Influencing change

Since its creation, the Office of the Taxpayers’ Ombudsperson (OTO) has been submitting systemic examination reports to the Minister of National Revenue (Minister) on issues found in the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) service affecting a large number of taxpayers or a segment of the population. These reports include recommendations to the Minister for changes to be made by the CRA to address the issues examined and improve its service to taxpayers.  Once submitted to the Minister, the OTO publishes the report on its website no sooner than sixty (60) days after.Footnote 1

The OTO has been requesting follow-up information from the CRA on its actions in response to the recommendations made in systemic examination reports. In December 2017, the CRA provided follow-up information on eight of the systemic examination reports. Since then the OTO has been doing additional research and obtaining further information from the CRA on actions it has taken in response to the recommendations, to determine if the recommendations have been implemented and the service issues addressed.

In August 2018, the OTO received follow-up information on the three systemic examination reports published in 2017 and 2018. The OTO will also do additional research on this information and the issues raised in those systemic examination reports, to determine if the recommendations have been implemented and the service issues addressed.

The following is a breakdown of the Taxpayers’ Ombudsperson’s systemic examination reports, the recommendations, the actions taken by the CRA, and the OTO’s analysis of those actions: 

*Mobile users: Please scroll left-right to view the full chart below.

Systemic Examination Reports Published Ombudsperson's  recommendations  Recommendations accepted by Minister of National Revenue  Actions taken by the CRA  OTO's analysis of the CRA's actions
The Right to Know
Examination of the sufficiency of information in Decision Letters from the Appeals Branch of the CRA
[view report]
August 2010 1 The CRA's December 2017 update. The CRA has implemented the recommendation and addressed the issues.

[view analysis]                                      
Proving Your Status
Establishing eligibility for the Canada Child Tax Benefit
[view report]
October 2010 5 The CRA's December 2017 update.

The CRA has not taken appropriate action to resolve the issues raised in the report. The OTO has opened an examination into the ongoing service issues.

[view analysis]

Knowing the Rules
Confusion about the rules governing the Tax-Free Savings Account
[view report]
June    2011 3 The CRA's December 2017 update. Analysis in progress.
Earning Credits
Service and fairness issues in the assessment of tuition tax credits for expenses incurred attending educational institutions outside Canada
[view report]
March 2012 5 The CRA's December 2017 update.

The CRA has taken appropriate steps to address this issue and the recommendations in the report.

[view analysis]

Acting on ATIP
Service issues in the CRA’s Access to Information and Privacy processes
[view report]
March 2012 7 The CRA's December 2017 update. Analysis in progress.
Getting it Right
Investigation of service and fairness issues arising from the misallocation of payments by the CRA
[view report]
July      2012 3 The CRA's December 2017 update. Analysis in progress.
Donor Beware
Investigation into the sufficiency of the Canada Revenue Agency's warnings about questionable tax shelter schemes
[view report]
December 2013 4 The CRA's December 2017 update.

The CRA has taken appropriate steps to address this issue and the recommendations in the report.

[view analysis]

Alive and Well
Investigation into the erroneous coding of taxpayers as deceased by the Canada Revenue Agency
[view report
February 2014  8 The CRA's December 2017 update.

The CRA is taking appropriate steps to address the issue raised in the report. The OTO continues to monitor for complaints.

[view analysis]

Rights and Rulings
An examination into the sufficiency of informe-agency/corporate/about-canada-revenue-agency-cra/service-improvements-updates.htation in ruling letters from the CPP/EI Rulings Division of the Canada Revenue Agency             [view report]
March 2017  5 The CRA's August 2018 and September 2019 update.

The CRA has taken appropriate steps to address this issue and the recommendations in the report.

[view analysis]

Without Delay
An examination into service issues arising from delays in the Canada Revenue Agency's Taxpayer Relief Program
[view report

September 2017  4 The CRA's August 2018, and September 2019 update. Analysis in progress.
Benefits Unsheltered
An examination into the Canada Revenue Agency's communication and outreach efforts to shelters and other support organizations about benefits and credits administered by the Canada Revenue Agency. [view report]
December 2017  3 The CRA's August 2018, and September 2019 update. Analysis in progress.
Fair warning
An examination into service issues related to legal warnings issued by the Canada Revenue Agency during debt collection procedures.
[view report]
March 2019 9 9 The CRA's September 2019 update. Analysis pending.
Sub-Standard      An examination into delays and lack of transparency in the Canada Revenue Agency's processing of individual income tax and benefit returns and adjustment requests.           [view report] February 2020 15 14    
Reaching Out      An examination into improving the Canada Revenue Agency’s Community Volunteer Income Tax Program       [view report May     2020 15 14    
Back to Basics      An examination into whether the CRA is using the Taxpayer Bill of Rights as a foundational document to guide its daily activities; and how the CRA ensures it is continually accountable in upholding taxpayer rights and reporting publicly on how it does this. [view report] June             2020 14 14    
15                  Reports   101 recommendations made 98  recommendations accepted    

Select [view report] under each Systemic Examination Report title to view the report. Click on the number under the "Ombudsperson's recommendations" column to view the recommendations specific to that report. Select "update" under "Actions taken by the CRA" to see the update provided by the CRA. Select “[See OTO’s News Release]” under “Recommendations accepted by Minister of National Revenue” to see information on the one recommendation not accepted.

The OTO will follow up on actions taken by the CRA in response to future recommendations made by the Taxpayers’ Ombudsperson.

The Taxpayers' Ombudsperson also achieves results for Canadians by examining and resolving individual taxpayer complaints. For more information, see the Digest of Taxpayer Service Rights.

 

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