Small businesses welcome expansion of CRA liaison service

Service helps small businesses comply with their tax obligations

Small businesses welcome expansion of CRA liaison service
Steve Randall

An expansion of the Canada Revenue Agency’s Liaison Officer service has been welcomed by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

The Minister of National Revenue has announced that the CRA’s service which helps small businesses to comply with their tax obligations, is being extended to allow more small businesses and entrepreneurs to book free in-person visits and group seminars.

The key measure is enabling incorporated small businesses to access the service where previously it was only available to unincorporated businesses.

“Raised in a family of entrepreneurs myself, I have made it a priority to ensure that we are offering Canadian small businesses the best service possible. With the expansion of the Liaison Officer service, the CRA will now be able to help even more small businesses comply with their tax obligations,” said minister Diane Lebouthillier.

The CRA’s 130 liaison officers currently visit approximately 9,500 unincorporated small businesses each year. By broadening the reach and scope of the Liaison Officer service to include incorporated small businesses, the CRA expects to help an additional 1,700 businesses per year.

CFIB welcomes expansion

The expansion of the service has been welcomed by the CFIB which says complying with tax obligations can be extremely stressful.

Without support, it can be hard for them to know all the many rules with which they are expected to comply,” said CFIB president Dan Kelly. “We applauded the original creation of the Liaison Officer service as a step toward a more cooperative relationship between CRA and small business owners. Now, with the program’s expansion, more small business owners will be able to get help navigating Canada’s complicated tax system.”

Kelly added that agencies that deal with small businesses should aim to communicate with them rather than punish them.

“While there is a long way to go, examples like the CRA Liaison Officer service are a positive sign. We congratulate the Agency and Minister Lebouthillier for making progress towards a needed culture change at CRA.”