Jamie Golombek: 83% of respondents had an experience that didn't meet their needs, and of those, 84% ranked their interactions as 'poor'.
If you’ve ever been frustrated in your dealings with the Canada Revenue Agency, you’re not alone. A new report, made public in December, summarizes the findings and conclusions from the spring 2019 “Serving Canadians Better” consultations with individuals taxpayers.
The report was prepared for the chief service officer of the CRA. The CSO was introduced in 2018 to help the CRA focus “on better understanding people’s needs and expectations in order to improve service experience and deliver better outcomes for Canadians.”
The consultations focused on three areas: service experiences, service improvements and the CRA’s future direction. The CSO led a consultation process between April and June 2019 that included an online consultation and seven facilitated in-person sessions. The in-person sessions, which were held across Canada, included members of the general public as well as agencies that support and advocate for vulnerable Canadians. Canadians from various walks of life were recruited by a neutral, third-party to participate in these discussions.
Canadians were also invited to participate in online consultations through social media posts and various press releases, which were picked up by some tax columns. The online consultation received 3,330 submissions and consisted of three questionnaires, each focusing on one of the three core areas. Of most interest to many of us are the responses to the online questionnaire about Canadians’ service experience in dealing with the CRA.
Of the respondents who completed this survey, 92 per cent had had at least one or more interactions with the CRA in the previous 12 months. Respondents were asked whether their interactions with the CRA had met their needs or not, their level of satisfaction with these interactions, what worked well and what needed improvement.
This article has been edited for clarity and length.
Author: Jamie Golombek
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