Annual Report to Parliament 2014-2015

Program: Assessment of Returns and Payment Processing

The CRA undertakes a wide range of activities to assess and process tax returns, information returns, and payments for individuals and businesses. We make it easier for individuals and businesses to meet their filing, reporting, and payment obligations. We assess, process, and adjust tax returns for individuals and businesses. We review information to find errors. We detect non-compliance through risk assessment and third-party data matching. Through these activities, we support the process of assessing tax returns from beginning to end.

28M

We processed more than 28 million income tax returns for individuals

Subprogram descriptions

Individual Returns and Payment Processing
This program makes sure individuals have the services they need to voluntarily comply with Canada's tax laws. We process the information individuals file and the payments they make. We also assess and validate the information and inform individuals of the results of their assessment or reassessment.
Business Returns and Payment Processing
This program makes sure businesses have the services they need to voluntarily comply with Canada's tax laws. We process the information businesses file and the payments they make. We also assess and validate the information and inform businesses of the results of their assessment or reassessment. We also register businesses in Canada for a business number, maintain account status, and administer the excise programs.

Individual Returns and Payment Processing

All of our digital and traditional services are designed to make it easier for taxpayers to meet their tax obligations. Our vision is to provide taxpayers with user-centric, secure digital services to help meet every requirement.

Most individual taxpayers and benefit recipients rely on our secure digital channels as their preferred service option. Electronic filing for individual T1 filers reached 82% in the 2015 filing season, up from 80% in 2014, and we saw a corresponding decrease in paper filing. The increase in electronic filing is in part due to enhancements and new electronic service functions such as the ability to file prior-year returns for EFILE and NETFILE.

82% of individual returns were filed online during the 2015 tax season

Users can access our digital services through My Account, a secure portal for viewing personal income tax and benefit information and managing tax affairs. The My Account registration process was streamlined in February 2015 to allow limited access to low-risk information such as the condensed notice of assessment or reassessment, status of tax return, current-year RRSP and TFSA limits, and online mail. Users must enter a security code to access the full suite of My Account services and to view the detailed notice of assessment or re-assessment.

To further enhance digital services, we introduced an online mail service allowing individuals to receive some correspondence such as notices of assessment and reassessment directly in My Account. Once individuals register for this service, eligible correspondence is no longer printed and mailed to them. Instead, a notification is sent to their email address when new mail is available for them to view in My Account. For security reasons, we do not send any secure information by email.

We added a variety of new digital features this past year:

Key results

My Account is

  • Convenient – It is available 7 days a week.
  • Easy to use – After registering, simply log in with your CRA user ID and password or use your login information from one of our Sign-in Partners.
  • Fast – Information is up-to-the-minute and transactions are processed immediately.
  • Secure – The CRA user ID and password are just part of the security.
    www.cra.gc.ca/myaccountvii

IN FOCUS

Going mobile

Mobile apps provide taxpayers access to key services through their mobile devices. As Canadians spend more time on smartphones and tablets and less time on personal computers, the CRA will make sure its Internet services and content are optimized and accessible for mobile apps. Mobile apps add to the multiple channels we provide for taxpayers to access the services they need to voluntarily comply with Canada's tax laws.

In February 2015 we launched MyCRA, a Web-based mobile app to enable taxpayers to securely access key parts of their tax information wherever they are, through any mobile device. MyCRA lets users view:

  • notices of assessment
  • return status
  • RRSP deduction and TFSA contribution room
  • benefit and credit payment dates
  • a directory of EFILE tax professionals and a list of free tax filing software
  • the date and location of Community Volunteer Income Tax clinics
  • the CRA's Charities Listings, making it easier to choose and donate to a charity
  • My Payment connected to MyCRA app

The Business Tax Reminders mobile app is one way we are reducing red tape for businesses. Users can create their own custom reminders and alerts for key CRA due dates for instalment payments, returns, and remittances. This mobile app is recommended for small and medium-sized businesses with annual revenue of $20 million or less and fewer than 500 employees. The app was created after consulting with small and medium-sized businesses and allows users to:

  • create custom reminders for key CRA due dates related to instalment payments, returns, and remittances
  • customize and tailor the reminder system for their personal business deadlines with either calendar or pop-up messages

Business Returns and Payment Processing

The CRA's digital services are the preferred service channel for more businesses and tax representatives. The majority of corporation income tax returns and GST/HST returns are filed online and 2.3 million business numbers are registered for My Business Account, our online business portal. Each year we improve our digital services based on user feedback, research on task identification and success rates, and time to complete key tasks. We also add new features and services to reduce red tape and make it easier to get timely information and comply with tax obligations.

86% of corporation returns were filed online

Improvements made during 2014-2015 include the following:

The majority of businesses and their tax representatives access our digital services through My Business Account, our secure online business portal to accounts including GST/HST (except for GST/HST accounts administered by Revenu Québec), payroll, corporation income taxes, excise taxes, excise duties, and more.

Key results

IN FOCUS

Cutting red tape for small and medium businesses

The CRA is committed to reducing red tape and making it easier for individuals and small and medium businesses to access CRA services and fulfil their tax obligations. We held Canada-wide red tape reduction consultations in the fall of 2014:

  • we consulted with small and medium business owners and personnel, bookkeepers, accountants, and stakeholder associations
  • approximately 350 people participated in 45 in-person consultations covering all provinces and territories
  • approximately 120 people sent their views online or in writing

The feedback we received helped define our new priorities and will shape our red tape reduction action plans for the next three years.

Top recommendations from the business community and highlights of CRA plans
  1. Make it easier to find information and services on the Web
    • the CRA will improve website search functions, develop fillable forms, and make navigation easier
  2. Provide information in language we can understand
    • the CRA will reduce complexity and improve the clarity of language in forms, guides, and correspondence
  3. Improve the audit process
    • the CRA will enhance auditor training and expand programs focused on helping and teaching small and medium businesses to become more compliant
  4. Help businesses get it right from the start
    • the CRA will help small businesses as part of a good-start initiative, including outreach programs, webinars, and business checklists
  5. Add more digital services and tools
    • the CRA will look into allowing email communication between the Agency and its clients
  6. Improve telephone services
    • the CRA will streamline procedures and develop new tools for telephone service agents to better serve the business community by reducing the need for callers to repeat information and connecting callers to the right expert
  7. Offer more flexibility for filing deadlines and payment schedules
    • the CRA will adjust the frequency of remittances
Budgetary financial information (dollars)
Program/
Subprogram
2014-15
Main Estimates
2014-15
Total Authorities
2014-15
Planned1
2014-15
Actual2
2014-15
Difference
(Planned minus Actual)
Assessment of Returns and Payment Processing 597,018,261 689,410,927 627,544,966 640,377,518 (12,832,552)
Individual Returns and Payment Processing     315,235,616 335,690,942 (20,455,326)
Business Returns and Payment Processing     312,309,350 304,686,576 7,622,774
Human resources (full-time equivalent)
Program/
Subprogram
2014-15
Planned
2014-15
Actual
2014-15
Difference
(Planned minus Actual)
Assessment of Returns and Payment Processing 6,671 6,209 462
Individual Returns and Payment Processing 4,329 4,228 101
Business Returns and Payment Processing 2,342 1,981 361

Performance measurement

Program
Assessment of Returns and Payment Processing
Expected Result    Performance Indicator Target Actual Result
Individuals, businesses, and registrants are provided timely and accurate tax assessment notices and tax payment processing  Number of service standards targets met or mostly met relating to timeliness of processing for individual, business and GST/HST returns3 100% 100%
Subprogram
Individual Returns and Payment Processing 
Expected Result    Performance Indicator Target Actual Result
Individual taxfilers receive timely and accurate assessment notices Number of service standards targets met or mostly met relating to T1 Individual and T3 trust returns activities3 100% 100%
no data Percentage of individual (T1) returns processed accurately 98% 98.9%
no data Percentage of individual (T1) returns received on time processed by mid-June 98% 99.7%
Individuals file electronically Individual (T1) electronic filing rates  82% 82%
Validation activities detect and address non-compliance by individuals with the reporting requirements of the Acts Percentage of planned validation reviews of individual returns (T1) completed 100% 101%
no data Ratio of average dollar value assessed for targeted vs random reviews Minimum ratio of 2:1 2.54:1
Subprogram
Business Returns and Payment Processing
Expected Result    Performance Indicator Target Actual Result
Business taxfilers receive timely and accurate assessment notices and payment processing Number of service standards targets met or mostly met relating to business taxfilers (T2, GST/HST, excise and other levies) activities3 100% 100%
no data Percentage of T2 returns processed accurately 98% 98.3%
Remittance of payments to the Receiver General are processed on time  Percentage of payments to the Receiver General are deposited within 24 hours of receipt 96% 98%

Table Notes

1. Planned spending excludes severance payments, parental benefits, vacation credits, the one-time transition payment for implementing the pay-in-arrears model, and the carry-forward of unused funds from 2013-2014 under the CRA's two-year spending authority. This funding is received during the fiscal year and is included only in actual spending.

2. Modified cash basis, based on Parliamentary appropriations used. See Parliamentary appropriations for an explanation of how actual spending relates to results in the CRA Financial Statements – Agency Activities.

3. Details on our service standards are in Appendix B.

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