The difficulties that the couple with the $8,900 tax bill encountered in trying to contact someone at Canada Revenue Agency will no doubt strike a responsive chord with many fellow taxpayers. Residents of Greater Victoria will remember a time when the CRA office at Johnson and Vancouver streets was open to the public and one could not only pick up forms and publications but also, if necessary, discuss various tax issues with CRA staff.
Regrettably, this office has been closed to the public for a number of years although the sign out front identifies it as a tax services facility.
Following its closure local taxpayers initially filed their tax returns with the CRA office in Surrey and any correspondence from this office usually included a name and contact information. But even this office stopped dealing with the public a few years ago and many local taxpayers now contend with the CRA office in Winnipeg which provides only the name of Bob Hamilton, Commissioner of Revenue as a contact.
The couple with the tax problems did not find this contact to be at all useful.
The bottom line here is that no government offices, including those of Canada Revenue, should be closed to the public.
We taxpayers should contact our Members of Parliament on this issue.