Canadian Revenue Agency Hails Improvement In Tax Collections
02 May 2013
Posted by: Author: Mike Godfrey
Source: Mike Godfrey (Tax-News.com, Washington)
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has made "satisfactory" progress on improvements to tax debt collections, a new report has concluded.
Auditor General Michael Ferguson's spring 2013 report provides the results of a follow-up review to determine the CRA's progress against action plan commitments made in response to a 2006 audit of its tax collection program.
The tax debt is an inventory of amounts owed that are known and actively managed by the CRA. According to Ferguson's latest audit, the debt now stands at CAD29bn (USD28.7bn). He found that that the CRA has taken a number of measures to improve its collection techniques, and has changed the way some workload is handled to avoid bottlenecks in its busier offices.
The CRA says it is working to recover all debts, either through automated strategies led by the Debt Management Call Centre, payment arrangements, or active collections by its Tax Service Offices.
The report also reveals that the amount of tax debt recovered grew by 87% between 2005 and 2006 and 2011 and 2012. In the 2011-12 fiscal year alone, the CRA recovered CAD40bn.
Ferguson makes four additional recommendations on how to strengthen program administration. He explained: "The timely collection of overdue accounts is one of the key components for preserving the integrity of the tax system. The Canada Revenue Agency needs an effective collections program to ensure taxpayers meet their obligations."
Revenue Minister Gail Shea responded: "I am pleased that the Auditor General has recognized the progress made since the previous report. Our Government is already taking steps to address the latest recommendations, and will continue to ensure the tax debts are well managed.
"We expect CRA to aggressively pursue any debts from those that may be seeking to avoid paying their fair share. At the same time, our Government understands that some Canadians can face difficulties in meeting their tax obligations. That is why the CRA uses a fair and balanced approach when collecting tax payments from individuals and business owners."