Taxpayers’ Ombudsperson launches review into the lack in communications regarding access to CRA My Account

News release

OTTAWA, February 23, 2021 – Today, the Taxpayers’ Ombudsperson, François Boileau, launched a review on the communications the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) provided to taxpayers when it locked out users, from their My Account, in mid-February 2021.

Many affected taxpayers have expressed concerns with the clarity of information they have received from the CRA.

Here’s what our Office has observed so far:

  • Based on the public information available, the CRA did not initially provide adequate information to those affected. The lack of information on what occurred, caused concern and confusion both to the individual taxpayer and to the general public.
  • Many have encountered difficulties reaching the CRA to unlock their My Account, or to obtain more information about the situation. Our Office has received an increased amount of complaints over the last week on this issue alone.
  • Taxpayers want to know how to regain access to their My Account in a timely manner to ensure they can access their tax slips and apply for emergency benefits.

Most Canadians have seen the quick reaction of the CRA to administer many new benefits during these unprecedented times. With that, the CRA needs to ensure that proper safeguards are in place for taxpayers. When My Account users were locked out, the CRA should have been ready with a clear and useful communication strategy, to prevent an increase in calls from worried and frustrated taxpayers.

As a result, our Office will be undertaking a review of the steps taken by the CRA to provide affected taxpayers with complete, accurate, and clear information, in a timely manner. This should have been its primary concern, after safeguarding taxpayer information. We aim to ensure that this does not reoccur.

It is our mandate to ensure taxpayers’ service rights are upheld by the CRA. Should you be facing financial hardship as a result of any service-related issue by the CRA, our Office can facilitate communication with the CRA about your situation.

Background information

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

Quote

“Our Office will be undertaking a review of the steps taken by the CRA to provide affected taxpayers with complete, accurate, and clear information, in a timely manner. This should have been its primary concern, after safeguarding taxpayer information. We aim to ensure that this does not reoccur.”

François Boileau, Taxpayers’ Ombudsperson

Contacts

Media relations:

Christianne Scholfield
Telephone: +1-613-402-1578
Email: Christianne.Scholfield@oto-boc.gc.ca

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