How the Canada Revenue Agency consults with small and medium businesses
The CRA has a proven track record of consulting with small and medium businesses and their stakeholders. Serving You Better is a key component of the CRA's commitment to improving services offered to Canadians and to recognizing small and medium businesses as valued clients of the CRA.
2018 Serving You Better consultations
In the fall of 2018, the CRA will partner once again with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) to hold Serving You Better consultations with small and medium businesses. The 2018 Serving You Better consultations with small and medium businesses will provide a forum for small and medium businesses and accountants to share valuable insights that the CRA can use to make its programs and services more streamlined and client-focused.
Small and medium businesses and accountants will be invited to provide recommendations and advice on the CRA's services fact-to-face with CRA senior officials in cities across Canada. Register for an in-person session. Participants who are unable attend in person or who want to give feedback right away can provide comments online.
2016 Serving You Better consultations
The CRA published two reports based on the feedback we heard in 2016:
- Report on the Canada Revenue Agency's 2016 Serving You Better consultations with small and medium businesses
- Report on the Canada Revenue Agency's consultations with northern residents
Between October 3 and December 14, 2016, the CRA heard from small and medium businesses at sessions hosted by local chambers of commerce in Whitehorse, Richmond, Yellowknife, Edmonton, Regina, Mississauga, Gatineau, Iqaluit, Moncton, Dartmouth, Charlottetown, and St. John's.
The CRA also heard from accountants in sessions hosted by Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada and their members in Vancouver, Yellowknife, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Québec, Ottawa, Iqaluit, and Halifax.
Participants who could not attend in person or who wanted to give feedback at their own pace were able to provide their comments online up to December 31, 2016.
Serving You Better is a key part of the CRA's commitment to delivering first-class federal government services to small and medium businesses. Through the Serving You Better consultations, CRA received over 1,500 comments and suggestions from small and medium businesses and accountants. When small and medium businesses give their feedback to the CRA, they are helping us create programs and services that are fairer, more helpful, and easier to use.
The CRA thanks the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada for hosting the in-person sessions. The CRA also thanks all participants who took the time to give their comments, either online or in person.
2014 Red tape reduction consultations
In 2014, the CRA held its second round of red tape reduction consultations. The consultations sought views on the CRA’s progress and to ensure that its action plan continues to meet the needs of small and medium businesses. Target audiences included small and medium businesses and their service providers (bookkeepers and accountants).
The Minister of National Revenue launched the CRA’s consultations sessions in Ottawa, Burnaby-Fraser, Edmonton, Saskatoon, North York, Kitchener, Québec, and Moncton. The CRA also held roundtable sessions, hosted by local chambers of commerce, in Delta, Red Deer, Calgary, Winnipeg, Regina, London, Sherbrooke, Halifax, Charlottetown, St. John’s, Whitehorse, Yellowknife, and Iqaluit.
CRA online consultations were available to anyone in the business community interested in sharing their views. Stakeholder associations were also encouraged to provide feedback for their members.
The 2014 consultations were productive, with many small and medium businesses, bookkeepers, and accountants reporting welcomed progress on the CRA’s red tape reduction efforts, and providing instrumental feedback on what should be CRA priorities.
2012 Red tape reduction consultations
The CRA held consultations in November 2012 with interested stakeholders across Canada to better focus some of the Agency’s key commitments. Small and medium businesses were invited to participate in facilitator-led sessions in cities across the country. In November 2012, after pilot consultations in Ottawa, the CRA held sessions in Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montréal, and Halifax. Sessions were tailored to different small and medium businesses, based on the experience of the participants and their interactions with the CRA.
Based on feedback from the consultations, the CRA adjusted the related red tape reduction action plans to focus on the highest priorities identified by small and medium business participants.
The Red Tape Reduction Commission
The Red Tape Reduction Commission (RTRC) was announced by the Government of Canada in January 2011. Its mandate was to identify irritants to small businesses that resulted from federal government rules and regulations. The RTRC solicited feedback online and through 15 roundtable sessions with Canadians and businesses between January and March 2011. During the feedback process, the RTRC compiled a list of approximately 2,300 irritants, which it included in its "What Was Heard" Report in September 2011. In January 2012, the RTRC released its final report, called Recommendations Report - Cutting Red Tape…Freeing Business to Grow, in which it provided recommendations on how government departments and agencies could improve services to small and medium businesses on a long-term basis.
Businesses provided the RTRC with over 1,100 suggestions related to tax system administration. The CRA analyzed each one and developed action plans to reduce or eliminate the compliance burden identified by participants.
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