Conservatives must ensure CRA provides Canadians with fair, honest and reliable treatment

OTTAWA – The Conservative government must ensure that the Canada Revenue Agency provides Canadians with fair, honest and reliable treatment, said Liberals (yesterday).

“Under this government, the CRA has seen significant budget cuts and service standards have plummeted,” said Liberal National Revenue Critic, Emmanuel Dubourg. “We are now in tax season, and it is vital that Canadians – both individuals and businesses – are able to count on the CRA to be accessible, and offer accurate and reliable information.”

Since Budget 2012, the Harper Conservatives have cut CRA’s annual budget by more than $314 million, closed all CRA service counters and allowed the backlog in complaints to rise to more than 35,000. Moreover, internal audits have shown that annual correspondence to individuals, small businesses and charities is disorganized, confusing and lacks professionalism; and that telephone support lines for small businesses go largely unanswered or supply erroneous information.

“Canadians’ basic rights regarding their relationship with the CRA are enshrined in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, which, despite being authored by the current government, has been curiously ignored,” said Mr. Dubourg. “Canadians are correct to question the Conservatives’ priorities, who would rather use CRA’s limited resources to target charities and others who disagree with them, than give individuals and businesses the professional, courteous and fair treatment to which they are entitled.”