Taxpayers’ Ombudsperson requests the Canada Revenue Agency take more action to assist Canadians fleeing abuse or violence    

News release

OTTAWA, December 8, 2022 – Today, Canada’s Taxpayers’ Ombudsperson, François Boileau, announces a new service improvement request following his Office’s collaboration with Ending Violence Association of Canada (EVA Canada).

Last year, the Ombudsperson requested that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) improve the information it provides to those in an abusive or violent situation. The CRA responded to this request by publishing a new web page, Getting benefits and credits when in an abusive or violent situation. Since then, the web page has provided thousands of visitors with more complete information.

While the Ombudsperson is pleased with the CRA’s implementation of the request, more can be done. On November 25, 2022, the Ombudsperson requested that the CRA assist Canadians facing gender-based violence in its many forms. With the help of the valuable feedback provided by EVA Canada, we have identified additional steps the CRA can take to make it is easier for Canadians to make changes to their account:

  • The content on the CRA web page could be more tailored to the unique situations of individuals. For example, it could include information on financial and economic abuse.
  • There are many different resources the Government of Canada provides to assist those facing gender-based violence; however, they are not centralized. We understand that government departments and agencies, including the CRA, have collaborated in the past to centralize information, as they did with the web page regarding scams. We feel this continued approach would benefit those facing gender-based violence by having a centralized web page that would make it easier for visitors to navigate and find the information they need.  
  • The CRA provides women who access shelters with a factsheet, Women in shelters. This factsheet contains good information, but it only speaks to a limited audience. While there is tremendous value in having the factsheet, this important information may not be seen or accessed by those in an abusive or violent situation who may not go to a shelter. The CRA could provide another, more general factsheet about gender-based violence to help more individuals or organizations beyond those accessing women’s shelters.

We know real change comes from listening to others, collaborating, and reaching out. Collaborating with EVA Canada enabled us to hear from a different perspective and allowed us to request meaningful change at the CRA. Our goal to improve service and make a positive change at the CRA does not stop here. If you, or your organization, know of any opportunities that the CRA can take to improve its service to Canadians, we encourage you to reach out to us and provide feedback.  

Background information

The Office of the Taxpayers’ Ombudsperson

The Office of the Taxpayers' Ombudsperson works independently from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). We review complaints about the quality of service taxpayers and benefit recipients receive from the CRA. In particular, we are mandated to uphold eight of the 16 rights outlined in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. We also look at service issues that affect more than one person, or a part of the population.

Ending Violence Association of Canada

The Ending Violence Association of Canada (EVA Canada) is a national organization that works to amplify the collective voice of those who believe it is possible to end gender-based violence. Through research, education, policy, and advocacy, EVA Canada works collaboratively with gender-based violence organizations from coast to coast to coast to identify and implement the institutional and systemic changes necessary to address the root causes of gender-based violence.


“Violence has no place in our society. We can all play a role in ending gender-based violence, whether it be by challenging social norms or through education. Let us use the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence as a reminder that there are actions each of us can take to eliminate gender-based violence everyday. This includes the Canada Revenue Agency. The CRA can continue to make it easier for Canadians who are facing an abusive or violent situation to receive the benefits and credits they need to survive.”

François Boileau, Taxpayers’ Ombudsperson

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“Gender-based violence takes many forms, and economic dependence and abuse can act as significant barriers to leaving an abusive relationship or an unsafe situation. Survivors also face difficulties getting re-established after experiencing violence, which highlights the importance of facilitating survivors’ access to the benefits that they are entitled to. Beyond improving existing processes for survivors, we would like to see tax filing and income supports become more equitable and easier to access, to address persisting socio-economic inequities within our society that allow gender-based violence to flourish.”

Erin Whitmore, Executive Director, Ending Violence Association of Canada

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Associated links


Office of the Taxpayers’ Ombudsperson

Media Relations

Telephone: 613-402-1578

Ending Violence Association of Canada

Media Relations

Telephone: 613-290-0270

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