Questions and answers

  1. What is the CRA – Service Complaints Program?
  2. What is a service-related complaint?
  3. What rights do I have when I deal with the CRA?
  4. How and when can I file a service-related complaint?
  5. What can I expect from the CRA – Service Complaints Program?
  6. What can I do if I am still not satisfied with the CRA – Service Complaints Program's review or believe my service rights were not upheld?
  7. Is there a fee to file a service-related complaint?
  8. How long will it take to resolve my service-related complaint?
  9. What happens to the information I give to the CRA? Will it be shared?
  10. I don't like the way the Income Tax Act is written. Can I send this complaint to CRA – Service Complaints Program?
  11. Why is the CRA reviewing my tax return?
  12. I object to an assessment or a determination, can I send my objection to the CRA – Service Complaints Program?

Q.1 What is the CRA – Service Complaints Program?

A.1 CRA – Service Complaints is a complaint resolution process that allows you to file a formal complaint about the service you have received from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

Q.2 What is a service-related complaint?

A.2 A service-related complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction with the service, quality, or timeliness of the work performed by the CRA.

Q.3 What rights do I have when I deal with the CRA?

A.3 You have the right to be treated fairly under clear and established rules, and can expect a high level of service each time you deal with the CRA as stated in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. The Taxpayer Bill of Rights is a set of 16 rights confirming that we will serve taxpayers with high standards of accuracy, professionalism, courtesy, and fairness.

The Taxpayer Bill of Rights includes two types of rights: legislated rights that use redress processes set out in the legislation, including appeals to the court as a final level of recourse and service rights that govern the CRA relationship with taxpayers.

The service rights outlined in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights are upheld by administrative redress mechanisms already in place, including a review by the CRA – Service Complaints program resolution process. The service rights are also upheld by the Taxpayers' Ombudsman, who can complete a final, impartial review.

If you are not satisfied with the service you received from the CRA, you can file a service-related complaint with the CRA – Service Complaints Program; see the three-step process.

If, after following steps 1 and 2, your service-related complaint is still not resolved, you can submit a complaint with the Office of the Taxpayers' Ombudsman. For information about the mandate of the Office of the Taxpayers’ Ombudsman, visit www.oto-boc.gc.ca.

The Taxpayer Bill of Rights, the CRA – Service Complaints Program, and the Office of the Taxpayers' Ombudsman enhance our accountability and give taxpayers assurance that they will be treated fairly, equitably, and with respect.

Q.4 How and when can I file a service-related complaint?

A.4 We recommend that you try to resolve the matter with the CRA employee you have been dealing with or call the telephone number provided in the CRA’s correspondence. If you still disagree with the way your concerns were addressed, you can ask to discuss the matter with the employee's supervisor.

If you are still not satisfied with the way your complaint is being handled, contact the CRA Service Complaints Program.

For the individuals who do not have access to a computer, you can call our toll free number at 1-800-959-8281 or 1-800-959-5525 for businesses and self-employed individuals, and we will send you a copy of the form by mail. To avoid any misunderstanding, we do not accept complaints over the telephone; they must be in writing.

Q.5 What can I expect from the CRA – Service Complaints Program?

A.5 After we receive your service-related complaint, we will send you an acknowledgement letter confirming that we received it. This letter will include a reference number if you need to contact us about your complaint.

A service complaints officer will contact you to try to resolve the matter. The complaints officer will be in regular contact with you to keep you informed on the progress of your file, the status of your complaint, and will ensure that you receive the result of the review of your complaint either by telephone or by mail.

The length of time needed to resolve a service-related complaint depends on the complexity of the complaint and the areas involved within the CRA. Each complaint is reviewed on an individual basis.

You can expect that we will review your service-related complaint and try to resolve it in a fair and timely manner. For information on the Service Complaints Program’s service standards, you can visit the CRA Service Standards page.

Q.6 What can I do if I am still not satisfied with the CRA – Service Complaints Program's review or believe my service rights were not upheld?

A.6 If you are still not satisfied with our review, you can ask the Office of the Taxpayers' Ombudsman to review your service-related complaint. Generally, the Office of theTaxpayers' Ombudsman will not review a complaint before our complaint resolution process is complete. The Office of Taxpayers' Ombudsman will give a final and impartial review.

For more information about the Office of the Taxpayers' Ombudsman and how to submit a service-related complaint, visit www.oto-boc.gc.ca.

Q.7 Is there a fee to file a service-related complaint?

A.7 No, there is no fee.

Q.8 How long will it take to resolve my service-related complaint?

A.8 The length of time needed to resolve your service-related complaint depends on the complexity of the situation and the areas involved within the CRA. Each complaint is reviewed on an individual basis.

For information on the Service Complaints Program's service standards, you can visit the CRA's Service Standards page.

Q.9 What happens to the information I give to the CRA? Will it be shared?

A.9 Any information you give to the CRA is subject to the Privacy Act and will be treated as confidential. It will only be shared with the staff involved in resolving your service-related complaint.

Q.10 I don't like the way the Income Tax Act is written. Can I send this complaint to CRA – Service Complaints Program?

A.10 No. The CRA is responsible for administering tax legislations, not amending them. If you have a complaint about the Income Tax Act, or any other tax legislations, contact the Department of Finance Canada.

Q.11 Why is the CRA reviewing my tax return?

A.11 There are a number of reasons why an incoming tax return may be selected for review; see How tax returns are selected for review.

Q.12 I object to an assessment or a notice determination, can I send my objection to the CRA – Service Complaints Program?

A.12 No, this is not a service-related matter. If you do not agree with an assessment or a determination, call us at the general enquiries line at 1-800-959-8281 for individuals or 1-800-959-5525 for business and self-employed individuals. If you are not satisfied with our explanation, you have the right to file an objection. For more information on the formal process of resolving a dispute, go to the Complaints and disputes webpage.

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