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Apr 20, 2023

Most Small Businesses Give CRA Poor Service Score

Small businesses and tax practitioners rate the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)'s service as satisfactory, giving the agency a grade of C, says a report by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). While the CRA's overall grade hasn't changed since the last two report cards in 2014 and 2017, 31 per cent of businesses and 76 per cent of tax practitioners think CRA's service has been worse in the last three years. Two-thirds of business owners feel intimidated by the CRA, 51 per cent feel as if they are treated like they did something wrong, and nearly half feel that they are not being provided with the tax guidance their business needs. Only 23 per cent fell that the agency is accountable for its mistakes or is making an effort to be small business friendly. Additionally, only a quarter of business owners feel confident in answers provided by the CRA’s business enquiries line. A common pain point is that staff lack adequate knowledge. Given that small businesses already have a hard time reaching the CRA, the potential strike of CRA workers would create additional strain on small businesses that rely on its services every day, says CFIB. It recommends the agency improves accessibility to staff and the call centre and increase the number of senior agents; ensure accurate and timely information is provided on the website; and ease the regulatory tax burden for small businesses by establishing a standard tax deduction for them and updating the thresholds for GST and source deductions on a more regular basis to account for inflation.

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