Statement by the Taxpayers' Ombudsman on the appointment of the Chief Service Officer of the Canada Revenue Agency

News release

Ottawa, Ontario

October 29, 2018

Today, Taxpayers’ Ombudsman Ms. Sherra Profit, issued the following statement about the Minister of National Revenue’s appointment of the Canada Revenue Agency’s new Chief Service Officer:

"I am pleased to have participated in the event announcing the creation and appointment of a new Chief Service Officer (CSO) within the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) by the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue. As Taxpayers’ Ombudsman, my mandate is to uphold taxpayer service rights, conduct independent and objective examinations of taxpayer service complaints, and advise the Minister on improvements to the CRA’s service.

The Taxpayer Bill of Rights outlines for Canadians what they can expect when they deal with the CRA. In this way it is the fundamental statement guiding the CRA’s interactions with taxpayers and benefit recipients and should be the foundation of any discussion on service.  

My own consultations with Canadians have revealed the need for service improvements that consider first and foremost the taxpayer experience, and that are real, timely, proactive, and applied across the Agency. Having a position at this level in the CRA dedicated to an Agency-wide approach to improving service gives greater credibility and weight to the right to file a service complaint; to provide feedback about the CRA’s service; and to have your voices heard. For these reasons, I am pleased to see the CRA’s increased commitment and accountability to taxpayers through the new CSO.

I believe taxpayer rights cannot be upheld unless they are embedded at every level within the CRA. I am hopeful the CSO will ensure the integration of the values and rights in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights into the day-to-day operations and interactions of the CRA. This is how the CRA can move to treating taxpayers and benefit recipients as "valued clients" and putting them and their specific needs first. To be successful, the CRA must also make engagement easy and show timely, tangible and meaningful changes that are responsive to the feedback you as taxpayers and benefit recipients provide.

The new CSO, Mireille Laroche, and I share a mutual commitment to ensuring that service issues are addressed and resolved at the lowest possible level. We meet about service issues and I anticipate these conversations will continue to evolve. I trust with this new position and the creation of the Service Council, the service issues raised by CRA employees and Canadians will be listened to and the proper actions will be taken to find timely resolutions.

I welcome the Minister’s continued focus on fairness in our tax and benefit administration and ensuring the CRA puts its clients first. My Office will continue to give taxpayers and benefit recipients a voice if they believe the CRA has not upheld their rights under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

I look forward to the CRA’s renewed commitment to resolving the service issues raised by taxpayers. When taxpayers believe their service issues have not been satisfactorily resolved, my Office is here to assist them."

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