CRA shares results of cross-Canada consultation

Following over 3,300 online submissions and over 140 in-person consultations, agency vows better client experience

CRA shares results of cross-Canada consultation

In a bid to show Canadians that it is committed to bettering its services, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has released its Serving Canadians Better consultation report.

“While the CRA regularly engages in consultations, most recently with small and medium businesses, the Serving Canadians Better consultations were the CRA's first of its kind, allowing people from across the country to highlight opportunities for the CRA to improve,” the agency said in a statement.

The report drew from over 3,300 submissions collected through the agency’s online engagement platform, along with feedback from over 140 Canadians participating in seven in-person consultations.

One key finding was a demand for more personal and tailored services. Aside from providing suggestions that apply directly to their particular situations, Canadians want CRA employees to address them by name, show empathy and understanding for unique situations, and help them navigate various departments within the CRA. Respondents also suggested having CRA agents work as case managers and establishing dedicated CRA service centres.

Making the tax system easier to navigate was another priority. Aside from receiving information and updates throughout the year, participants said they wanted easy access to information that makes sense right away. The CRA was also asked to participate more actively in providing education, notably on how taxes work, how taxes are used to support society, and how to identify scammers pretending to be from the CSA.

Accuracy of information was another key issue. Aside from wanting better access to tax information online and on the phone, Canadians wanted consistent answers from CRA agents, better explanations of tax calculations, and better communication within the CRA, across levels of government, and between government departments.

The survey revealed several issues related to information access. Wait times were cited as a problem, as well as limited options for those who cannot retrieve information online. Certain groups such as seniors, new Canadians, and those without a fixed address also reported facing barriers to interacting with the CRA.

And while they acknowledged digital service improvements that have made interacting with the agency easier, Canadians asked for more upgrades and updates. Aside from more features and information for the Auto-fill my return and My Account tools, respondents asked that the CRA avoid “one size fits all” solutions and offer services such as online chats and the ability to set meeting times with CRA employees via phone.

“[S]tarting this upcoming tax season, the CRA will begin announcing some new initiatives that put people at the centre of service delivery,” the agency said.


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