Despite busy year driven by COVID, taxpayers’ watchdog looks to become better known


Published December 16, 2021 at 12:50 pm

OTTAWA — The federal official charged with investigating taxpayers’ complaints says he wants to become better known so he can more quickly identify systemic issues within the Canada Revenue Agency.

Taxpayers ombudsperson François Boileau says gaining a larger profile would also help him reach the more than 800,000 people who don’t file returns and are often from vulnerable populations.

Part of the drive comes after a year where Boileau’s office received its highest number of complaints and urgent pleas for help because of the pandemic.

Boileau’s annual report released today notes the office received more than 3,500 complaints during the 12-month period that ended March 31, higher than the combined total of the preceding two fiscal years.

In his report, Boileau recommends the CRA publicly post information provided to call-centre agents to help save time and energy for all involved, which could help address a perennial complaint about long waits on hold.

He also says the CRA must come up with a better way for taxpayers to securely submit documents electronically without the need to access their online accounts after thousands of taxpayers in February were digitally locked out over security concerns.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 16, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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