After over a year-and-a-half of lockdowns and sacrifice, Canadians are seeing the benefits of their efforts to stop COVID-19. The pandemic is not over, but we can now look beyond COVID to plan for our future. Now, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce is writing “mandate letters” to members of the Cabinet with policy priorities that will support growth of the Canadian economy.
Canadian businesses rely on an effective and efficient tax system to ensure they are able to meet their legal obligations but not burdened down with unnecessary paperwork that distracts them from their company.
The Minister of National Revenue should:
- Work with the Minister of Finance to undertake a comprehensive and independent review of the tax system to ensure the Canada remains globally competitive and attractive for investment.
- Work with the Minister of Finance to find a permanent and simplified method for processing work-space-in-the-home expenses.
- Improve use of electronic communications for filing and reassessment processes, including the broader use of email, electronic signatures and the submission of documents electronically.
- Educate the CRA’s auditors on small business operations so that the CRA has practical insights as to the challenges faced by small businesses in dealing with the CRA.
- Ensure the CRA transparently measures and reports administrative tax processes. Increase resources allocated to CRA’s client service and appeals groups in order to avoid tax disputes and/or deal with tax disputes in a timelier manner.
- Publish statistics on small business audit activity, including the length of disputes.
- Consider a more transparent metric for assessing the actual and final return to Canada from the CRA’s audit activity.
- Defer the CRA’s right to collect disputed tax amounts from corporate taxpayers until the CRA has completed its review of a corporate taxpayer’s appeal.
- Work with the Minister of Finance to establish a Tax Working Group to provide a structured mechanism to resolve tax issues, similar to the intergenerational transfer of small businesses, at an earlier stage with the business and tax practitioner community.
- Continue exploring simpler tax filing for low-income Canadians to help them access benefits.
To see all 21 of our mandate letters to ministers, click here.