Taxpayers’ Ombudsman Presents the 2017-2018 Annual Report

News release

December 11, 2018 - Ottawa, Ontario - Office of the Taxpayers’ Ombudsman

The Taxpayers’ Ombudsman, Sherra Profit, released her 2017-2018 Annual Report Effecting Change, which was tabled in Parliament today by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue, Deborah Schulte.

The report provides an overview of the accomplishments of the Office of the Taxpayers’ Ombudsman (OTO) in the 2017-2018 fiscal year. It also identifies key Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) service issues and outlines the most common feedback received from taxpayers.

"My Office provides valuable feedback to the Minister on service issues affecting taxpayers. We carefully consider the information collected through taxpayer complaints, from the CRA and through outreach activities and other sources. Through these approaches, were are able to provide formal and informal recommendations to effect change in CRA service." Sherra Profit, Taxpayers’ Ombudsman.

Key highlights from the 2017-2018 Annual Report include:

  • 1,922 new complaints were received; up 29% from the previous fiscal year.
  • 2,255 issues were closed; up 40% from the previous fiscal year.
  • Most common areas of complaint:
            o Delays in processing individual income tax and benefit (T1) returns;
            o Lack of clarity in the information received from the CRA concerning T1 tax returns;
            o Delays in processing for T1 adjustment requests;
            o Lack of consistent information when dealing with agents at the individual tax enquiries telephone line;
            o Lack of timeliness in processing and clarity of information concerning the Canada child benefit; and
            o Lack of fairness of debt collections processes for T1 tax and benefit returns.      

Two systemic examinations were completed and include recommendations submitted to the Minister of National Revenue. The Taxpayers’ Ombudsman recommended the CRA:

                     o Improve its efforts in ensuring the timeliness of its responses for the Taxpayer Relief Program; and,
                     o Improve its efforts in ensuring that all persons in shelters are receiving their benefits.

Several changes were implemented at OTO to proactively address and resolve CRA service issues without pursuing a full systemic examination, resulting in more efficient and timely processes, including:

                     o introducing the Request for Service Improvement process; and,
                     o holding more proactive meetings with CRA headquarters.


Background information

Operating at arm’s length from the CRA, the Office of the Taxpayers' Ombudsman (OTO) works to enhance the CRA’s accountability in its service to, and treatment of, taxpayers and benefit recipients through independent and impartial reviews of service-related complaints and systemic complaints.

Associated Links

Contact:

Media Relations-Office of the Taxpayers’ Ombudsman 613-402-1578 - Christianne.Scholfield@oto-boc.gc.ca.

Stay connected

Follow us on Twitter at @OTO_Canada
General enquiries:
1-866-586-3839 (Canada and the United States)
1-613-946-2310 (outside Canada and the United States)
www.canada.ca/en/taxpayers-ombudsman


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