Taxpayers’ Ombudsman announces examination into impact of CRA’s administration of Canada child

From: Office of the Taxpayers' Ombudsman

OTTAWA, December 10, 2019 -Today, Canada’s Taxpayers’ Ombudsman, Sherra Profit, announced she has opened an examination into the impact of the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) administration of the Canada child benefit (CCB).

Focused on the CRA’s administration of the CCB, Ms. Profit’s report will examine service issues that undermine the Federal Government’s commitment to ensuring that all who qualify receive the benefits to which they are entitled.

The report will delve into difficulties proving entitlement, validation processes, and the information available to benefit applicants and recipients. Ms. Profit will provide recommendations to the Minister of National Revenue on how the CRA can improve service and reduce the compliance burden, which disproportionately impacts our most vulnerable.

“How the CRA administers the CCB can have negative impacts on people’s lives. When benefits are denied, cancelled or recovered, the risk of personal and financial hardships increase, especially for those who rely upon the CCB for day to day living” says Ms. Profit.

Throughout her tenure as Taxpayers’ Ombudsman, Ms. Profit has heard regularly from stakeholders about service challenges associated with the administration of the CCB program, and has provided ongoing feedback, recommendations and input to the Minister of National Revenue and the CRA on service gaps and the changes that could reduce or eliminate them. Despite her ongoing effort to ensure the CRA implements changes that meet people’s needs, proving and maintaining eligibility for the CCB remains an issue for many and continues to be a source of complaints.

Sherra Profit aims to deliver the report to the Minister of National Revenue in the spring of 2020.

Quotes

“The CCB was introduced by the Federal Government as a measure to help support families raising children. Families qualify for the benefit based on income and the number of children in the household. As a benefit designed to support and supplement the costs of raising a child, the ways in which the benefit is administered should not marginalize those who are most in need.”

Sherra Profit, Taxpayers’ Ombudsman

“As Taxpayers’ Ombudsman, I regularly hear that the CRA’s requirements for proving eligibility for the CCB can be stringent to a fault. There are many vulnerable people who have difficulty satisfying the CRA’s often unclear requirements of proof. As a result, they do not receive benefits to which they are entitled.”

Sherra Profit, Taxpayers’ Ombudsman

Quick Facts:

About the Ombudsman

· Canada’s Taxpayers’ Ombudsman is responsible for advising the Minister of National Revenue on matters relating to services provided by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

· The Ombudsman may initiate a systemic examination at the request of the Minister or on her own initiative. Service issues are deemed systemic when they may impact a large number of persons or a segment of the population. Recommendations arising from these examinations aim to improve the service provided by the CRA.

/Public Release. View in full here.