CRA SERVICE CUTS

After Conservatives said that budget cuts would have no effect on frontline services for Canadians, service cuts and sweeping changes at the CRA have left Canadians confused about how to access the basic information they need to file their taxes.

Without warning, the Canada Revenue Agency announced that it will no longer be mailing the T1 general tax package, the Telefile service used by hundreds of thousands of Canadians was cancelled, and changes to NETFILE have triggered major privacy concerns.

Payment and enquiry counter services are closing, face to face outreach sessions have been discontinued, and every service counter in Canada is set to close by October 1, 2013.

The CRA is effectively closing its doors to the public while seniors and people living in remote or rural areas are concerned about access to basic tax forms.

In the 2013-2014 Estimates, the CRA is projected to be cut by approximately $100 million. This is on top of last year's Economic Action Plan, under which over 3000 full time equivalent jobs were cut from the Canada Revenue Agency over a three-year roll out period.

New Democrats are opposing these devastating cuts and seeking answers to your questions in order to ensure that you have the information you need to file your taxes with ease and on time.

People who are not using the NETFILE option have been encouraged to download their forms from the CRA website or to pick up a tax package at your local Canada Post or Service Canada location.

Please be aware that you are entitled to receive your documents by mail, but the CRA will only send a package to those who specifically request it. If you would like a tax package mailed to you, please call the CRA at 1-800-959-8281 as soon as possible.

Our office has compiled a list of volunteer tax clinics in the Victoria to assist you: http://murrayrankin.ndp.ca/post/volunteer-tax-clinics

Please contact our office should you have any further questions or concerns.

*Murray is the Official Opposition Critic for National Revenue.