CRA Promises Concise, Simple Language in Notices to Canadian Businesses

Since 2012, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has been working closely with several stakeholder associations in an effort to improve service to Canadians and cut red tape for small business owners across the nation. Stakeholders involved in the process include the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, and the Canadian Payroll Association.

Canadian Small Business Owners Saddled with Red Tape and Complicated Tax Regulations

We recently quoted survey results from Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) that suggests at least “33% of small business owners in Canada claim they wouldn’t have gone into business had they known of the excessive regulations and red tape.” Now top federal officials in Ottawa are promising to work toward eliminating red tape that plagues small and medium-sized business across Canada.

Minister of National Revenue, Kerry-Lynne Findlay, recently highlighted some of the many actions that have already been taken by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) in response to the 2012 consultations on cutting red tape for business.

Notable Steps Taken by CRA to Reduce Red Tape & Help Small Businesses

Some of the changes already made by the CRA include the revision of remittance thresholds for employer source deductions in order to reduce the maximum number of payments that businesses are required to submit to the CRA. The effect is the elimination of 800,000 payroll remittances for over 50,000 small and medium-sized businesses. Also, the CRA’s online self-service portal and mobile app have made control over more than 50 different transactions easier for businesses of all sizes. The mobile app also allows small and medium-sized businesses to create custom reminders and alerts for dates related to instalment payments, returns, remittances, etc.

CRA: Additional Improvements on the Way, Including Better Communication

Small business owners tired of having to call their accountant every time they receive a letter from the CRA will be happy to know that the CRA is working on bettering its communications. Improvements in clarity and simplicity aim to offer messaging in concise and consistent plain language for millions of notices and letters sent to Canadians. The 2014 consultations will seek input and ideas from businesses, bookkeepers, accountants, and stakeholder associations, and will be held in 23 cities from coast to coast: Surrey, Kelowna, Delta, Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer, Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Greater Toronto Area, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Sherbrooke, Montréal, Quebec City, Moncton, Halifax, Charlottetown, St-John’s, Whitehorse, Yellowknife, and Iqaluit.

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