My office often assists people in their dealings with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), as many of the issues can be quite overwhelming. Whether it is a person’s income tax, the Canada Child Benefit, Savings and Pension Plans, or the GST/HST, these issues all have the potential of financial consequences and can result in a high amount of stress, especially if someone is having a hard time getting through to the CRA to obtain information on their file.
Casework from the CRA is among the top sources of constituency-related work that many Members of Parliament and their offices engage in regularly. In my constituency offices we have assisted many individuals in navigating their problem with the CRA, but it is an unfortunate fact that many people still don’t know where to turn to when they can’t get assistance and need help. This can be very frustrating and stressful.
I was pleased to learn recently that the CRA made a commitment to change the way in which it interacts with Canadians, making it easier, faster, and more secure for them to file their taxes and receive the credits and benefits to which they are entitled.
In support of its ongoing efforts to improve service, the CRA has launched public online consultations to allow Canadians across the country to provide their feedback. The consultation period will run to June 18, 2019, directly following the months during which most Canadians will have filed their income tax returns.
The purpose of the consultations is to listen and learn from Canadians, hearing not only about their past service experiences with the CRA, but also their expectations for the future. Their comments will supplement the input that the CRA receives through existing feedback channels, public opinion research, other consultations, call centres and social media, all of which are already contributing to service improvements.
It is my hope that this feedback will lead to much better service from the CRA in the future and that the federal government allocates the necessary resources to make it happen. If you have ever experienced problems with the CRA, I encourage you to submit feedback regarding your experience to the online consultations so that the CRA may hear from as many people as possible. You can provide feedback at: www.canada.ca/consultations-CRA.
Thank you for taking the time to help build better public service from the federal government.
Alistair MacGregor is the Member of Parliament for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford.