Annual Report to Parliament 2014-2015

Program: Appeals

The CRA 's redress process resolves disputes for taxpayers and benefit recipients who contest our decisions and seek relief. If taxpayers are not satisfied with the results of the process, they can then appeal to the courts. The CRA assists the Department of Justice Canada in handling cases sent before the courts.

90,059

We resolved 90,059 income and commodity tax disputes

Subprogram descriptions

Income Tax Objections, Determinations, and Appeals to the Courts
This program provides a timely, impartial, and consistent dispute resolution process for taxpayers who disagree with decisions taken by the CRA relating to assessments or determinations made under the Income Tax Act . By engaging in dialogue with the taxpayer, an appeals officer conducts an impartial review of the decision to try to resolve the dispute. This program also assists the Department of Justice in handling appeals to the courts.
Commodity Taxes Objections, Determinations, and Appeals to
the Courts
This program provides a timely, impartial, and consistent dispute resolution process for taxpayers who disagree with decisions taken by the CRA relating to assessments or determinations made under the Excise Act and the Excise Tax Act . By engaging in dialogue with the taxpayer, an appeals officer conducts an impartial review of the decision to try to resolve the dispute. This program also assists the Department of Justice in handling appeals to the courts.
Canada Pension
Plan/Employment Insurance Appeals to the Minister and Appeals to
the Courts
This program provides a timely, impartial, and consistent dispute resolution process for taxpayers who disagree with decisions taken by the CRA relating to assessments or rulings made under the Canada Pension Plan and the Employment Insurance Act . By engaging in dialogue with the taxpayer, an appeals officer conducts an impartial review of the decision to try to resolve the dispute. This program also assists the Department of Justice in handling appeals to the courts.
Service Complaints
This program provides a timely and impartial process service complaints resolution process for taxpayers who are not satisfied with the level of service they have received from the CRA . It identifies service-related problems and proposes solutions to taxpayers
Taxpayer Relief
This program administers legislation designed to give the Minister of National Revenue the discretion to help taxpayers who are unable to meet their tax obligations because of circumstances beyond their control. This program assists taxpayers by acknowledging and processing taxpayer relief requests in a timely and consistent manner.

Income and Commodity Tax Objections, Determinations, and Appeals to the Courts

As outlined in the tax legislation and the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, every taxpayer is entitled to a formal review and subsequent court appeal if they believe they have not received their full entitlements under the law.

The Agency encourages taxpayers to contact us when they have questions concerning a decision we make or they object to because they think we made a mistake. To provide an impartial review of a decision, the CRA makes sure these objections are reviewed by an appeals officer who was not involved in the original decision.

Balancing workload

Over the past three years, the CRA has developed strategies and action plans to address its growing inventory of objections.

Following implementation the previous year of a national workload management strategy for low-complexity files, in 2014-2015 we nationalized the medium-complexity workload with positive results. For example, we reduced the average age of the inventory of regular small and medium enterprise objections by 7% from 2013-2014.

The implementation of the targeted strategy to complete older files resulted in an increase in average days to complete regular workload income tax and commodity tax files. The aged files will continue to be a high priority in the coming year as the CRA works to resolve all outstanding workable low-and medium-complexity files with a mailing date prior to 2014.

Results of the Tax Avoidance Group (TAG) workload in the 2014-2015 period include resolving 25,462 disputes and completing steps toward finalizing an additional 66,474 files. Pending reassessments for taxpayers who accepted dispute resolution offers will account for 18,332 of these files. Of the remaining 48,142 objections, offers will be made to resolve approximately 5,000 in 2015-2016, while the remainder indicated they wish to proceed to court to have their claim to the donation tax credit determined. The continued downward trend in TAG file intake contributed positively to inventory reduction efforts. Intake for 2014-2015 was 16% below forecast and 32% less than the prior year.

Key results

Canada Pension Plan/Employment Insurance Appeals to the Minister and Appeals to the Courts

The CRA has been consolidating all CPP/EI appeals to three sites—Québec, London, and Edmonton. Consolidating CPP/EI appeals will improve the quality of decisions and consistency in applying policies and procedures. It will also help improve inventory management and resolve appeals faster. The consolidation took effect on April 1, 2015.

Key results

Service Complaints

The Service Complaints program continued to strengthen its business analysis capacity to better identify trends in service complaints and use the information to address issues before they arise. The program updated its Service Complaints manual and issued 14 directives to the program officers to make sure data capture and program delivery are consistent. The program identified 22 systemic issues in fiscal year 2014-2015 which were reviewed and corrective measures taken. Examples include the following:

Key results

Taxpayer Relief

In May 2014, the CRA implemented new procedures and integrated the taxpayer relief registry system with the CRA’s existing case appeals inventory management system to more effectively process, monitor, track, and report on taxpayer relief files. For taxpayers, these changes result in several service benefits, including:

Key results

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)
Appeals 194,334,428 212,604,164 194,675,861 204,406,362 (9,730,501)
Income Tax Objections, Determinations, and Appeals to the Courts no data no data 146,321,746 148,014,121 (1,692,375)
Commodity Taxes Objections, Determinations, and Appeals to the Courts no data no data 17,410,222 17,879,120 (468,898)
Canada Pension Plan/Employment Insurance Appeals to the Minister and Appeals to the Courts no data no data 3,569,815 1,288,851 2,280,964
Service Complaints no data no data 7,800,798 8,062,583 (261,785)
Taxpayer Relief no data no data 19,573,280 29,161,687 (9,588,407)
Human resources (full-time equivalent)
Program/
Subprogram
2014-15
Planned
2014-15
Actual
2014-15
Difference
(Planned minus Actual)
Appeals 1,680 1,868 (188)
Income Tax Objections, Determinations, and Appeals to the Courts 1,051 1,138 (87)3
Commodity Taxes Objections, Determinations, and Appeals to the Courts 189 177 124
Canada Pension Plan/Employment Insurance Appeals to the Minister and Appeals to the Courts 168 123 455
Service Complaints 95 92 3
Taxpayer Relief 177 338 (161)6

Performance measurement

Program
Appeals
Expected Result Performance Indicator Target Actual Result
Taxpayers receive a timely review of contested decisions made under legislation administered by the CRA and the handling of service complaints is timely and consistent Percentage of targeted levels of timeliness and consistency for income tax and commodity tax objections, CPP/EI appeals to the Minister, and service complaints met or mostly met 98% 100%
Taxpayers receive an impartial review of contested decisions made under legislation administered by the CRA Percentage of service standards targets met or mostly met relating to transparency and impartiality for Income Tax and Commodity Tax objections, CPP/EI appeals to the Minister, and service complaints7 98% 100%
Subprogram
Income Tax Objections, Determinations, and Appeals to the Courts
Expected Result Performance Indicator Target Actual Result
Taxpayers receive an impartial and responsive review of contested decisions made under the Income Tax Act Percentage of decisions on objections filed under the Income Tax Act completed within established timeframes 85% 77.2%8
no data Percentage of decisions on objections filed under the Income Tax Act determined to meet or exceed consistency standards 90% 97.3%
no data Percentage of decisions on objections filed under the Income Tax Act determined to be impartial meets or exceeds target 95% 99.4%
Subprogram
Commodity Taxes Objections, Determinations, and Appeals to the Courts
Expected Result Performance Indicator Target Actual Result
Taxpayers receive a timely review of contested decisions made under the Excise Act and Excise Tax Act Percentage of decisions on objections filed under the Excise Act and Excise Tax Act completed within established timeframes 85% 79.4%9
no data Percentage of decisions on objections filed under the Excise Act and Excise Tax Act determined to meet or exceed consistency standards 90% 95.4%
Taxpayers receive an impartial review of contested decisions made under the Excise Act and Excise Tax Act Percentage of decisions on objections filed under the Excise Act and Excise Tax Act determined to be impartial meets or exceeds target 95% 99%
Subprogram
Canada Pension Plan/Employment Insurance Appeals to the Minister and Appeals to the Courts
Expected Result Performance Indicator Target Actual Result
Taxpayers receive a timely review of contested decisions made under the Canada Pension Plan or Employment Insurance Act Percentage of reviews of appeals to the Minister filed under the Canada Pension Plan or Employment Insurance Act completed within established timeframes 85% 77.1%10
Taxpayers receive an accurate review of contested decisions made under the Canada Pension Plan or Employment Insurance Act Percentage of decisions regarding CPP/EI appeals to the Minister determined to meet or exceed accuracy standards 90% 99.8%
Taxpayers receive an impartial review of contested decisions made under the Canada Pension Plan or Employment Insurance Act Percentage of decisions of CPP/EI appeals to the Minister determined to be impartial 95% 99.9%
Subprogram
Service Complaints
Expected Result Performance Indicator Target Actual Result
Taxpayers are issued timely acknowledgements to their service complaints Percentage of service complaints acknowledged within two business days 80% 98.3%
Taxpayers receive timely resolutions to their service complaints Percentage of taxpayers service complaints resolved within 30 business days 80% 95.9%
Subprogram
Taxpayer Relief
Expected Result Performance Indicator Target Actual Result
Taxpayers receive a consistent response to requests for interest or penalty relief or both Percentage of taxpayer relief files with all supporting documentation 85% 98.8%

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. Increase primarily due to in-year reallocations aimed at enhancing programs (i.e., to reduce group objections and taxpayer relief inventories).

4. Decrease primarily due to workload transfers to the Taxpayer Relief program during the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

5. Decrease primarily due to staffing delays and workload transfers to other appeals programs during the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

6. Increase in FTEs primarily due to in-year reallocations aimed at enhancing programs and workload transfers from other programs during the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

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

8. The below target results for income tax objections completed within established timeframes was expected, and is due to our focus on reducing the inventory of the oldest files. Results are expected to meet targets once the aged files are resolved.

9. The below target results for commodity tax objections completed within established timeframes was expected, and is due to our focus on reducing the inventory of the oldest files. Results are expected to meet targets once the aged files are resolved.

10. The CPP/EI results for established timeframes mark a 1.1% improvement over the prior year and efforts to resolve the aged and complex inventory in all offices affected the time it took to complete files.

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