Minister Lebouthillier marks the end of the 2019 tax-filing season

News release

May 31, 2019                            Hamilton, Ontario                                                        Canada Revenue Agency

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is committed to improving its services to help Canadians file their income tax and benefit returns and receive the benefits and credits to which they are entitled in a timely and efficient manner.

To mark the end of another successful tax-filing season, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, and Deb Schulte, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister, visited one of the CRA’s call centres in Hamilton, Ontario, where they met with the public servants who help Canadians with the tax filing process. The CRA’s call centres were significantly improved this year, and now feature a new, modern telephone platform, which improves accessibility for callers.

This tax season, more than 27 million returns have already been filed. Filing a tax return ensures that Canadians receive the credits and benefits they are entitled to. To date, the CRA has refunded almost $28 billion to over 16 million Canadians, for an average refund of nearly $1,669. Credits that were available were the Canada child benefit, the working income tax benefit, and the GST/HST credit. New this year is the climate action incentive payment, which is available to eligible residents of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and New Brunswick. Individuals could claim the payment when they filed their income tax and benefit returns. Preliminary results have shown that 97% of households who have filed their taxes so far have claimed it.

The CRA’s service transformation continues to be guided by our Chief Service Officer (CSO). The CRA strives to be trusted, fair, and helpful by putting people first, and this was a cornerstone of our activities this year. In support of this, the CRA recently launched in-person and online public consultations to allow Canadians from across the country and from all backgrounds to highlight opportunities to improve the service that we offer. The feedback that we gather will inform how we design and deliver services.

Although the tax-filing season has ended for most, the CRA reminds Canadians to remain vigilant against tax scams and fraud. The CRA will never send an email with a link asking for personal or financial information, ask for personal information of any kind by email or text message, request payment by prepaid credit cards, send an email in English or French only, or leave personal information on an answering machine or voice mailbox. If an individual gets a call saying they owe money to the CRA, they can check My Account, or call us at 1-800-959-8281 to be sure.

Quotes

“The improvements to the CRA’s services that our government has introduced benefit millions of Canadians. No matter how you choose to file your taxes, we are committed to ensuring that no Canadian is left behind. At the end of this tax-filing season, I would like to remind everyone that it’s important to file your tax return so you can get the credits and benefits you may be entitled to.”

-The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue

“The commitment and dedication of the CRA’s employees has made the tax-filing season a success once again. It is because of these efforts – their hard work – that the CRA can continuously improve the level of service provided to Canadians.”

-Deb Schulte, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue

Quick facts

  • Note: All figures are valid as of May 28, 2019. CVITP data is valid as of May 25, 2019.

  • Self-employed individuals have until June 15, 2019 to file their returns. Since June 15, 2019 falls on a Saturday, the CRA considers their return to be filed on time if it receives it by or it is postmarked midnight June 17, 2019. However, if they have a balance owing, it had to be paid by April 30, 2019.

  • The CRA’s call centres now feature a new, modern telephone platform, which improves accessibility for callers. When an individual calls, they are now given an estimated wait time, allowing them to choose to wait for an agent, call back later, or use one of our convenient self-serve options. National routing sends callers to the next available agent across the country, better allocating resources to respond to more calls. The CRA has also improved training for call centre agents to ensure that Canadians get the answers they need. 

  • This filing season, 82% of nearly 27,000 callers to the Individual Enquiries line that were surveyed were satisfied overall with the call experience.

  • The Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP), known as the Income Tax Assistance – Volunteer Program in Quebec, is one of the ways the CRA is helping Canadians. For individuals with a modest income and a simple tax situation, volunteers from the CVITP can do their taxes for them, for free. Volunteers have helped over 738,000 Canadians by completing their taxes so far this season. 

  • As part of the Northern Service Improvement Strategy, the CRA opened three Northern Service Centres in February 2019. These centres provide a year-round physical presence to support individuals and businesses in Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Since February, hundreds of individuals and businesses in communities across the Territories have benefited from over 200 outreach activities and Liaison Officer visits, where they received information related to taxes, tax-filing and benefits.

  • Over 615,000 individuals and authorized representatives used the Express Notice of Assessment service to view the result of an assessment right after filing a return.

  • Auto-fill my return, which automatically fills in parts of a return with information CRA has on file, was used over 10.9 million times. 

  • Almost 12 million Canadians received their refund by direct deposit. So far, nearly 72% of taxpayers getting a refund received it by direct deposit compared to 70% at the same time last year.

  • With the File my Return service, eligible individuals can file their income tax and benefit returns simply by giving some personal information and answering a series of short questions through an automated phone service.

  • In March 2018, the CRA announced its first Chief Service Officer (CSO). The CSO is in charge of leading the CRA’s service transformation through an integrated, client-focused approach.

Associated links

Contacts

Émilie Gagnon
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of National Revenue
613-995-2960
emilie.gagnon@cra-arc.gc.ca

Media Relations
Canada Revenue Agency
613-948-8366
cra-arc.media@cra-arc.gc.ca

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