January 17, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario – Canada Revenue Agency
The Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of National Revenue, today announced a new three-point plan to support small and medium-sized businesses to comply with tax rules. This will help small and medium enterprises more easily meet their tax obligations, save time and money, and reduce red tape.
The new three-point plan features earlier support to businesses in their business cycle, better and earlier access to clear and comprehensive information, and, where required, focused interventions where the risks of non-compliance are highest. The plan includes:
- The Liaison Officer Initiative: the CRA will provide in-person information to small and medium enterprises at key points in their business cycle to help them get it “right from the start;”
- The Registration of Tax Preparers Program (RTPP): this program proposes to register tax preparers so the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) can better identify and address common and recurring errors with them before tax returns are filed. The RTPP signals real benefits for both tax preparers and taxpayers by helping them get it “right from the start,” and avoid costly and time-consuming interventions from the CRA after-the-fact; and
- An enhanced focus on high risk files: the CRA will make better use of advanced business intelligence, specialized audit teams for specific sectors, and novel approaches such as letter writing campaigns, to supplement the CRA’s traditional audit approaches.
In the coming months, the CRA will be hosting discussions on the proposed RTPP with taxpayers, tax preparers, and organizations representing tax preparers in Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver. Stakeholders may also provide their input online or in writing. For more information on the RTPP and how to participate in the consultation, go to www.cra.gc.ca/rtpp.
- Approximately seventy percent of individuals and small businesses use tax preparers to file their taxes. CRA’s research shows that there continues to be a significant incidence of errors in tax returns filed.
- Under the proposed RTPP, the CRA would register tax preparers who are paid a fee for their services, so that the CRA can identify those who are preparing non-compliant tax returns and work with them, using a strategic compliance approach, to correct problems and avoid errors in the future before a tax return is filed.
“Our goal with a new three-point plan is to make compliance easy for businesses that want to comply, and make non-compliance difficult for those that don’t. Over the next few months, we want to hear from businesses and their representatives to better understand their needs and ensure that the RTPP achieves this goal.”
– The Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, Minister of National Revenue
“Members of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business tell us that complying with CRA regulations is confusing and takes time away from running their firm. Small business owners want to comply but often lack the time and resources to navigate complex regulations. CFIB is pleased that the CRA will be helping small business owners with in-person support through the Liaison Officer Initiative.”
– Dan Kelly, president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business