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Canada Amends Taxpayer 'Bill Of Rights'

Monday, 01 July 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: Mike Godfrey
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Author: Mike Godfrey

Taxpayers will be able to make a service complaint against the Canadian Revenue Agency without fear of reprisals, under changes to the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) says that the amended Bill of Rights will improve taxpayers' confidence in the system. It will ensure that they "will be treated impartially, receive the benefits, credits, and refunds to which they are entitled and pay no more and no less than what is required by law."

According to the Office of the Taxpayers' Ombudsman, while there is no evidence of reprisals from the CRA, some taxpayers have expressed their hesitation to lodge a complaint, for fear of being treated differently afterward. The Office, which operates separately from the CRA, describes this fear as "unwarranted," but stresses that it would like Canadians "to speak up if they have a disagreement with the CRA."

J. Paul Dubé, who heads up the Office, commented: "The addition of this new right to the Taxpayer Bill of Rights is an important step forward in providing Canadians with assurances that they will be treated impartially, and, if they feel this is not the case, that they will have effective avenues of redress available to them."

The Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada said that they applaud these efforts to make sure that all taxpayers are treated fairly. Vice President Gabe Hayos explained: "No one expects CRA to be perfect all the time, so issues involving Canadian taxpayers are going to occur. The new measure will give Canadians added assurance that they can raise concerns with CRA relating to the country's tax system."



Section 240A of the Tax Administration Act, 2011 (as amended) requires that all tax practitioners register with a recognized controlling body before 1 July 2013. It is a criminal offense to not register with both a recognized controlling body and SARS.

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