Complaints we review

The Office of the Taxpayers' Ombudsperson (OTO) reviews complaints when any of your taxpayer service rights, as outlined in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, appear to not be respected by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

We review complaints only after the complaint has been reviewed by the CRA's Service Feedback program, unless there are compelling circumstances.

Possible reasons for a service-related complaint include:

  • mistakes;
  • undue delays;
  • incomplete, unclear, inaccurate or inconsistent information;
  • availability of information;
  • employee behaviour;
  • accountability;
  • misplaced documents;
  • fairness, e.g. in process, treatment;
  • all relevant documents not taken into consideration;
  • not receiving reasons for a decision;
  • particular or individual circumstances not considered by the CRA; or
  • inability to access the CRA by telephone.

Complaints we cannot review

There are certain types of complaints the OTO cannot review, such as complaints that are not service-related, or complaints that do not fall within the mandate of the Taxpayers' Ombudsperson. For example, the OTO cannot review:

  • complaints that are not about the services of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA);
  • complaints about a decision of, proceeding in, or matter before a court;
  • complaints about a matter that arose before May 24, 2006* ;
  • complaints about an administrative interpretation by the CRA about a provision set out in legislation about its programs;
  • complaints that other statutory bodies would deal with, such as official languages, access to information, or privacy;
  • complaints about legal advice to the Government of Canada; and
  • complaints about confidences of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada.
* the date has been changed in accordance with the new Order in Council P.C. 2020-0703.  Prior to this, the Office was using February 21, 2007. 

If your complaint is not service-related, refer to Complaints and disputes. If you are unsure if your complaint is service-related, feel free to contact us. We will help you determine if we can review your complaint and if not, we will help you access the proper complaint resolution mechanisms within the CRA or refer you to the appropriate department or agency.

To read more on the types of complaints we can review, visit our "Resolving your complaints" page.

Having read the information above, if you feel you have a valid service complaint you’d like for us to review, you can find our complaint form here.

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