Taxpayers' Ombudsman

Taxpayers' Ombudsman

November 09, 2010 06:00 ET

Taxpayers' Ombudsman Releases His Special Report, "The Right to Know"

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 9, 2010) - The Taxpayers' Ombudsman has released a special report entitled "The Right to Know," which examines the right of taxpayers to be provided with reasons for decisions made by the Appeals Branch of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

The Taxpayers' Ombudsman is mandated to identify and review emerging and systemic issues related to the CRA's service to, and treatment of, Canadians, and to make recommendations for solutions to the Minister of National Revenue.

The Ombudsman's systemic review concluded that when the CRA's Appeals Branch does not provide reasons for its decision on a taxpayer's appeal or objection, it fails to fulfill its commitments to fairness, openness, and accountability.

According to the Ombudsman's findings, providing reasons on decisions made by the CRA's Appeals Branch means providing basic information about the decision, including a description of the decision, the authority under which the decision was made, a description of the main steps in the decision-making process, and reference to the main factual basis for the decision. This was not being done routinely by the CRA's Appeals Branch.

The Ombudsman's recommendation, based on the taxpayer's right to clear, accurate, and timely information (Taxpayer Bill of Rights, Article 6) and the taxpayer's right to expect the CRA to be accountable (Taxpayer Bill of Rights, Article 11), is that the CRA's Appeals Branch provide written explanations for a decision when they inform a taxpayer of the outcome of their appeal or objection.

"The Right to Know" can be found at www.taxpayersrights.gc.ca.

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