2022–2023 Annual Report of the Office of the Taxpayers' Ombudsperson: Emphasis on the Taxpayer Bill of Rights

News release

Annual Report 2022–2023 infographic with highlights from the report
Annual Report 2022–2023 Infographic

OTTAWA, November 28, 2023 - Today, Canada’s Taxpayers’ Ombudsperson, Mr. François Boileau, released his annual report, Upholding Your Rights, which was tabled earlier today in the House of Commons by Ms. Iqra Khalid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue. The report provides an overview of the activities of the Office of the Taxpayers’ Ombudsperson (OTO) between April 1, 2022, and March 31, 2023.

The report details the impact the OTO has by identifying Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) service issues and the trends in complaints. It also includes four recommendations to the Minister of National Revenue and the Chair of the Board of Management to improve the CRA’s service to Canadians.

During the period covered, we continued to receive significantly more complaints than in years before the COVID‑19 pandemic, and we noticed they are more and more complex. We did, however, receive fewer complaints than in 2021-2022. Similar to the previous fiscal year, many of the complaints were related to delays in receiving COVID‑19 benefits. As well, approximately 17% of complaints related to Right 5 of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, which states that Canadians have the right to be treated professionally, courteously, and fairly by the CRA.

The annual report uses the framework of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights to highlight the OTO’s work to improve the CRA’s services for all Canadians. It also places a focus on our efforts to reach out to vulnerable populations to hear their perspectives. The report concludes with an update on the OTO’s recommendations from its 2021–2022 annual report and the work the CRA has done to make sure it respects taxpayers’ rights. 

2022–2023 report highlights:


The Ombudsperson recommends:

  1. (…) that the CRA proactively inform Canadians on Canada.ca of delays a program may be experiencing to increase transparency and provide Canadians with the information they need.
  2. (…) that the CRA: a) update its Check CRA Processing Times tool to include tax returns and tax-related requests that have internal processing timeframes but no service standard; and b) provide links from its income tax and benefit package web page and other tax-related request web pages to the Check CRA Processing Times tool.
  3. (…) that the CRA: a) simplify the administrative process for the tax clinics and continue offering the Grant Program for the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program and the Income Tax Assistance – Volunteer Program in Quebec; and b) consider making long-term investments in the program for the benefit of Canadians.
  4. (…) that the CRA find new ways to estimate and identify non-filers in Canada and their demographical make-up. The CRA will then be able to use this data to better educate and inform vulnerable populations who may be entitled to apply for benefits but who are not currently receiving them.


  1. Quality of service provided by CRA contact centres: CRA contact centres continued to generate complaints. For many years, Canadians have made us aware of their dissatisfaction with this service. Some of the issues raised by Canadians related to excessive wait times, receiving conflicting or inconsistent information, or calls being dropped prematurely.
  2. Delays in processing income tax and benefit returns and adjustment requests: Delays in processing income tax and benefit returns and adjustment requests have generated complaints to our Office for many years. In fact, we published a report on the issue called “Sub-Standard” in 2020.
  3. Collection action by the CRA: Over the past year, we have restarted receiving complaints about the CRA’s collection efforts. Many Canadians have told us the CRA is causing them hardship by collecting too much money at one time.  
  4. Delays in obtaining COVID-19-related benefits: Many Canadians who contacted us reported service issues related to obtaining COVID-19 benefits. Some of the complaints were about delays in assigning cases to the CRA’s validation program to verify an applicant’s eligibility for the benefits.
  5. Delays in obtaining the Canada child benefit (CCB): Canadians told us that they experienced CRA delays in processing their CCB applications or verifying their eligibility or that they received benefits late due to CRA delays in processing their income tax and benefit returns. 


“Since the introduction of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights in 2007, the CRA has been working to build on its stated values of professionalism, respect, integrity and collaboration. For taxpayers, this means they can expect to receive a high standard of treatment. The CRA generally succeeded in upholding its values of professionalism and respect when working with Canadians. However, the high number of enquiries and complaints we received this year shows that there is room for improvement, notably in terms of better, timelier and more transparent communication with the public.”

François Boileau, Taxpayers’ Ombudsperson

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Media Relations

Office of the Taxpayers’ Ombudsperson / Government of Canada

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