Annual Report to Parliament 2014-2015

Appendix B: Service standards

Canadians' confidence in the integrity of the tax system is essential to the CRA's success. Meeting our service standards shows we are answering the needs of taxpayers and benefit recipients. Our service standards tell citizens what level of performance they can reasonably expect from the CRA under normal circumstances. We review our standards and targets every year and update them as needed.

New service standards in 2014-2015

The CRA introduced one new service standard.

Program Service  Standard  Target
Taxpayer and Business Assistance e-Services Helpdesk telephone service  Our goal is to respond to calls in the queue within two minutes  80%

Our service standard results

Taxpayer and Business Assistance
Service Standard Target         2012-13        2013-14       2014-15
Business enquiries –
telephone service level
Our goal is to respond to calls in
the agent queue within two minutes
80% 82% 81%

81%

 

GST/HST rulings and
interpretations –
telephone enquiries
Our goal is to respond to calls in the
queue within two minutes
80% 97% 95% 93.2%
GST/HST rulings and
interpretations –
written enquiries
Our goal is to respond to a written
request for GST/ HST rulings and
interpretations within 45 business
days of receipt in the Canada
Revenue Agency. This excludes
highly technical and precedent
and/or policy-setting
rulings and interpretations
80% 81% 74%1 83%
Charities – responding
to telephone enquiries
Our goal is to respond to calls in agent
queue within two minutes
80% 86.3% 85.1% 76.2%2
Charities – responding
to simple applications
Our goal is to respond to simple
applications for charitable registration
within two months, upon receipt of a
complete application
80% 94.5% 90.9% 91.2%
Charities – responding
to regular applications
Our goal is to respond to regular
applications for charitable registration
within six months, upon receipt of a
complete application
80% 97.5% 99% 94.7%
Charities – written
enquiries – routine
Our goal is to review and respond to
routine written enquiries in 30
calendar days or less of receipt
80% N/A3 79.8% 83.3%
Charities – written
enquiries – complex
Our goal is to review and respond
to complex written enquiries in
75 calendar days or less of receipt
80% N/A3 55% 62.6%4
Advance income
tax rulings
Our goal is to issue advance income
tax rulings within 90 business days of
receipt of all essential information
from the client
85% 74% 75%5 81%6
e-Services Helpdesk –
telephone service level
Our goal is to respond to calls in the
agent queue within two minutes
80% N/A7 N/A7 81%
General enquiries –
telephone service level
Our goal is to respond to calls in the
agent queue within two minutes
80% 82% 80% 81%
Technical interpretations Our goal is to issue technical
interpretations within 90 business
days of receipt of all essential
information from the client
85%  83% 87% 88%
Actuarial valuation
reports
Our goal is to review actuarial
valuation reports within nine months
and provide written approval of the
recommended employer contributions
80% 52% 71% 81%
Amendments to 
registered
pension plans
Our goal is to review pension plan
amendments for compliance with the
Income Tax Act within nine months
80% 81% 82% 62%8
Applications to
register pension
plans
Our goal is to complete a full review
and provide a response on
applications to register pension plans
within 180 calendar days 
85% 90% 89% 81%
Deferred income
plans – response to
written enquiries
Our goal is to respond to written
enquiries within 60 calendar days 
80% 98% 89% 43%9
Deferred profit
sharing plans –
amendments and
terminations
Our goal is to review requests to
amend and to terminate plans within
270 calendar days
80% 97% 92% 97%
Deferred profit
sharing plans –
reviewing applications
Our goal is to review applications to
register new deferred profit sharing
plans within 180 calendar days
80% 100% 98% 97%
Education savings plans (applications
to register, amend,
or terminate)
Our goal is to respond to applications
to approve, amend, and terminate education savings plans specimen
plans within 60 calendar days
85% 91% 92% 85%
Retirement income
funds (applications to
register, amend, or
terminate)
Our goal is to respond to applications
to register, amend, or terminate
retirement income funds within
60 calendar days
80% 99% 99% 100%
Retirement savings
plans (applications to
register, amend, or
terminate)
Our goal is to respond to applications
to register, amend, or terminate
retirement savings plans (RSPs)
within 60 calendar days
80% 96% 99% 99%
Assessment of Returns and Payment Processing
Service Standard Target 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
Processing excise tax,
excise duty, softwood
lumber returns, and air
travellers' security
charge returns
Our goal is to assess
excise tax, excise duty,
softwood lumber returns,
and air travellers' security
charge returns in 60
calendar days or less of receipt
95% N/A10 97.2%

97.6%

 

Processing GST/HST returns Our goal is to process GST/HST
returns within 30 calendar days
of receipt
95% 93.8% 96.5% 97%
Processing T2 corporation
income tax returns – electronic
Our goal is to assess electronic
T2 returns (corporation
income tax) in 45 calendar
days or less
90% N/A11 97.1% 96.5%
Processing T2
corporation income
tax returns – paper
Our goal is to assess paper
T2 returns (corporation
income tax) in 90 calendar
days or less
90% N/A11 91.4% 92.1%
Processing T1
individual income tax returns
(EFILE and NETFILE)
Our goal is to process
electronic T1 returns
(EFILE and NETFILE)
within an average of
two weeks of receipt
100% 1.6 weeks 1.6 weeks 1.6 weeks
Processing T1 individual
income tax returns (paper)
Our goal is to process a
paper T1 return and mail a
notice of assessment and
refund, if applicable, within
an average of four to six weeks
100% 4.3 weeks 5 weeks 5.6 weeks
Processing T3 trust returns Our goal is to process
T3 trust returns
within four months
95% 98.7% 99.3% 96.3%
Responding to taxpayer-
requested adjustments (T1)
Our goal is to complete
the adjustment and mail
a notice of reassessment
within an average of eight
weeks, provided all requisite
information has been
received from the taxpayer   
100% 7 weeks 7 weeks  7 weeks
Responding to taxpayer-
requested adjustments (T1)
received by Internet
Our goal is to complete the
adjustment and mail a notice
of reassessment within an
average of two weeks,
provided all requisite
information has been
received from the taxpayer
100% 2 weeks 1.6 weeks 1.6 weeks
Reporting Compliance
Service Standard Target 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
Claims – SR&ED
tax incentives –
claimant-requested
adjustments to
non-refundable claims
Our goal is to process claims for
tax incentives from businesses
conducting scientific research and
experimental development (SR&ED)
in Canada within 365 calendar days
from receipt of a complete claim for
non-refundable claims related to
adjustments requested to previously
filed income tax returns
90% 94% 93%

95%

 

Claims – SR&ED
tax incentives –
claimant-requested
adjustments to
refundable claims
Our goal is to process claims for
tax incentives from businesses
conducting scientific research and
experimental development (SR&ED)
in Canada within 240 calendar days
from receipt of a complete claim, for
refundable claims related to
adjustments requested to
previously filed income tax returns
90% 95% 96% 93%
Claims – SR&ED
tax incentives –
non-refundable claims
Our goal is to process claims for
tax incentives from businesses
conducting scientific research and
experimental development (SR&ED)
in Canada within 365 calendar
days from receipt of a complete
claim for non-refundable claims
90% 96% 96% 96%
Claims – SR&ED
tax incentives –
refundable claims
Our goal is to process claims for
tax incentives from businesses
conducting scientific research
and experimental development
(SR&ED) in Canada within
120 calendar days from receipt
of a complete claim for refundable
claims
90% 96% 96% 95%
Claims – video and
film tax credits –
refundable claims -
audited
Our goal is to review T2
corporation income tax returns
which include claims for the
Canadian Film or Video Production
Tax Credit, the Film or Video
Production Services Tax Credit,
the B.C. Film and Television
Tax credit, the B.C. Production
Services Tax Credit, the Manitoba
Film and Video Production Tax Credit,
and the Ontario Film and Television
Tax Credit, and the Ontario Production
Services Tax Credit within 120 calendar
days from the date of receipt where
audit action is undertaken
90% 90.5% 96% 94%

Claims – video and
film tax credits –
refundable claims -
unaudited

Our goal is to review T2 corporation
income tax returns which include claims
for the Canadian Film or Video Production
Tax Credit, the Film or Video Production
Services Tax Credit, the B.C. Film and
Television Tax credit, the B.C. Production
Services Tax Credit, the Manitoba
Film and Video Production Tax Credit,
and the Ontario Film and Television
Tax Credit, and the Ontario Production
Services Tax Credit within 60 calendar
days from the date of receipt where
no audit action is undertaken
90% 96.2% 96% 96%
Appeals
Service Standard Target 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
First contact letter for disputes Our goal is to acknowledge taxpayer
disputes within 30 calendar days
after we receive them
85% 84% 85.2%

91.5%

 

Problem Resolution Program –
acknowledge receipt
Our goal is to acknowledge
receipt of a problem within
two business days
95% 98.2% 98.3% 97.8%
Problem Resolution Program –
resolution
Our goal is to resolve the problem
within 15 business days. If we cannot
(for example, if a case is complex),
we will make contact within
15 business days to indicate
an anticipated date of resolution
95% 98.2% 98.2% 98.3%
Service Complaints –
two-day acknowledgement
Our goal is to acknowledge
receipt of the complaint within
two business days
80% 92% 85.8% 98.3%
Service Complaints –
30 day resolution
Our goal is to resolve the
complaint within 30 business days
80% 94.3% 95.3% 95.9%
Benefit Programs
Service Standard Target 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
Canada child tax
benefit enquiries -
telephone service level
Our goal is to respond to calls
in the agent queue within two minutes
75% 78% 75%

76%

 

GST/HST credit
enquiries telephone
service level
Our goal is to respond to calls
in the queue within two minutes
75% 77% 75% 75%
Processing benefit
applications and marital
status change forms
– accuracy
Our goal is to accurately process
the appropriate payment and notice
and, if necessary, issue a letter
requesting additional information
98% 98.7% 99% 99.1%
Processing benefit
applications and
marital status
change forms –
timeliness
Our goal is to issue a payment,
notice, or explanation within
80 calendar days
98% 99.8% 99.5% 99.1%
Responding to
benefit and
credit enquiries – accuracy
Our goal is to respond to written
enquiries and telephone referrals
from call centres, with the correct
information, and accurately process
new recipient information, including
issuing a payment, notice, or letter
98% 98.1% 98% 98%
Responding to
benefit and
credit enquiries – timeliness
Our goal is to respond to written
enquiries and telephone referrals
from call centers within 80
calendar days
98% 98% 99.1% 98.7%
Benefits validation
and compliance –
results of review
Our goal is to inform you of the
result of our review within 45 calendar
days after we receive the information
requested
90% 99% 98.9% 99.6%
Processing a request to
authorize or cancel a
representative – paper
Our goal is to process your complete
paper request to authorize or cancel
a representative in 20 business days
or less of receipt by the CRA provided
the request is complete
90% N/A12 96.1% 95.2%
Processing a request to
authorize or cancel a
representative – electronic
Our goal is to process your complete
electronic request to authorize or
cancel a representative in 5 business
days or less of receipt by the CRA
provided the request is complete
90%  N/A12 99.4% 97.4%
Internal Services
Service Standard Target 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
Service standards for taxpayer
requests for statistical tax data
Our goal is to respond to
taxpayer requests for
statistical data within an
average of 30 calendar days
100% 14 days 11 days

11 days

Retirement of service standards in 2015-16

The CRA remains committed to developing relevant service standards designed to respond to clients and to changes in the operating environment. As part of the ongoing review process, the Agency will retire two service standards related to deferred profit sharing plans – amendments and terminations, and amendments to registered pension plans.

As part of a recent business transformation, the CRA is testing a new process where all registered plans are subject to a comprehensive, risk-based review on a cyclical basis. This will make sure they comply with the Income Tax Act. This change in process means the two service standards are no longer relevant. The CRA consulted with stakeholders, who gave positive feedback on the new process.

Program: Taxpayer and Business Assistance
Service Standard Target
Deferred profit sharing plans – Amendments and terminations The goal is to review requests to amend and to terminate plans within 270 calendar days 80%
Amendments to registered pension plans The goal is to review pension plan amendments for compliance with the Income Tax Act within nine months 80%

Converting service standards in 2015-2016

As of April 1, 2015, the CRA will convert two external service standards related to the Problem Resolution Program to internal performance standards. The Problem Resolution Program specializes in resolving sensitive cases requiring immediate attention. It is designed to address tax- or benefit-related issues where normal administrative and operational channels were unable to do so. As taxpayers and benefit recipients do not have direct access to the Program, it is not relevant to include the Program with our external service standards. Canadians with routine questions or concerns can continue to contact the CRA using the regular service channels: phone, mail, and Internet.

Program: Appeals
Service Standard Target
Problem Resolution Program – acknowledge receipt The goal is to acknowledge receipt of a problem within two business days 95%
Problem Resolution Program – resolution The goal is to resolve the problem within 15 business days. If we cannot (for example, if a case is complex), we will make contact within 15 business days to indicate an anticipated date of resolution 95%

Simplification of service standards

Over the coming year, the CRA will be rewording several service standards to make them clearer and easier for taxpayers and benefit recipients to understand. These changes will not affect how the service standards are calculated or measured.


Table Notes

1. In 2013-2014, some resources were diverted from providing rulings to train new technical staff and develop new initiatives (e.g., folios).

2. An increase in the volume of calls and the need to train additional resources led to lower results.

3. The service standard was introduced in 2013-2014, therefore no prior-year results are available.

4. Volume of written enquiries increased, and training requirements diverted resources from answering enquiries.

5. The results improved (from 71% at the start of December to 74% at the end of March) when resources were reallocated and inventory management strategies were implemented.

6. Turnaround times have improved over each of the past three years, moving us closer to this target. To further reduce turnaround times, we are closely monitoring file inventory and have boosted our technical capacity by hiring additional highly qualified rulings officers to replace some departing personnel.

7. The service standard was introduced in 2014-2015, therefore no prior-year results are available.

8. We have begun to focus on a new cyclical, risk-based review process where requests for amendments are done as part of a comprehensive plan review instead of being done on a first-in, submission-driven basis. As a result, we have retired this service standard as of April 1, 2015. However, to provide the best client service, we also focused on reviewing plans with the oldest amendments.

9. In our efforts to reduce an existing backlog, due to the need to train additional resources, we responded to the oldest enquiries which were already outside of our service standard, causing a drop in overall results.

10. The service standard was revised in 2013-2014, therefore no prior-year results are available.

11. The service standard was introduced in 2013-2014, therefore no prior-year results are available.

12. The service standard was introduced in 2013-2014, therefore no prior-year results are available.

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