Canada Revenue Agency

Canada Revenue Agency

August 28, 2014 11:37 ET

Harper Government Helps Small and Medium Businesses "Get it Right from the Start"

MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Aug. 28, 2014) - Canada Revenue Agency

The Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of National Revenue, today highlighted pilot projects to help small and medium enterprise (SME) compliance. The Liaison Officer Initiative (LOI) focuses on providing in-person support to businesses as their operations grow. The CRA initially launched two LOI pilot projects in March 2014, one in Ontario, and the other in Quebec. The LOI is based on a "right from the start" approach which allows the CRA to address non-compliance in a more efficient and effective way by focusing on educating, informing and supporting small and medium businesses.

In the fall of 2014, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will expand the Liaison Officer Initiative (LOI) pilot project to British Columbia, the Prairies and Atlantic Canada. Through these pilot projects, the CRA is providing information and guidance at key points in the lifecycle of a business so that businesses can avoid mistakes that would be more costly to correct down the road. Such an approach translates into fewer audits, re-assessments, and potentially fines, which in turn means less red tape and lower costs for both the taxpayer and the CRA.

As part of the pilot project, businesses in the industry sectors selected for the pilot will be contacted by the CRA and a Liaison Officer will offer a voluntary face-to-face visit that will focus on educational and preventative measures to improve voluntary compliance. Businesses that accept the CRA's offer will benefit from one, two or all of the following activities: small business support visits; books and records reviews; and compliance support arrangements. These educational and preventative measures should not be confused with CRA audit activities.

The Minister's visit today is part of a three-stop tour to Kitchener-Waterloo, London and Mississauga where she is holding round-table discussions with stakeholders to discuss the CRA's red-tape reduction initiatives, including the LOI.

Quick Facts

  • The CRA wants to help Canadian businesses reduce red tape and avoid tax-related problems by ensuring they understand their tax obligations. By meeting their obligations, SMEs can potentially avoid time-consuming audits in the future.
  • LOI pilot projects are taking place from March 2014 to December 2015 in the Ontario and Quebec regions. New pilot projects will get underway in B.C, the Prairies and Atlantic Canada in the fall of 2014.
  • The LOI is built on the "right from the start" approach that has been identified as an international best practice by other tax administrations.


"Our government is committed to working with small and medium-sized businesses and the industry groups that represent them to make compliance easier. The Liaison Officer Initiative pilot projects are just one way the CRA is cutting red tape and meeting its commitments to small business under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights."

The Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of National Revenue

"The CRA Liaison Officer initiative offers various services aimed at helping businesses meet their tax obligations from the start. The CFIB supports initiatives that aim to reduce red tape and the need for multiple interactions with the CRA, so that owners can focus on running and growing their businesses."

Plamen Petkov, Vice President, Ontario, Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)

"The knowledge and experience of Canada's Chartered Professional Accountants allows them to provide key insight when it comes to protecting integrity of the tax system and reducing red tape. We welcome the government's outreach efforts to gain input on how best to maintain confidence in the tax system and identify ways to ease the burden of compliance."

Kevin Dancey, President and CEO, Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada

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Contact Information

  • Rebecca Rogers
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Minister of National Revenue

    Noel Carisse
    Media Relations
    Canada Revenue Agency