What works well? What would make it even better? We would like to hear your feedback on using the site and appreciate any suggestions for future improvements.
Note – this section is for feedback relating to CRA Engage. Tax-specific comments will not be posted in this discussion area. Thank you for your understanding.
Great Inititative! Take it National.
CRA information sessions have always been well attended. I applaud you for changing your approach from speaking mode.
My top pics: T1135 and capital gains taxation
I find my number one complete is how clients refuse to pay their HST.
I have tried several strategies.
Accept the funds without HST only to pay it later
Send the account to the collection and still collect no tax and lower revenues
Refuse to perform the work without the taxes being paid results in lower sales.
Over the last five years, this issue has converted into substantial losses in revenues, and uncollected taxes and the surprising thing clients have the financial resources to pay their taxes but feel they are entitled not to pay.
I have even experienced CRA employees trying to get out of paying the HST tax - should be terminated.
If the people collecting the tax are trying to get out of paying the tax personally only demonstrates how widespread this problem has become.
I would appreciate some input and suggestions - first of all before you tell me to change my client base I should disclose I am a home and mould inspector. So I deal with realtors, purchasers, and sellers. The nature of the business does not always allow you the luxury of prescreening clients. I should also say I do not work for everyone who calls. I will turn work down if I sense it will be a problem.
I am so frustrated with this issue.
The simple solution is to quote your prices HST in.
I don't think that is a "SIMPLE SOLUTION" Sorta like saying CRA is OK to harass the MIDDLE CLASS for "little fish" and letting Criminal Tax Fraudster Corporations to get away with not paying 130 million in taxes.....PATHETIC.....
I find the pages taking me to comment sections very "busy". There is a reason most Internet discussion boards have one line for each topic section. As well, guidance on the topics desired in each section would be helpful.
Overall, though, nothing is ever perfect out of the gate, and this is an excellent and welcome initiative.
Thank you CRA for this opportunity to make our voices heard.
Although this is not a topic which we encounter on a daily basis, it is a pain when we do encounter. Recently I had to confirm CDA balance for a client who has been a client for the last 6 years.
It would be nice to have the CDA balance available online under Represent a client.
I think this is a great opportunity for CRA to provide a dedicated service to tax professionals and representatives - can't wait for it to be operational.
Completely agree on the comments about the address changes for personal accounts.
Would also like to see the ability to transfer payments between taxation years for individuals.
Thanks for the outlet.
US-CDN citizens must pay capital gains tax on capital gains from principal residence to IRS. I would rather pay that tax to Canada (The country that is doing something for me rather than to a country that I have not lived in for 32 years and will never return to). CRA should apply same capital gains tax on principal residence to US-CDN as IRS and the US-CDN citizen will claim a foreign tax credit on their IRS tax filing to offset the taxes owed to IRS.
In order for this site to be successful at getting dialogs going, the message needs to be clear that it is a safe place to have the conversations and that tactful communication is invited. If the site appears to be slanted to government propaganda it will not succeed. If fair and open dialog is encouraged the site could be wildly successful. ____ Especially if CRA is willing to accept suggestions and make changes where appropriate.
1. Great idea!
2. Seem to be a few issues:
a. I tried to ‘like’ a comment and it didn’t seem to accept the ‘like’ – SUGGESTION: add text that you must register/sign-in (if this is the case) to ‘like’.
b. I tried to register and from the way screen was open, I entered my email address to register, and then it took me back to the CRA Engage page (https://www.cra-engage-arc.ca/en/content/cra-engage-what-do-you-think) without prompting me to choose a password (don’t know if place to enter a password was below the visible screen or I used the enter key - my typical next step after completing a field - rather than ‘selecting’/using mouse to complete a password). I then tried to log in and chose “forgot password” as I hadn’t had a chance to select a password and didn’t know one was ‘coming’. I went to my email as referenced in the ‘forgot password’, and found a link that I should have known would arrive that presumably would have prompted me to complete the “tell me a little about yourself”. SUGGESTION: If the app works by entering an email address, then receiving an email link and clicking on link, say this in the instructions (also, I assume the app was tested on mobile and pc/laptop?)?
c. Other tech issues
i. I tried to log in using Chrome, and got an error message.
ii. I tried to log in using Edge and got “The requested page "/en/node/169%23comment-form" could not be found”.
iii. I tried looking for ‘manage my account’ so I could change my posting name to my full name but could not find it. (p.s. While not forcing a person to use their real name, I think the CRA should encourage it as it may ‘keep people more polite and honest, and lead to more carefully thought-out posts)
iv. I logged in (or thought I was) but could not ‘like’ a post.
v. Using Firefox, I several times got a message when using the ‘back’ function ‘The page is asking whether you want to leave – you may lose data. Only once when was I trying to ‘like’ something and entered Reply to see if that would allow me to ‘Like’ would there have been a chance of losing data
vi. The application seems to keep me logged in even though I said do not save password.
vii. I otherwise can’t tell if I am logged in or not.
SUGGESTION: Research and correct these minor nits.
If I can be your guinea pig of a reasonably but not perfect target user to help iron out issues, let me know.
I would like to participate as a small business but do not see an Ontario or Quebec location for small businesses - what options are there?
My earlier comments have been being agreed to and disagreed with, but always 'anonymous'. Should participants show at least some name?
I agree it would be nice to have identities, even handles would work.... so we can enter into meaningful dialog. For instance on my previous post there are 50/50 likes and dislikes.... I would love to know why anyone would disagree with my comment that CRA will have to appear fair and open for this site to be meaningful The site is a great idea.... that needs to be built on to make it work and having handles would be a great improvement. The handle "anonymous" should be an option for those who fear retribution.
My emails were hiding or I dont know , but it came handy when I found in recycle bin in messages.
The Whitby Chamber of Commerce has initiated a movement to have the Taxpayers Bill of Rights, enshrined as law, by creating a Taxpayers Charter of Rights. Why? you might ask. The answer is straight forward. It is not all the great people at CRA who cause problems, it is the ones that don't follow the Taxpayers Bill of Rights. The ones who are out of line are the ones creating the majority of the problems. The good news on this initiative is that the Ontario Chamber of Commerce took up the torch. And then the Canadian Chamber of Commerce adopted it. And now it has become a movement across Canada. We just need to get CRA on board with the idea that they created the Taxpayers Bill of Rights (largely borrowed from the Public Servants Act... so a good move) and now there needs to be accountability to CRA and recourse for Taxpayers. This movement now has many thousands of supporters.... It will become law, sooner or later.... Quebec has already done it, now the rest of Canada needs to be protected to.
CRA is not the sole player in the tax system. Finance should also be bound by the taxpayer bill of rights. How have they vetted proposals in recent years to assess the costs of compliance, or to ensure Canadians can have timely, accurate information on how to apply their proposals? Technical notes to proposed legislation should include a review of the manner in which the Taxpayer Bill of Rights influenced the drafting of the legislation, and my MP should be required to read that before casting his vote in the House.
When CRA is required to administer vague, complex legislation, taxpayer rights are not delivered. It's too late when ill-considered law has already been passed.
Correspondence from CRA, amounts listed on notice of assessments/reassessments, income amounts, deductions, credits, RRSP deduction limits, TTSA limit should be to the nearest penny rather than be rounded down to the nearest dollar. Many RRSP deduction limits aren’t accurate because the true deduction limit maybe between 0.50 & 1.00 over the amount but the software rounds down to the nearest dollar.
The Canada Revenue Agency should take over all personal income tax collection & corporate income tax collection from the provinces, territories, local governments, & aboriginal governments so individuals & organizations can only send only one tax return rather than more than one a year.
What am I missing here? Quebec is the sole province with its own income tax system. Only Quebec and Alberta have corporate tax systems not managed by CRA. I am not aware of any Canadian municipality with an income tax.
Sales taxes could be better harmonized, but the people of BC definitely opposed that!
My main complain is the inability to contact the CRA. Wait times on the help lines are long, and the person who initially answers only has the ability to answer very basic questions. For more complex queries, my calls are transferred to another agent which results in additional wait times, usually another .5 hour or so. I would suggest expanding your options by stated press (a certain number) for specified simple inquiries, and a different number for more complex issues.
My second complaint is removal some time ago of public information counters at the Tax Service Offices. I have found that after corresponding with the CRA on behalf of a client, then waiting an unreasonable period of time without a response, my only recourse is either a Ministerial complain or writing to my clients MP (best results). The CRA has cut back far to much in service.
On the inability to contact CRA, I would ask that CRA focus on the manner in which most of us do business today. Put a secure email server in place in the My Account, My Business Account and Represent a Client portals. Let me spell out the situation, client-specific or general, in an email. Confirm receipt automatically, and commit to a response time (for example, 3 business days) from a CRA rep who has taken ownership of the issue and can either deal with the matter or set a timeline for its resolution.
This would provide me, the practitioner, with a realistic expectation of turnaround and enable CRA to handle these matters effectively and efficiently. As all communication (other than confirmation the message was received, and a "you have mail" to tell me when the answer has been sent) would be behind CRA's secure portal, confidentiality is maintained. Individual Canadians and taxpayer representatives could all use this process by signing up for CRA online services, removing pressure from the phone lines.
Finally, if CRA prioritizes matters with a Ministerial complaint or coming from an MP (for example, such taxpayers get to jump the queue), they should expect that we, as practitioners, will advise use of that channel first, not later. Why would we not select the most efficient, effective means of resolving issues? Provide us with good service without the need for MP/Ministerial involvement and don't create a two-tiered system that favours those who go through their MP.
I totally agree with your comments. As a retired CRA guy, who worked in the Ministers office for 6 months early in my career, and later had significant involvement with Ministerial inquirers in a Tax Services Office, I can assure you those inquirers are indeed prioritized. I represent several clients with significant issues with the CRA and I have found the sooner I can contact an MP, the sooner I have a contact within the CRA to resolve the issue(s).
I am just remembering, back when it was announced the Government Department of Revenue Canada would become the more independent agency, the CRA, which would distance it from political interference.
That worked out well, didn't it?
Very well said. You would think that a very secure portal could contain a very secure email system that service providers could use. I bought a head set so that I could work (and not disturb others) while I waited upto an hour for someone to take my call.
While waiting on hold to speak with a representative, I was asked by to voice my opinion on this website.
Error one was that the automated voice gave me the wrong url to voice my opinion at Canada.ca(dash)cra(dash)engage. What is a dash even? do they mean hyphen? or forward slash? or underscore? or an actual dash where you need to type alt+0150? well, spoiler alert, none of them direct you to engage.
It is frustrating to wait on the phone line for over an hour to speak with a CRA representative. My time is just as important as CRA staff. Why not have a call back service with estimated call back time similar to what Westjet has.
On the personal tax credit form, the basic exemption amount should be equal to the assessed value of the persons home.
So renters should have no personal exemption, and a fellow with a multi-million beachfront home should pay no tax on the first few million of annual income? Is that what you are suggesting?
In any case, CRA does not set exemptions. Finance does.
Both federal & provincial income tax brackets & income tax rates should be standardized in Canada so everyone in Canada is taxed the same rate
CRA administers the Federal income tax legislation, and (by agreement) the provincial legislation for most provinces. They do not set tax legislation. Federally, that is a Department of Finance responsibility. Each province sets its own law. I'm not sure how that could all be brought under the Federal mandate - perhaps it requires amending the Constitution.
That would be a great issue for discussion in a broad review of our tax system, which CPA Canada and many others have been calling for, many for a long time. Maybe ask your MP candidates, in the coming election, whether they favour such a review, and whether their commitment to such a review might influence your vote.
This site is not readily available to the common lay-person. After spending an hour searching for this site I finally had to contact my local MLA in order to get the URL! I wonder how many folks just gave up trying to find ENGAGE on the CRA Website?