News Article

Have you noticed that CRA is starting to increase its service levels for you and your small business clients?


There has been a change in policy from Ottawa that tax preparers are not to be contacted, rather the taxpayer is to be contacted directly.  This is a policy, not an individual tax centre decision or a department decision.  When I questioned the policy I was told that H&R Block check that box, and they are only open for a few months of the year, and that ultimately it is the taxpayers responsibility.

The issue I have with this policy is two-fold:  1) tax preparers were not informed of this change (unless I missed a letter or email) and 2) our clients have been told that we are following up on any outstanding requests.  Therefore they ignore the letters because we TOLD them that we would handle it. 

One that came up was my own son.  I checked online on both his SIN and Represent a Client.  No where is the letter to be found!

By Doris Woodman-McMillan on November 15, 2018

Service means you are offering real help advice and knowledge to your costumers. In my opinion that word “service” becomes something else at
CRA. While its not for the lack of trying but somebody has to teach them
the actual meaning of “service”.

By Frank on November 15, 2018

During this week we contacted CRA 2x and I also talked to another bookkeeper and my office and she experienced 20 minute holds, not a good service I must say. The agents helped us OK.

By Marie on November 15, 2018

I find the agent is very helpful, when you get threw it takes longer for them to answer questions, then I question what is said.

“It is the changing demographics from inexperience who answers the phone, let you know they cannot help you.”  It is a life time of learning for to the next generation to be able to answer our questions.

By Ina Turner on November 09, 2018

Well it depends on how you qualify service.
Going from 4 hours to get to an agent to 2 hours? Then yes.  Having more agents who can actually help? Yes again.
Needing 32+ weeks for Winnipeg to do a T1 ADJ? Not good.  Having CRA close files without updating the client or the rep with no notes, so 4 months in you have to start another 8 month process? Still not good. Needing to file a service complaint every 2 weeks since CRA cannot get thing done or done correctly? Sigh. Needing to correct CRA’s mistakes, incorrect reassessments and training the agents on how to read the ITA (since their team leaders don’t seem to be training the staff correctly). Not sure why it’s our problem to fix CRA.

Just wait another 20 years when the last of the skilled trained staff who care about their jobs retire.

By Geordie on November 08, 2018

Absolutely NOT! In fact I agree with the other comments that service is deteriorating, not improving.  It is more frustrating than ever dealing with CRA and their agents. Time wise and knowledge based.  I don’t care where a person comes from or what language they speak.  They must have the proper qualifications to do the job, understand the questions that are being asked of them, plus understand the way Canadian business is operated and how to implement proper transfers and payments. The list goes on and on.  I’ve spent numerous hours fixing their “CRA’s” mistakes, simply because they didn’t know what they were doing. Crummy that we as bookkeepers/tax preparer’s have to charge our clients to manage CRA mistakes.

By Karyn Duffy on November 08, 2018

CRA has inhanced it’s website for the tax payer but has not made it any easier for the business owner to manage their accounts with CRA.
An account was in the hands of one agent who lost documents and disregarded the fax confirmation with phone and date that it was sent.
Until it was in the hands of another agent who handled an audit only to accept the faxed lost documents and reverse the penalties.
Going in and freezing or draining business owners accounts is not a solution either, yes it draws attention to the business owner but is also caused more hardship for them and their families. CRA should have more field agents who make themselves available to the business owner, hold more info sessions on filing requirements be more involved as a government to work with the business owner to make them more successful with understanding their filing obligations. Have a service to the business owner in person! Help the business owner out! Talk with them sit with them help them be more successful. This only happens when business accounts are in the arrears. Many business account payments are not posted to the correct account and I have requested many times on behalf of clients to transfer funds to the correct account. Or they received funds and CRA held it as they are not sure which account to post it, a call out to the representative or owner is needed. Their on line service is very outdated. And there is no In person service to the business owner unless they are in arrears. We have many many small business owners who have the skill and talent to generaye sales from their craft, hire people, and help their local community, but they lack the knowledge to their filing obligations with CRA. CRA has removed themselves from being available as a go to open to the public we are here to help and learn.
Business service is not there.


By Ann Laurin on November 08, 2018

What a funny question! I wish I could say “yes”, but I can’t. The service continues to deteriorate. One of the qualifications for working at CRA must be that you have a very rudimentary grasp of the English language, and another has to be that you are able to ignore a phone for many minutes before you pick it up and screw up the transfer to someone else. No, the service has not improved and is not expected to. Did that scary Minister of National Revenue make some sort of statement to that effect? It hasn’t happened.

By Mitzi-Lynne Morgan on November 07, 2018

Not at all, in fact with the surge in small business audits it is getting hard to speak to Auditors and there is little or no consideration for extensions due to the increase number of audit requests.

By Gerry on November 07, 2018

I totally concur with Pat - it sometimes can take a couple of hours to get through to someone who can assist.  A client and myself have tried for the 2 days to get through - the line is contenuosly busy and you’re requested to try back later.  That is today - so sadly, no there is absolutely no improvement

By Margaret Jones on November 07, 2018

It is not improving at all.  I call in, get the recording that everyone is busy and redial.  After about 20 redials, I finally get through only to be transferred to someone with the capabilities to answer the question.  Half the time the call gets dropped during the transfer or no one is available so I get to start all over again.  Each call usually consumes about an hour of my time - mostly spent on hold!

By Pat on November 07, 2018

Unless CRA stands for Canadian Rental Association, then yes

By Alan Rowell on November 06, 2018