Today, the Taxpayers’ Ombudsperson, Mr. François Boileau, released The Lockout: Communication Was the Key. This report examined the communications the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) provided to taxpayers after it locked out some users from their CRA accounts in mid-February 2021 in an effort to protect accounts that could have been compromised. Many affected taxpayers expressed concerns about the lack of clear and timely communication from the CRA.
When CRA account users were locked out, the CRA should have been ready with a clear and useful communication strategy to address the concerns of confused, worried and frustrated taxpayers. As a result of the lack of communication from the CRA, our Office opened an examination to analyze the CRA’s communication approach and to determine whether there were opportunities for service improvement. Clear communication should have been the CRA’s primary concern after safeguarding taxpayer information. Our aim is to ensure that a similar situation does not happen in the future.
The report includes five recommendations to the Minister of National Revenue and the Chair of the CRA’s Board of Management:
- The CRA should review its communications processes to make sure it proactively inform Canadians about issues that could affect them.
- The CRA should ensure its web page alerts always provide current information.