Annual Report to Parliament 2014-2015

Section 1: Organizational Expenditure Overview

OUR MISSION

We administer tax, benefits, and related programs, and ensure compliance on behalf of governments across Canada, thereby contributing to the ongoing economic and social well-being of Canadians.

Organizational profile

Appropriate Minister: The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, P.C., M.P.

Institutional head: Andrew Treusch

Ministerial portfolio: National Revenue

Enabling instrument: Canada Revenue Agency Act www.laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-10.11/ ii

Year of commencement: 1999

Organizational context

Raison d'être

The Minister of National Revenue is responsible for the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The CRA is responsible for administering, assessing, and collecting hundreds of billions of dollars in taxes annually. The tax revenue it collects is used by federal, provincial, territorial and First Nations governments to fund the programs and services that contribute to the quality of life of Canadians. The CRA also uses its federal infrastructure to deliver billions of dollars in benefits, tax credits, and other services that support the economic and social well-being of Canadian families, children and persons with disabilities.

In carrying out its mandate, the CRA strives to ensure that Canadians:

  • pay their required share of taxes;
  • receive their rightful share of entitlements; and
  • are provided with an impartial and responsive review of contested decisions.

At a glance
Image description

First row left column 157 million website visits and 20 million forms and publications downloaded

Middle column picture of a smart phone

Right column 23 million enquiries answered through agents and automated services

Second row left column 82 percent individual returns filed online during the 2015 tax season

Middle column picture of a computer screen, keyboard and mouse

Right column 86 percent corporation income tax returns filed online

Third row left column 469 billion dollars in taxes and duties processed

Middle column picture of a calculator

Right column 255 billion dollars collected through source deductions

Fourth row left column 31 million individuals and businesses interacted with the Canada Revenue Agency

Middle column picture of a hand signing a piece of paper on a clip board

Right column 52 billion dollars in outstanding tax debt resolved

Fifth row left column 22 billion dollars paid to twelve million benefit recipients

Middle column picture of four hands laying one on top of another

Right column 135 benefit and credit programs administered on behalf of provinces, territories, and federal government

Responsibilities

The Agency has a broad range of responsibilities. In addition to administering the Income Tax Act and the Excise Tax Act, the CRA administers legislation relating to the Canada Pension Plan and the employment insurance program. It also enforces legislation governing charities, collects tobacco taxes and duties, administers registered plans, and collects debts for the federal government.

Serving taxpayers:
The CRA gives taxpayers the accurate and timely information they need to comply with Canada's tax laws through its website, call centres, publications, and technical interpretations and rulings. The Agency regulates charities and monitors and administers deferred income and savings plans to make sure they meet legal requirements. It assesses and processes tax returns and payments for individuals and businesses as quickly and accurately as possible.
Promoting and enforcing tax compliance:
The CRA identifies, addresses, and deters non-compliance with Canada's tax laws by promoting and enforcing compliance. It conducts outreach activities, provides targeted taxpayer assistance, and educates taxpayers of their tax responsibilities. It undertakes domestic and international examinations, audits, and criminal investigations. It helps to resolve tax debt quickly and it enforces compliance with tax laws for registering, filing, withholding, and paying debt obligations.
Facilitating redress:
The CRA provides a fair and impartial redress process to resolve disputes and requests for relief arising from decisions the CRA made. If taxpayers are not satisfied with the outcome of this process, they can appeal to the courts.
Administering benefits:
The CRA administers a range of ongoing benefits and one-time payment programs for the provinces and territories and the federal government, such as the Canada child tax benefit, the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax credit and the universal child care benefit. The Agency makes sure the right benefit payment goes to the right individual at the right time and gives recipients accessible information and timely responses to their enquiries.

Strategic outcomes and program alignment architecture

Strategic Outcome: Taxpayers meet their obligations and Canada's revenue base is protected
Program Subprogram
Taxpayer and Business Assistance
  • Taxpayer Services – Enquiries and Information Products
  • Registered Plans
  • Policy, Rulings and Interpretations
  • Charities
  • Charities – Public Safety and Anti-Terrorism
Assessment of Returns and Payment Processing 
  • Individual Returns and Payment Processing
  • Business Returns and Payment Processing
  • Goods and Services Tax Administration in Quebec
Reporting Compliance
  • International and Large Business
  • Small and Medium Enterprises
  • Scientific Research and Experimental Development
  • Criminal Investigations Program
  • Voluntary Disclosures Program
Collections and Returns Compliance 
  • Trust Accounts – Compliance
  • Non-Filer – Compliance
  • Collections – Tax and Government Programs
Appeals
  • Income Tax Objections, Determinations and Appeals to the Courts
  • Commodity Taxes Objections, Determinations and Appeals to the Courts
  • Canada Pension Plan/Employment Insurance Appeals to the Minister and Appeals to the Courts
  • Service Complaints
  • Taxpayer Relief
Strategic Outcome: Eligible families and individuals receive timely and accurate benefit payments
Program Subprogram
Benefit Programs
  • Benefit Enquiries
  • Benefit Programs Administration
  • Statutory Children's Special Allowance Payments
Strategic Outcome: Taxpayers and benefit recipients receive an independent and impartial review of their service-related complaints
Program Subprogram
Taxpayers' Ombudsman
  • N/A
Internal services
Program Subprogram
N/A
  • N/A

Organizational priorities

The CRA helps sustain the economic and social well-being of Canadians. It collects tax revenues to support the important social programs and essential services delivered by Canada's federal, provincial, territorial, and Aboriginal governments. In 2014-2015, the CRA interacted with more than 31 million individuals and businesses processed over $469 billion in taxes and duties, and issued almost $22 billion in benefits payments to approximately 12 million recipients. While many of our initiatives this past year focused on change and continuous improvement, we have not changed the fundamental elements which shape and define our business: service, compliance, integrity and security, innovation, and people.

Service: Information and digital services aid compliance

The CRA's approach to service transformation is fully aligned with government of Canada priorities, and aims to improve the way we serve Canadians, increasing the number and uptake of digital services, and reducing red tape. We focus on making it easier for those who want to comply with their tax obligations and difficult for those who do not, while meeting the highest standards of integrity and security. In 2014-2015, the Agency concentrated on using technology to expand digital services and keep pace with the evolving needs of Canadians.

Cutting red tape for small and medium businesses

We also continued to streamline filing and reporting processes and reduce red tape. In the fall of 2014, the Agency held a second round of red tape reduction consultations with small and medium businesses, bookkeepers, accountants, and stakeholder associations. We included in-person, online, and written consultations to make sure everyone in the business community could be heard. Participants welcomed the progress we have made so far and gave valuable feedback on what should be our new priorities.

Focus on non-compliance

Canada enjoys a high level of compliance, with 93% of individuals filing their tax returns and paying on time without CRA intervention. This lets the CRA focus on addressing non-compliance in all its forms, including failure to file or register, failure to report a business activity or income, failure to report employment income, or failure to pay taxes owing.

In 2014-2015, new technology, advanced data analysis, and improved risk-management techniques gave us a better look at behaviours and trends among corporate taxpayers, from small and medium enterprises to large, complex companies. This insight allowed us to more effectively address ongoing issues such as the underground economy and aggressive tax planning.

In 2014-2015, the CRA advanced each of its five strategic priorities and delivered on its commitments to the Government of Canada and our Board of Management. Our accomplishments for our strategic priorities are summarized in the following tables. Each priority and the Agency's accomplishments for this fiscal year are detailed in the later chapters on our programs.

IN FOCUS

Blueprint 2020

The CRA is achieving the Blueprint 2020 vision for an agile, efficient, and effective public service able to meet the changing needs of Canadians. We are making progress on our Blueprint 2020 priorities, which focus on using modern technology to improve services to taxpayers and strengthening our organization with better tools, processes, and support for employees. Some of our Blueprint 2020 achievements in 2014-2015 include the following:

Blueprint 2020 and our services

  • Mobile apps – make it possible to access tax information and to set business tax reminders from mobile devices.
  • Online mail for individuals – individuals can view electronic notices of assessment and reassessment through My Account.
  • Pre-authorized debits – individuals and businesses can authorize the CRA to withdraw a predetermined payment amount directly from their account at a Canadian financial institution.
  • Submit documents – users can submit documents electronically when the CRA asks them to.
  • Manage direct deposit – business owners and their delegated authority can now add and maintain direct deposit for their various business accounts.
  • Online mail for representatives – authorized representatives can receive their clients' pre-assessment review and processing review letters electronically through Represent a Client.
  • Represent a Client online service – now accessible to non-resident representatives living in the United States.


Blueprint 2020 and our organization

  • Launched a more modern, dynamic, and user-focused intranet to help employees find what they need to do their work more efficiently and to highlight and share employee perspectives and experiences, so we can all learn from one another.
  • Showcased employee pride and best practices on the intranet through specific examples of employees going above and beyond the call of duty.
  • Participated in government-wide recruitment initiatives, such as the Federal Student Work Experience Program and the Post-Secondary Recruitment campaign, which allows us to attract more talent, save time, and reduce red tape.
  • Piloted an online upward feedback tool, which allows employees to provide feedback to their team leaders, managers, and executives on their leadership skills.
Our priorities contributed to progress towards achieving our strategic outcomes:
  • Taxpayers meet their obligations and Canada's revenue base is protected
  • Eligible families and individuals receive timely and accurate benefit payments
Summary of Progress in 2014-2015 by Priority
Priority Summary of Progress in 2014-2015
Service

We improved service in 2014-2015 by:

  • eliminating more than 800,000 payroll remittances for over 50,000 small businesses as part of our red tape reduction efforts. This earned the former Minister of National Revenue the prestigious Golden Scissors Award for significant achievements in red tape reduction from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.
  • continuing to expand the types of transactions which can be done online. New options include e-filing GST/HST elections forms and Partnership Information Returns, sending supporting GST/HST documentation electronically, and enabling individuals and businesses to set up and manage pre-authorized debit agreements.
  • working with the Treasury Board Secretariat to advance the Web Renewal Initiative, which will provide Canadians with one comprehensive online resource for all government information. In 2014-2015, the Agency produced eight new topic landing pages and began reviewing, rewriting, and reorganizing CRA Web content to be ready for future migration to the central website, Canada.caiii.
  • streamlining our business Interactive Voice Response system to make it easier for callers to connect with an agent, and better equipping agents to offer more information and assistance.

Compliance

We improved compliance in 2014-2015 by:
  • implementing several measures to combat the underground economy, including creating an advisory committee of representatives from key stakeholders across Canada, creating a new Agency-wide strategy, forming specialist teams, and conducting awareness activities which focused on reducing the social acceptability of participating in the underground economy.
  • implementing a three-point plan to support and improve compliance among small and medium-sized enterprises composed of the Liaison Officer Initiative, the Registration of Tax Preparers Program, and the Industry Campaign Approach.
  • setting up a system to receive reports from financial intermediaries on international electronic funds transfers of $10,000 or more.
  • increasing public awareness of the Offshore Tax Informant Program in its first year, and establishing the program's policies and procedures. Launched in January 2014, the program offers financial awards to individuals who provide information related to major international tax non-compliance resulting in the CRA collecting taxes owing.
  • developing and launching automated systems to track and collect tax debts, conduct risk assessments, and track inventory and production related to non-registrants.
  • formalizing our partnership with the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada through the CRA-CPA Canada Framework Agreement signed in November 2014. This agreement connects the CRA with more than 190,000 professional accountants in Canada and uses their connections with taxpayers to better educate Canadians on the tax system and their obligations.
Integrity and security In 2014-2015, we supported integrity and security by:
  • including integrity measures in all executive performance agreements and completing advanced security screening for all executive positions. We also launched the Manager's toolbox on values, ethics, and integrity to support ongoing discussions and engagement with employees on questions of integrity and security.
  • putting in place a new reporting mechanism to allow employees to challenge and report any wrongdoing they may observe in the course of their work. Employees are expected to act with integrity in everything they do, the CRA investigates when concerns are raised to determine whether allegations of wrongdoing are founded.
  • monitoring employee accesses to taxpayer information. We continued to enhance our ability to confirm employees' access to and use of taxpayer information only for its intended purposes.
  • continuing work on the Identity and Access Management program, which will improve internal controls over system access, compliance, and enforcement of Agency security policies and standards.
  • implementing procedures to help protect portable storage devices containing Agency information from unauthorized disclosure or infection from malicious software.
  • establishing a working group with the Canada Border Services Agency and Shared Services Canada (SSC) to standardize rules and processes for managing system access involving CRA data stored on SSC infrastructure.
  • providing a mandatory online security course for all employees. We also produced security "KnowHow" videos and quarterly security bulletins and newsletters, which we made available to all employees on the CRA intranet. We conducted security awareness activities to emphasize to employees their responsibilities concerning cybersecurity and protecting information.
  • automating the Personnel Security Screening renewal process which will make sure all CRA employees have valid and appropriate screening levels.
Innovation In 2014-2015, we demonstrated innovation by:
  • developing and launching two mobile apps, making it possible to access tax information and set business tax reminders from mobile devices.
  • using advanced research and data analysis to identify areas of potential non-compliance, then applying nudge techniques. For example, we send targeted letters to remind recipients of specific tax obligations. We used this approach in many areas to address potential non-filers and non-GST/HST registrants.
  • partnering with industry associations to give businesses sector-specific tax information to help them meet their tax obligations. For example, the CRA partnered with the Canadian Home Builders' Association on the "Get it in Writing"iv campaign, which focuses on non-tax related risks faced when hiring a contractor engaged in the underground economy.
  • launching the Accelerated Business Solutions Lab to support Agency and government priorities by using innovative approaches such as advanced data analysis and behavioural economics to undertake projects. The lab uses data from taxpayer and business tax returns and compares similar businesses to find trends and anomalies.
  • earning a 2014 Distinction Award for the CRA's Destination 2020 project at the Government Technology Exhibition and Conference in recognition of leadership and excellence in the innovative management and application of information and IT in the public sector.
People In 2014-2015, we supported our people by:
  • participating in government-wide recruitment initiatives, such as the Federal Student Work Experience Program and the Post-Secondary Recruitment campaign, to recruit more talent while saving time and reducing red tape. In 2014-2015, the CRA was recognized as a top employer of young people and a top employer in the National Capital Region.
  • launching the HR Service Centre, a comprehensive service catalogue which provides a single point of access for all human resources services. Over 30,000 requests were submitted between June 2014 and March 31, 2015. This new tool will be instrumental in monitoring HR services and providing valuable information for further improvements.
  • encouraging employees to put the CRA culture of integrity into action every day and helping them do so through our annual review of the CRA's Code of Ethics and Conduct and Conflict of Interest policies.
  • strengthening the CRA's Performance Management Program by enabling managers and employees to engage in meaningful discussions through mandatory mid-cycle reviews.
  • implementing the Common Human Resources Business Process, which is a set of common business processes designed to standardize, simplify, and streamline human resources management across the Government of Canada.
  • reviewing the CRA's competency system to streamline and simplify the use of competencies in staffing.
  • updating our intranet, making it easier for employees to find the information they need to do their work more efficiently and highlighting employee perspectives and experiences to share best practices with everyone.

Risk analysis

The CRA's commitment to enterprise risk management and demonstrated ability to manage risk helps to maintain the trust and confidence of its partners, stakeholders, and all Canadians, and contributes to the Agency's effective administration of tax and benefits.

To support the use of enterprise risk management in corporate decision-making, the CRA produces an annual corporate risk profile which identifies and analyzes the risks with the potential to prevent the CRA from achieving its mandate.

In 2014-2015 the top three enterprise risks were aggressive tax planning, the underground economy, and protection of information. The prioritization of these three risks reflects their potential impact on the CRA's commitment to service, compliance, integrity, security and innovation. By making sure its risks are properly identified and managed, the CRA continues to make certain it is well positioned to achieve its mandate.

Key Risks
Risk  Risk Response Strategy Link to Program Alignment Architecture
Aggressive tax planning
  • The CRA uses a variety of strategies to identify and address aggressive tax avoidance, including evaluating and refining risk assessment models and developing a new training framework for auditors working on aggressive tax planning cases.
  • The Agency continued to participate in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's Committee on Fiscal Affairs, where discussions on Base Erosion and Profit Sharing are taking place.
Reporting Compliance
Underground economy 
  • We developed an enhanced Agency-wide strategy for combatting the underground economy, which outlined three themes:
    • refining our understanding of the underground economy;
    • reducing social acceptability of participating in the underground economy; and
    • implementing initiatives to promote compliance and reduce participation in the underground economy.
  • The former Minister of National Revenue created the Minister's Underground Economy Advisory Committee to provide the CRA with direct access to industry perspectives and input to help shape the Agency's and the Government of Canada's strategy for tackling the underground economy. The committee is composed of representatives from key industry stakeholder organizations representing a broad cross-section of the Canadian business community and tax professions. 
  • The CRA continued to dedicate specialized resources to combat high-risk underground economy files.
Reporting Compliance
Protection of information
  • The CRA continued to operate with robust systems and controls designed to protect the personal information of Canadians. Over the past year, the following initiatives supported the Agency priorities of integrity and security:
    • we included integrity measures in all executive performance agreements and completed advanced security screening for all executive positions.
    • we continued to work on projects to monitor employee transactions on CRA systems to make sure taxpayer information is accessed and used only for its intended purposes.
    • we implemented procedures to help protect devices containing Agency information from unauthorized disclosure or infection from malicious software.
    • we conducted security awareness activities throughout the year.
    • we established a working group with the Canadian Border Services Agency and Shared Services Canada to standardize rules and processes for managing system access involving CRA data stored on Shared Services Canada infrastructure.  
Internal services

Aggressive tax planning and underground economy risk

A small but significant minority of taxpayers willingly participates in aggressive tax planning or in the underground economy. Participating in these activities undermines the integrity of the Canadian tax system, negatively affects the economy, and creates an uneven playing field for individuals and businesses.

For 2014-2015, the CRA implemented several measures to deter aggressive tax planning and reduce participation in the underground economy. The Agency also identified new compliance risks related to evolving technologies, platforms, and shifting business models.

Protection of information

Protecting the information of taxpayers and benefit recipients remains a key priority for the CRA. Canadians trust the CRA to safeguard their information and carry out its duties with the highest level of integrity and security. Because the Canadian tax system is based primarily on voluntary compliance, upholding public trust is critical to the CRA's mandate. In 2014-2015, we made significant progress on a number of fronts, as the CRA dedicates itself to vigorously keeping pace with the changing environment related to protecting information.

Actual expenditures

Actual Expenditures for 2014-2015
Expenditure 2014-15
Main Estimates
2014-15
Total Authorities1
2014-15
Planned
2014-15
Actual2
2014-15
Difference
(Planned minus Actual)
Budgetary financial information (dollars)  3,861,256,109 4,332,396,452  3,876,796,322 4,060,833,990 (184,037,668)
Human resources (FTE) - - 38,251 38,561 (310)

Budgetary performance summary for strategic outcomes and programs

Strategic outcome: Taxpayers meet their obligations and Canada's revenue base is protected
(dollars)  2012-13
Actual Spending
2013-14
Actual Spending
2014-15
Main Estimates
2014-15
Total Authorities
 2014-15
Planned Spending3
2014-15
Actual Spending
2015-16
Planned Spending
2016-17
Planned Spending
Taxpayer and Business Assistance4 453,280,238 350,801,699  350,017,682 307,044,650 350,905,225 292,809,925 280,181,661 281,567,318
Assessment of Returns and Payment Processing5 643,799,856 649,108,155 597,018,261 689,410,927 627,544,966 640,377,518 614,590,330 605,246,609
Reporting Compliance 1,170,473,553 1,084,562,230 1,054,502,522 1,142,412,219 1,062,102,673 1,108,667,741 1,045,193,249 1,031,278,872
Collections and Returns Compliance 512,217,726 496,787,602 440,164,211 551,816,289 440,670,268 519,837,234 469,453,195 469,262,938
Appeals 192,046,153 190,219,456 194,334,428 212,604,164 194,675,861 204,406,362 179,658,662 177,823,494
Sub-total 2,971,817,526 2,771,479,142 2,636,037,104 2,903,288,249 2,675,898,993 2,766,098,780 2,589,077,097 2,565,179,231
Strategic outcome: Eligible families and individuals receive timely and accurate benefit payments
(dollars)  2012-13
Actual Spending
2013-14
Actual Spending
2014-15
Main Estimates
2014-15
Total Authorities
 2014-15
Planned Spending3
2014-15
Actual Spending
2015-16
Planned Spending
2016-17
Planned Spending
Benefit Programs6 383,719,460 374,414,324 390,354,003 362,942,761 390,442,143 351,409,527 375,217,640 377,704,372
Sub-total 383,719,460 374,414,324 390,354,003 362,942,761 390,442,143 351,409,527 375,217,640 377,704,372
Strategic outcome: Taxpayers and benefit recipients receive an independent and impartial review of their service-related complaints
(dollars)  2012-13
Actual Spending
2013-14
Actual Spending
2014-15
Main Estimates
2014-15
Total Authorities
 2014-15
Planned Spending3
2014-15
Actual Spending
2015-16
Planned Spending
2016-17
Planned Spending
Taxpayers' Ombudsman 2,622,557 2,524,101 3,167,366 3,289,642 3,167,366 2,614,097 3,198,657 3,191,343
Sub-total 2,622,557 2,524,101 3,167,366 3,289,642 3,167,366 2,614,097 3,198,657 3,191,343
Internal services 960,308,600 914,441,789 831,697,636 1,062,875,800 807,287,820 940,711,586 837,350,994 816,594,012
Sub-total 960,308,600 914,441,789 831,697,636 1,062,875,800 807,287,820 940,711,586 837,350,994 816,594,012
Total all programs    4,318,468,143 4,062,859,356 3,861,256,109 4,332,396,452 3,876,796,322 4,060,833,990 3,804,844,388  3,762,668,958
Less: Respendable Non-Tax Revenue under Section 60 of the Canada Revenue Agency Act (166,976,789) (164,015,731) (179,308,529) (166,085,289)  (179,308,529)  (166,085,289)  (169,466,255) (170,452,033)
Plus:
Cost of services received without charge
448,298,689 430,409,136 N/A N/A 423,084,369 457,024,404 436,284,460 432,998,415
Net cost 4,599,790,043 4,329,252,761 N/A N/A 4,120,572,162 4,351,773,105 4,071,662,593  4,025,215,340

Alignment of spending with the whole–of–government framework

Alignment of spending with the whole–of–government framework v
Program Strategic Outcome Spending Area Government of Canada Outcome 2014-15
Actual Spending
(dollars)
Taxpayer and Business Assistance Taxpayers meet their obligations and Canada's revenue base is protected Government affairs A transparent, accountable, and responsive federal government 292,809,925
Assessment of Returns and Payment Processing Taxpayers meet their obligations and Canada's revenue base is protected Government affairs Well–managed and efficient government operations 640,377,518
Reporting Compliance Taxpayers meet their obligations and Canada's revenue base is protected Government affairs Well–managed and efficient government operations 1,108,667,741
Collections and Returns Compliance Taxpayers meet their obligations and Canada's revenue base is protected Government affairs Well–managed and efficient government operations 519,837,234
Appeals Taxpayers meet their obligations and Canada's revenue base is protected Government affairs A transparent, accountable, and responsive federal government 204,406,362
Benefit Programs Eligible families and individuals receive timely and accurate benefit payments Economic affairs Income security and employment for Canadians 351,409,527

Taxpayers' Ombudsman

Taxpayers and benefit recipients receive an independent and impartial review of their service-related complaints Government affairs A transparent, accountable, and responsive federal government 2,614,097
Total spending by spending area (dollars)
Spending Area    Total Planned Spending Total Actual Spending
Economic affairs 390,442,143 351,409,527
Social affairs 0 0
International affairs 0 0
Government affairs 2,679,066,359 2,768,712,877

CRA spending trend (dollars)

Canada Revenue Agency Spending Trend (dollars)
2012-13
Actual
2013-14
Actual
2014-15
Actual
2015-16
Planned
2016-17
Planned
2017-18
Planned
Statutory 1,007,281,205 902,057,364 817,112,935 825,419,615 820,363,267 811,780,951
Voted 3,311,186,938 3,160,801,992 3,243,721,055 2,979,424,773 2,942,305,691 2,912,629,120
Total 4,318,468,143 4,062,859,356 4,060,833,990 3,804,844,388 3,762,668,958 3,724,410,071

The planned spending trend figure shows all parliamentary appropriations (Main Estimates and Supplementary Estimates) and revenue sources provided to the CRA for policy and operational initiatives arising from various federal budgets and economic statements, transfers from the Department of Public Works and Government Services Canada for accommodations and real property services, disbursements under the Softwood Lumber Agreement, responsibilities related to the harmonization of sales tax in Ontario and British Columbia, the children's special allowance payments, and initiatives to improve efficiency.

Total spending for fiscal years 2012-2013 to 2014-2015 also includes technical adjustments such as the CRA's carry-forward from the previous year and funding for maternity and severance benefits. The 2014-2015 fiscal year also includes funding for the one-time transition payment for implementing the pay-in-arrears model.

Over the period 2012-2013 to 2017-2018, the CRA's appropriations show a decline. Funding received for upgrading of the individual income tax processing system and various wage settlements were more than offset by decreases due to the following:

  • initiatives to improve efficiency
  • the fluctuation in the CRA's Statutory Authorities for disbursements to the provinces under the Softwood Lumber Products Export Charge Act, 2006 and the rates of the contributions to employee benefit plans
  • the planned decrease in funding for implementing the harmonized sales tax for Ontario and British Columbia and the Affordable Living Tax Credit for Nova Scotia and the administration of the Softwood Lumber Agreement
  • other miscellaneous reductions such as the transfer to Public Works and Government Services Canada for accommodation and real property services, adjustment to funding previously transferred to Shared Services Canada, and the transfer of CRA training programs to the Canada School of Public Service

The following table details the additional authorities approved for the CRA after the Main Estimates were tabled in Parliament and reconciles with the total authorities shown in the budgetary performance summary for strategic outcomes and programs.

Authorities Approved after Main Estimate in dollars
Authorities Approved after Main Estimates Dollars
2014-15 Main Estimates 3,861,256,109
Funding for implementing and administering various tax measures announced in the 2013 federal budget 15,540,213
Planned Spending (as reported in the 2014-15 Report on Plans and Priorities) 3,876,796,322
Carry-forward from 2013-14 339,225,074
Funding for the one-time transition payment for implementing the pay-in-arrears model 88,103,742
Severance payments, parental benefits, and vacation credits 75,744,729
Enhancements to non-audit compliance programs 31,180,754
Transfer from Public Works and Government Services Canada due to a reduction in CRA's accommodation needs 13,932,776
Funding for implementing and administering various tax measures announced in the 2014 federal budget 6,465,063
Collective bargaining increases 2,462,773
Reduction in the statutory authority for the disbursement to the provinces under the Softwood Lumber Export Charge Act, 2006 (80,000,000)
Year-end adjustments to statutory authorities:  
  • contribution to employee benefit plans
34,435,745
  • court awards
3,398,465
  • Crown assets disposals
173,717
  • decrease in payments under the Children's Special Allowance Act for eligible children in the care of agencies and foster parents
(31,238,801)
  • decrease in disbursements to provinces under the Softwood Lumber Products Export Charge Act, 2006
(15,118,882)
  • decrease in the spending of revenues received through the conduct of its operations primarily attributable to reductions in services to the province of Ontario
(13,223,240)
  • Other minor adjustments
58,215
Total authorities at year-end 4,332,396,452

Estimates by vote

For information on the CRA's organizational votes and statutory expenditures, see the Public Accounts of Canada 2015vi on the Public Works and Government Services Canada website.

Taxpayer Bill of Rights

  1. You have the right to receive entitlements and to pay no more and no less than what is required by law.
  2. You have the right to service in both official languages.
  3. You have the right to privacy and confidentiality.
  4. You have the right to a formal review and a subsequent appeal.
  5. You have the right to be treated professionally, courteously, and fairly.
  6. You have the right to complete, accurate, clear, and timely information.
  7. You have the right, unless otherwise provided by law, not to pay income tax amounts in dispute before you have had an impartial review.
  8. You have the right to have the law applied consistently.
  9. You have the right to lodge a service complaint and to be provided with an explanation of our findings.
  10. You have the right to have the costs of compliance taken into account when administering tax legislation.
  11. You have the right to expect us to be accountable.
  12. You have the right to relief from penalties and interest under tax legislation because of extraordinary circumstances.
  13. You have the right to expect us to publish our service standards and report annually.
  14. You have the right to expect us to warn you about questionable tax schemes in a timely manner.
  15. You have the right to be represented by a person of your choice.
  16. You have the right to lodge a service complaint and request a formal review without fear of reprisal.

Commitment to small business

  1. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is committed to administering the tax system while minimizing the costs of compliance for small businesses.
  2. The CRA is committed to working with all governments to streamline service, minimize cost, and reduce the compliance burden.
  3. The CRA is committed to providing service offerings which meet the needs of small businesses.
  4. The CRA is committed to conducting outreach activities which help small businesses comply with the legislation we administer.
  5. The CRA is committed to explaining how we conduct our business with small businesses.

Table Notes

1. The CRA's total authorities increased by $455.6 million, or 11.8% over the planned spending identified in the Report on Plans and Priorities. This is mainly due to increases for the carry-forward of funds from 2013-2014, severance payments, parental benefits, vacation credits, the one-time transition payment for implementing the pay-in-arrears model, and enhancements to non-audit compliance programs. The increases are offset by reductions in the statutory authority for the disbursement of softwood lumber export charges to the provinces and the children's special allowance payments. For more information, see table "authorities approved after Main Estimates".

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. 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.

4. Includes the disbursements to the provinces under the Softwood Lumber Products Export Charge Act, 2006 ($80 million in 2014-2015; $283 million in 2013-2014; and $280 million in 2012-2013); actual spending includes the following softwood lumber statutory disbursements: -$15.1 million in 2014-2015; $42.3 million in 2013-2014; and $136.9 million in 2012-2013.

5. Includes payments to Agence du revenu du Québec for administering of the goods and services tax in the province (actual spending is $142.1 million in 2014-2015; $142.8 million in 2013-2014; and $142.2 million in 2012-2013).

6. Includes statutory children's special allowance payments (actual spending is $214.8 million in 2014-2015; $235.4 million in 2013-2014; and $238 million in 2012-2013).

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: