There are 16 rights set out in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights that you should expect when dealing with the CRA. These apply regardless of whether you are an individual or own a business. Their goal is to increase transparency, accountability, and to improve the quality of service they provide.
You have a right to:
- Receive benefits, credits and refunds to which you are entitled to. You should expect to pay no more or no less than what is required.
- Service in English or French.
- Privacy of your confidential information.
- A formal review and the ability to appeal if you do not agree with the CRA’s decisions. If you have an impartial review or an appeal that is in progress, you have the right to not pay the personal tax amounts in dispute. However, do note that interest on any balances owing will continue to accrue during this time.
- Be treated professionally, courteously, and fairly.
- Complete, accurate, clear and timely information.
- File a service complaint if you feel you have received unclear information or there has been a delay in response. You can also request a formal review without fear of reprisal.
- Relief from penalties and interest in the case of extraordinary circumstances.
- Be warned about questionable tax schemes in a timely manner.
- Be represented by a person of your choice.
To view the full Taxpayer Bill of Rights, click here.
Relief from penalties and interest in the case of extraordinary circumstances.
CRA also has specific commitments to small businesses to:
- Administer the tax system in a way that minimizes the costs of compliance for small businesses.
- Work with other federal departments and provincial and territorial governments to streamline service, minimize cost, and reduce the compliance burden.
- Provide service offerings that meet the needs of small businesses, by making information available through a variety of ways including online.
- Conduct community visits and outreach programs to help small businesses comply with tax legislation.
- Explain in detail what they can expect during an audit, objections process, and other activities.
CRA has a set of service standards with regards to enquiries and processing times that clients can expect under normal circumstances. The 2016-2017 standards are listed here.
CRA should explain in detail what you can expect during an audit, objections process, and other activities.
If you are not satisfied with the service provided:
- If you are not served in the official language of your choice, concerns can be brought to the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages at 1-877-996-6368.
- If you have a concern that your information was not kept private and confidential, you can contact the Access to Information and Privacy Directorate at 1-866-333-5402.
- Service complaints can be filed using the form RC193 Service-Related Complaint. These are accepted online through ‘My Account’ or ‘My Business Account’, by fax or mail.
- Reprisal complaints can be filed using the form RC459 Reprisal Complaint.
- If you disagree with an assessment or decision made by the CRA, you can file a formal dispute (objection or appeal).
- For more information on how to file a formal dispute, deadlines or where to send a complaint, click here.
And of course, we can certainly assist you in any of your dealings with CRA.
If you would like more information about the Taxpayer Bill of Rights or have any other questions, feel free to contact us at 780.466.6204, or click here to send us an email.
Thanks to Stephanie Kwan of KWB Chartered Accountants for providing this content.