CFIB applauds appointment of Taxpayers' Ombudsman

    OTTAWA, Feb. 21 /CNW/ - The Canadian Federation of Independent Business
(CFIB) applauds the appointment of Paul Dubé as the new Taxpayers' Ombudsman
by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
    The Ombudsman, combined with the Taxpayers Bill of Rights, will help
ensure fairness and accountability for all taxpayers, including businesses,
who will be able to voice their concerns over taxation issues more easily.
    "As of today, taxpayers, including businesses, will benefit from
increased transparency, accountability and fairness within the CRA," said
Garth Whyte, CFIB's executive vice-president. "Too often, taxpayers feel that
the deck is stacked against them when dealing with tax authorities; our
members have told us time and again that this is a problem. So having an
Ombudsman operating at arm's length from CRA will be a great help."
    However, the Ombudsman will only be effective if the office has teeth,
Whyte added. "Our members need more than just a shoulder to cry on. There have
to be mechanisms in place to address issues that arise."
    Whyte noted that poor customer service by government costs business
owners time and money as they navigate through layers of red tape. "A
commitment to better serving the taxpaying public fits in well with the
government's commitment to reducing overall paper burden on business by 20 per
cent," Whyte said. "It also fits with CRA's mandate to provide greater
flexibility and services to taxpayers, and allow for greater cost efficiencies
in administering the tax system."

    CFIB is Canada's largest association of small and medium-sized
businesses, representing more than 105,000 business owners who employ 1.25
million Canadians and account for $75 billion in GDP.

For further information:

For further information: Anne Howland, (613) 235-2373

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