June 26, 2013, Canada’s Taxpayers’ Ombudsman, Mr. J. Paul Dubé and Gail Shea, Minister of National Revenue, jointly announced the addition of a new right to the Taxpayers Bill of Rights.
Article 16, “the right to lodge a service complaint and request a formal review without fear of reprisal,” addresses a fear expressed by Canadians when complaining about the service or treatment they receive from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
“This new right represents a significant step forward for taxpayers and benefit recipients who have reservations about lodging a service complaint,” said Mr. Dubé. “Not only has the Minister heard and accepted my recommendation to include Article 16, but the CRA is committed to implementing it.”
Mr. Dubé heard from stakeholders across the country that they were sometimes afraid to complain about the CRA or invoke their rights as taxpayers and recognized the need for action. “Even if taxpayers have rights, those rights are diminished if they are afraid to use them. My Office is addressing this fear with Article 16 and, in turn, strengthening our existence as an independent and impartial Ombudsman’s office that can, and does, spark change and improvement for taxpayers.”