Statement by the Minister of National Revenue, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, on the Auditor General of Canada (OAG)’s performance audit of the Canada child benefit (CCB)

Statement

February 25, 2021                   Ottawa, Ontario                   Canada Revenue Agency

Following the tabling of the 2021 Winter Reports of the Auditor General of Canada, the Minister of National Revenue, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, issued the following statement in response to the report entitled, "Canada Child Benefit - Canada Revenue Agency," which included two recommendations for the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA):

“The Canada child benefit (CCB) has a major impact on the lives of middle-class Canadians, helping over 3.3 million families with the cost of raising children under 18 years of age. In its report, the Auditor General notes that the CRA ensures accurate and timely CCB payments to millions of eligible families.

As the CRA continues to look for ways to improve services to Canadians by putting people first, I welcome the Office of the Auditor General’s recommendations to improve the administration of the CCB program.

The CRA has already identified appropriate steps, within its authority, to obtain even greater assurance that CCB eligibility conditions are met. This includes engaging with other government department partners to improve shared data.

One of the Auditor General’s findings in this report is that the female presumption rule may lead to confusion for Canadians. Although the female presumption rule remains a legislative requirement under the Income Tax Act, the CRA recognizes that today’s Canadian families come in many different forms. Canadians can be assured that, in keeping with its People First philosophy, the CRA is continuing to review procedures and communications tools to help Canadians understand this rule and how to make changes that reflect their unique family situation.

As Minister of National Revenue, I remain committed to ensuring that our tax system is fair, and that Canadians have the information and tools they need to file their return on time and receive the benefits and credits to which they are entitled."

Quick Facts

  • The Canada child benefit (CCB) is a tax-free monthly payment made to eligible families, to help with the cost of raising children under 18 years of age.
  • In May 2020, Canadians who received the Canada child benefit (CCB) got an extra $300 for each child to help offset pandemic-related costs. In total, 3.7 million families received up to $300 per child for this CCB payment.
  • The female presumption rule is a legislative requirement under the Income Tax Act. In deciding who is the primary caregiver of a child, the CRA must refer to the Income Tax Act and its regulation. The Act states that where the child resides with a female parent, the parent who primarily fulfills the responsibility for the care and upbringing of the child is presumed to be the female parent.

Associated Links

Contacts

Jeremy Bellefeuille
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of National Revenue
613-995-2960

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

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