OTTAWA, Jan. 16, 2012 /CNW/ - Intimidated. Treated like I've done
something wrong. Those are just some of the ways small business owners
describe their experiences with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA),
according to a new report that was released today by the Canadian
Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).
Based on a survey of 10,600 small business owners and tax practitioners
(eg. accountants), this report is the fourth in a series that CFIB has
produced on the CRA since 2001 and coincides with Canada's third annual
Red Tape Awareness Week™. Asked to grade the CRA's overall service to small business, the
majority of respondents gave the Agency a "C" or lower; nearly 40 per
cent gave it a D or F. For most, there has been little improvement in
service in the last three years.
"While CRA has taken steps to improve the way it treats small business
owners, those efforts are being drowned out by poor customer service,
including audits that some of our members described as witch hunts,"
said CFIB's senior vice president of research and economics, Laura
The CRA does deserve credit for implementing measures in recent years to
make the organization more accountable to taxpayers, including the
Taxpayer Bill of Rights, Taxpayer Ombudsman and ID numbers for
call-centre personnel. But these measures are only useful if users are
aware of them.
"When you include the lack of public awareness about measures intended
to promote taxpayer fairness, CRA still has a long way to go to improve
relations with small business taxpayers," said CFIB's national affairs
vice president Corinne Pohlmann.
CFIB has outlined a number of recommendations to help the CRA change its
culture and solve its customer service deficit. "By taking steps that
improve the training of front-line staff and communicating requirements
in plain, easy-to-understand language the payoff for the CRA will be
greater compliance and more confidence in Canada's tax system, a goal
we share," concluded Pohlmann.
To obtain a copy of the CRA report card go to www.cfib.ca. What does 'Red Tape' mean to you? Check out CFIB's video on what it
looks like to one small business owner: href="http://www.youtube.com/user/cfibdotca">http//www.youtube.com/user/cfibdotca
Red Tape Awareness Week™, conducted annually, is trade-marked by the
As Canada's largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses,
CFIB is Powered by Entrepreneurs™. Established in 1971, CFIB takes
direction from more than 108,000 members in every sector nationwide,
giving independent business a strong and influential voice at all
levels of government and helping to grow the economy.
SOURCE CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS
For further information:
To arrange an interview with Corinne Pohlmann or Laura Jones, please contact Linnet Forand at 613 235-2373 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.