Increase in complaints: the Canada Revenue Agency is brought to order

Complaints increase: Canada Revenue Agency gets brought to order


The number of complaints sent to the Office of the Taxpayers' Ombudsman has jumped by more than 84% in two years, an explosion attributable in particular to delays in receiving checks from the Canada Taxpayer Benefit. emergency during the pandemic. 

In absolute numbers, we went from 1,918 complaints in 2018-2019 to 3,533 in 2020-2021. Urgent requests have also experienced a more than significant increase for these same years, with a jump of more than 133% (326 to 760).

Added to this is an almost completed on the case of 117,000 taxpayers who were deprived of their access to in February 2021.

In the heat of the moment

< p>Rise in complaints: Canada Revenue Agency gets brought to order

François Boileau, Taxpayers' Ombudsman

  Public complaints have skyrocketed over the past two years, due to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) controlling assistance programs&nbsp ;”, explains the ombudsman, François Boileau.

Appointed to this position in October 2020, Mr. Boileau jumped on the bandwagon with the pandemic, which has led to its share of complaints related to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit as well. 

“There were validation issues. People were told that there would be delays of four weeks, but it could take up to 12 weeks “, explains Mr. Boileau.

The CRA will have a bad note in his file to this effect and the ombudsman intends to bring it to order in his next annual report, published in a few weeks. 

“We hounded the CRA all year on this, without obtaining convincing results,” he argues.


< p>This number of complaints would undoubtedly be greater if the Office of the Taxpayers' Ombudsman (BOC) were better known. “Out of 28 million citizens, that’s very few,” continues Mr. Boileau.

And yet, the BOC team does not lack work. “They are all overwhelmed, insists the ombudsman. I need more people. 

The contractual or temporary status of some members of his team leads to instability, and, by extension, retention difficulties. 

“We would [resolve] important systemic files and issues more quickly, underlines Mr. Boileau. If I receive an avalanche of complaints, it will help me demonstrate the importance of our office and expand the team accordingly.”

The ombudsman says he has good communications with the minister from National Revenue, Diane Lebouthillier. He therefore hopes to obtain a positive response to his requests. “I'm chasing them, and not only am I chasing them, their response will be published in my report,” he concludes.

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