Government of Canada

Government of Canada

December 17, 2009 13:30 ET

The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn Tables First Annual Report of Canada's Taxpayers' Ombudsman

JONQUIERE, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Dec. 17, 2009) - The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture and Agri-Food), announced at a media teleconference today that the first annual report of Canada's Taxpayers' Ombudsman has been tabled in Parliament.

During its first full year of operation, the Office of the Taxpayers' Ombudsman responded to nearly 5,000 enquiries, opened more than 1,000 files, and investigated over 500 individual complaints relating to CRA service.

"Fair treatment and professional service are central to our Government's ability to sustain Canada's prosperity," said Minister Blackburn. "The Taxpayers' Ombudsman provides an added measure of assurance that the Canada Revenue Agency treats all taxpayers with fairness and respect, in accordance with the Taxpayer Bill of Rights."

According to the Annual Report 2008-2009 of the Taxpayers' Ombudsman, the CRA recognized errors with respect to certain taxpayers, released seized bank accounts, cancelled penalties and interest, changed internal policies and procedures, and suspended collection activities as a result of interventions by the Office of the Taxpayers' Ombudsman.

"In addition to investigating and resolving individual complaints from taxpayers, I consulted with stakeholders across the country to identify ongoing issues and raised awareness of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights and the role of the Ombudsman," added the Taxpayers' Ombudsman, Mr. J. Paul Dube.

"The Taxpayers' Ombudsman has demonstrated an understanding of the challenges faced by taxpayers when trying to settle disputes and a practical appreciation for the size and complexity of the task the CRA faces in processing some 24 million individual tax returns and approximately 1.6 million corporate returns each year," said Minister Blackburn. "Already, the Office of the Taxpayers' Ombudsman has shown its potential to help the Canada Revenue Agency improve its service to Canadians. I want to express sincere thanks to the Ombudsman and his staff for their work during this first year of operations."

The Taxpayers' Ombudsman is responsible for ensuring that the CRA respects the service rights outlined in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. In this regard, the Ombudsman conducts impartial and independent reviews of service related complaints about the CRA, facilitates taxpayer access to assistance from the CRA, identifies and reviews systemic and emerging service related issues within the CRA that have a negative impact on taxpayers, and makes recommendations to the Minister of National Revenue on CRA service-related matters.

The Taxpayers' Ombudsman's annual report can be found online at www.taxpayersrights.gc.ca/rprt-nnl-eng.html

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of National Revenue
    Sophie Doucet
    Press Secretary
    613-995-2960
    or
    Office of the Taxpayers' Ombudsman
    Rox-Anne D'Aoust
    Senior Public Affairs Advisor
    613-941-6244
    Cell: 613-219-1474
    roxanne.daoust@taxpayersrights.gc.ca