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Are CRA Staff Cut Backs a Good or Bad Move for the Tax Payer?

Canada Tax staff cuts at Canada Revenue Agency

As Canadian tax payers we like to know the money that we pay to the government is being used in our best interests. While many of us may not favor the tax department, they still are a very necessary entity to the running of our Country.

It is your tax dollars that go to the infrastructures throughout Canada as well as many other services. The CRA is a huge government department and it requires a large number of staff to keep it running smoothly.

Now the Government has made the decision for staff cutbacks, and while this may be saving money for the tax payer in one sense it could end up costing you indirectly.   If you have ever had to deal with the CRA concerning a tax issue you may have had, then you may already be aware that usually nothing is solved immediately and even a small issue can take weeks to be resolved.

It seems that the staff cut backs are within the management sector of the CRA.   For most tax payers they would not be dealing directly with these CRA staff members, but the front line agents that you may have to deal with depend on their team leaders and for many they may no longer have this support.

Apparently the decision for this reduction in staff was made because of the freeze that the 2014 Budget put on all departmental and agency operating budgets.

It once again raises concerns for many as to confusion as to what the Government is saying.   First they were talking about making sure that there would be ample staff to deal with the offshore tax evasion that became a big issue, but now they are letting go the personnel that would seem to have the most experience and expertise within the tax department.

The CRA is being run like any typical business would that were implementing cutbacks.   In this case a company would try to reduce their employee wage costs by letting go the employees with the highest wages, but at the cost of losing experience and expertise.   The risk is the company could dramatically suffer as a result of this.   The same would be no different for the CRA.

This reduction in staff while it may not affect the average tax payer at the lower levels, for matters that require tax expertise and experience this is where a problem could exist.

 

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Sam Seidman, CPA, CA, LPA
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