This guest blog post is provided by the Canada Revenue Agency, which administers tax laws and delivers social and economic benefit and incentive programs.

On October 3, 2016, the CRA will kick off Serving You Better consultations with small and medium businesses in Gatineau and with accountants in Ottawa. Serving You Better is a key component of the CRA's commitment to first-class government service that recognizes small and medium businesses, bookkeepers and accountants as valued clients of the CRA.

This fall, the CRA is touring the country to hear the views of small and medium businesses first hand. Hosted by local chambers of commerce, these face-to-face sessions will allow small and medium businesses to give their feedback to CRA senior officials in cities across Canada, including:

Location Date Register at
Gatineau, Quebec Monday, Oct. 3, 2016 Chambre de commerce de Gatineau (in French only)
Richmond, British Columbia Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016 Richmond Chamber of Commerce
Edmonton, Alberta Friday, Oct. 7, 2016 Edmonton Chamber of Commerce
Winnipeg, Manitoba Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016 Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce
Regina, Saskatchewan Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016 Regina Chamber of Commerce
Moncton, New Brunswick Monday, Oct. 17, 2016 Greater Moncton Chamber of Commerce
Mississauga, Ontario Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016 Mississauga Board of Trade
Quebec City, Quebec Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016 Chambre de commerce et d'industrie de Québec (in French only)
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016 Halifax Chamber of Commerce
Iqaluit, Nunavut Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016 Baffin Regional Chamber of Commerce
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island Monday, Oct. 24, 2016 Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016 St. John's Board of Trade
Whitehorse, Yukon (to be confirmed) Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016 Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016 Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce

In addition, Chartered Professional Accountants Canada is hosting face-to-face sessions that will allow accountants to give their feedback to CRA senior officials in these cities:

Location Date Register at
Ottawa, Ontario Monday, Oct. 3, 2016 Ottawa CPA Association
Vancouver, British Columbia Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016 CPA British Columbia
Edmonton, Alberta Friday, Oct. 7, 2016 CPA Alberta
Mississauga, Ontario Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016 CPA Ontario
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016 CPA Nova Scotia
Iqaluit, Nunavut Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016 CPA Canada (Teleconference)
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016 Certified General Accountants Association of the Northwest Territories/Nunavut

The CRA encourages participants to come prepared to suggest ways the CRA can serve them better. We'd like to hear their views on the service improvements the CRA has made to date and on new initiatives to ensure they meet the needs of small and medium businesses.

We want as many members of the business community as possible to participate in these face-to-face sessions, but for those who are unable to attend in person, or who want to share their feedback now, the CRA invites them to give feedback online at cra-engage-arc.ca.

Consultations with small and medium businesses: what we've heard, what we've done and what we will do:

The CRA met with Canada's small and medium business community in 2012 and 2014 to better understand their concerns related to the administrative burden of the federal tax system. The CRA has already turned much of their feedback into real actions that serve them better every day:

  • We eliminated more than 800,000 remittances for over 50,000 businesses.
  • We simplified and clarified information for Canada's business community.
  • We created a tax-related mobile app for businesses.
  • We expanded My Business Account to include statements of capital gains and losses.
  • We added a pre-authorized debit option to My Business Account and created an ePay video that explains how it works.
  • We implemented a standard Agent ID for telephone agents who deal with businesses.
  • We introduced the Liaison Officer Initiative to help businesses get their taxes right from the start.

What we heard from consultations in 2014 was published in a report in 2015. The 2015 report provides a clear and practical action plan to address the feedback received over 2015-2018. It includes:

  • Making it easier to find information and services on the web
  • Providing information in plain language
  • Explaining the audit process better
  • Improving telephone services for businesses
  • Enhancing online services and tools
  • Helping businesses get their filing requirements right from the start

The CRA recognizes the important role the small and medium business community plays in developing and maintaining collaborative efforts to ensure that its programs and services are fairer, more helpful, and easier to use.

If you're a small or medium business and you want to find out more about the CRA's action plan to serve you better, go to www.canada.ca/cra-serving-you-better.