On April 23, 2019, the CRA launched public consultations to find out how it can change and what improvements it can make. In the April 23rd announcement, the CRA stated:
“Today, as part of its ongoing efforts to improve the client experience for individuals who interact with us, the CRA launched public consultations that allow Canadians across the country to highlight opportunities of how the CRA can improve its services.”
The CRA also posted a backgrounder about the consultations. The backgrounder states that the purpose of the consultations is “to better understand Canadians’ perception of and experience with the Agency, in order to better meet their expectations.” This is an open ended consultation in terms of subjects that would allow taxpayers who have not been properly served by the CRA (or mistreated or unfairly treated by auditors) to let persons who are not auditors know what has happened. Based on our experience, many taxpayers have negative experiences dealing with CRA auditors who have become more aggressive in the last 4 years.
Public consultations take place over a very short period of time from April 23 to June 18, 2019. There will be in-person meetings with Canadian taxpayers and an online option for submitting your views of the CRA. The CRA has posted an online form that taxpayers can complete and submit. The online form offers the following:
Tell us about your service experience with the Canada Revenue Agency
Tell us what you think about our service improvements so far
Tell us about our future direction
With respect to the in-person consultations, the CRA will meet with groups in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Mississauga, Montreal, Moncton and Halifax during May and June 2019. Up to 20 individuals and representatives of vulnerable populations will be invited by an independent third party to participate in each consultation session. In other words, the consultations will be limited by invitation only. Which means that if you would like to have your say, you will likely need to complete the online form. Summaries of each in-person consultation will be published as sessions conclude, and a final report is expected in the Fall 2019.
If you would like to participate in the in-person meetings, contact your MP as ask them to help you get on the secret and restricted list. Also ,contact the Chief Services Officer, Mireille Laroche, who was appointed in October 2018. The CSO’s role is to lead the Agency’s service transformation with a mandate to:
- Guide the development and transformation of programs and services to improve the service experience of Canadians.
- Design programs and services from a client’s perspective and across the continuum of potential interactions.
- Create service outcomes that uphold – and go beyond – what is outlined in the Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights and pro-actively leverage feedback from clients.
For more information about the consultations or to get assistance in completing the online form, please contact Cyndee Todgham Cherniak at 416-307-4168 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cyndee is a GST/HST lawyer with experience dealing with the CRA. Cyndee can help you communicate they issues that you have with the CRA and propose solutions.