02 Jan 2018
CRA Giving Canadians Bad Answers
Auditor General, Michael Ferguson recently reported that all too often Canadians are getting a busy signal or message to hang up and try back later when they try to contact the Canada Revenue Agency.
The CRA agency has boasted that 90 percent of callers are able to connect when they reach out for service either through a telephone self service centre or by speaking with an agent. However, according to Ferguson, the average taxpayer has to call about four times a week just to get through and more than half of the calls are blocked outright due to the high volume of calls.
Overall, only 36 percent of the calls to the tax agency were able to connect, said the report. Furthermore, when they do get through they are getting bad information more often than the CRA has been willing to publicly admit.
“Based on our tests, and those done by others, we found that the Canada Revenue Agency gave taxpayers wrong answers to their questions almost 30 percent of the time,” said Ferguson. In its written response to the report, the government said it agreed on the need to improve the accuracy of information provided to taxpayers.
To that end, the CRA said it will launch a new system in early 2018 for training call centre agents. The agency also acknowledged that its current call centre technology is “outdated” and will be upgraded.
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The above content is believed to be accurate as of the date of posting. Canadian Tax laws are complex and are subject to frequent changes. Professional tax advice should be sought before implementing any tax planning. Manning Elliott LLP cannot accept any liability for the tax consequences that may result from acting based on the information contained therein.