CRA is Evolving to Help Small Businesses
Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) recently announced the Serving You Better plan. This plan better assists small and medium sized businesses in Canada.
“As a small business owner, I know how demanding and sometimes even challenging it is to run a successful business. As Minister of National Revenue, I am committed to improving the CRA’s service model and making it more client-focused to ensure tax fairness for all Canadians. This action plan is an important step in our government’s efforts to humanize the services offered by the CRA for small and medium businesses,” said Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue.
CRA’s Serving You Better Plan
There are more than 50 action items in CRA’s 2017-2019 Serving You Better plan, including:
- Getting CRA security codes via email instead of post
- A dedicated phone service will help with complex tax preparation issues
- Electronic T4 information slips
- The ability to request visits from a liaison officer
- Auto-fill for T4 slips when using commercial software
- Explainer videos
- An opportunity to share feedback during a post-audit survey
- Faster objection resolution
- Online filing and balance confirmation letters
- Improved overall phone service
The Chamber’s Involvement
The plan also involves Canada’s Chamber of Commerce.
“Business owners join their local chambers of commerce all across Canada because they know it will help their businesses thrive and grow. Our members also know that by helping the CRA better understand the tax issues they face, they are helping to hone their competitive edge,” informs Canadian Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, the Honourable Perrin Beatty. “The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is pleased to add 2016 Serving You Better consultations to our list of productive partnerships with the CRA, and we look forward to continuing the work with the agency on behalf of businesses of all sizes.”
About 300 participants met with CRA senior officials during the Serving You Better consultation phase in 2016. More than 1,500 comments to CRA about how to improve its service were reviewed.
Improvements to Online Payments
One of the major point from accountants and others that prepare taxes for businesses is the murkiness surrounding online payment options.
CRA summarized the complaints about this issue in a statement. “You make payments. They do not always go where you expect them to. You told us that there have been improvements, but you still have concerns about these misallocated payments and the time it takes to resolve them. You would like to know that the CRA has received your payments. It is unclear why you cannot print your own remittance vouchers to pay at a bank.”
To resolve this, CRA improvements include: more information for My Business Account holders and promoting awareness of their direct deposit options. Additionally, CRA plans to provide more information about the remittance vouchers and improve it’s explanations about how remittances go into accounts.
The Serving You Better plan helps small business owners with their online dealings with CRA. Learn more by visiting CRA’s Serving You Better page.