Minister Lebouthillier announces improvements to CRA correspondence: making tax and benefit information easier to understand
February 11, 2016 Montréal, Quebec Canada Revenue Agency
The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, P.C., M.P. accompanied by Marc Miller, M.P. for Ville-Marie-Le Sud-Ouest-Île-des-Soeurs, today announced improvements to the way the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) communicates with millions of Canadians. The improvements are an early deliverable on the Government of Canada's commitment to make the CRA client-focused and more helpful to Canadians.
Starting in February 2016, the CRA will send Canadians a new, simple, easier to read Notice of Assessment (NOA), following filing of their income tax and benefit return. This will be followed in July 2016 by simplified Benefits Notices to benefit recipients, including notices related to family benefits and the GST/HST credit.
The improvements are based on a review by the CRA of international best practices, feedback from Canadians and its own external correspondence. The review focused on how the notices are designed, formatted, and written.
The re-designed NOA and Benefits Notices display the most important information on the first page, such as the results of the assessment, account summary, and what the recipient should do with the information. The content has been streamlined to include only the information most important to the taxpayer or benefit recipient, and is presented in a clear and easy to understand format. Information about additional CRA services, including online services, Direct Deposit, My Account, and help for persons with hearing or visual impairments, is now easier to find.
"Improving how we communicate with Canadians is a part of my mandate as Minister of National Revenue. The CRA will now offer clear and easy to understand correspondence products. We will continue to consult with Canadians and draw on international best practices to make sure our service improvements truly meet their needs and deliver the best possible results."- The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, P.C., M.P., Minister of National Revenue
"The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of providing simple and easy to understand tax information to Canadians. Improvements to the Notice of Assessment are just one way of delivering on this commitment."- Marc Miller, M.P., Ville-Marie-Le Sud-Ouest-Île-des-Soeurs
- The CRA sends out approximately 130 million pieces of correspondence to Canadians each year. Last year 28.9 million Notice of Assessments were sent to individuals, as well as 23 million benefit and credit notices.
- The CRA will have re-designed about 75% of its correspondence within the next year. This phase covered the top 20 pieces of CRA correspondence by volume, and was completed in less than 18 months. A second phase covering the CRA's more customized or technical correspondence is scheduled for completion over the next two years.
- The CRA conducted extensive user-experience testing of all print and electronic correspondence to ensure the redesign meets the information needs of a diverse population. Using an agile" project management approach to the redesign led to a faster, innovative, and results-based solution.
- The CRA is also making the majority of its correspondence available online through My Account, so Canadians can access more detailed information about their taxes and benefits in a simpler format.
- Redesigning correspondence is just one of the many ways in which the Government of Canada is fulfilling its commitment to client-focused service, and supporting Canadians who wish to file taxes using no paper forms. Other service improvements include: making it easier for Canadians to apply for the Disability Tax Credit, offering a new auto-fill feature that simplifies the job of completing an income tax and benefit return, and expanding the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program to reach those whose first language is neither French nor English.
Interim Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of National Revenue
Canada Revenue Agency
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