication with several leading organizations in the charitable sector, which represent thousands of member charities. The CRA leverages these networks to help address specific regulatory challenges for charities and monitor developments in the sector.

Advisory committees

The CRA has a number of advisory committees that offer support to the Minister and the Agency. These include the:

  • Advisory Committee on the Charitable Sector, established in March 2019, is co-chaired by the charitable sector, the CRA and FIN, and provides recommendations to the Minister and the Commissioner on important and emerging issues facing registered charities and other qualified donees.
  • Disability Advisory Committee, reinstated in 2017, which offers advice and recommendations to the Minister and the Commissioner on how the CRA can improve the way it administers and interprets tax measures for Canadians with disabilities.
  • Independent Advisory Board on Eligibility for Journalism Tax Measures, established in March 2020 by way of Order in Council, is responsible for making non-binding recommendations to the Minister on whether an organization meets certain requirements for designation as a qualified Canadian journalism organization. Currently made up of four members, two of whose terms expire in March 2022.
  • Offshore Compliance Advisory Committee, created in April 2016, focuses on offshore tax evasion and aggressive tax planning and provides advice, input and recommendations to the Minister and to the CRA on the Agency's administration, policies, procedures and priorities for offshore compliance. The mandate, memberships, and focus of the committee is currently being reviewed.
  • Underground Economy Advisory Committee, launched in November 2014, which provides the Minister and the CRA with an industry perspective and feedback on the government's ongoing efforts to combat the underground economy. The mandate, memberships, and focus of the committee is currently being reviewed.
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