Minister Shea Highlights Harper Government’s Improvements to Tax Debt Collections


Ottawa, Ontario, April 30, 2013…The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of National Revenue and Minister for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, today highlighted that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has made satisfactory progress on improvements to tax debt collections, according to the latest report from the Auditor General of Canada.

“Our Government is committed to ensuring the tax system is administered fairly for the vast majority of Canadians who work hard and pay their taxes,” said Minister Shea. “I am pleased that the Auditor General has recognized the progress made since the previous report. Our Government is already taking steps to address all of the latest recommendations, and will continue to ensure tax debts are well managed.”

The Harper Government has focused on continuously improving the CRA’s tax collection program through the introduction of better strategies to prevent the debt from occurring, and supporting measures to resolve debt before legal action is required. That has resulted in increased productivity through earlier intervention at a lower cost.

As a result, the amount recovered has grown by 87% between 2005-2006 and 2011-2012. In fiscal year 2011-12 alone, the CRA recovered $40 billion in tax debts.

Over the last five years, over 90% of individuals and corporations paid their taxes on time and without any intervention.

In addition, an international tax benchmarking study in 2011 confirmed that the CRA’s collection approach includes many best practices employed by tax administrations around the world.

We expect CRA to aggressively pursue any debts from those that may be seeking to avoid paying their fair share,” said Minister Shea. “At the same time, our Government understands that some Canadians can face difficulties in meeting their tax obligations.  That is why the CRA uses a fair and balanced approach when collecting tax payments from individuals and business owners.”

The tax debt is an inventory of amounts owed that are known and actively managed by the CRA. New amounts are continually added, while others are collected or addressed through other measures. The CRA has strategies in place to resolve all debts.

The Harper Government remains focused on four priorities, as outlined by the Prime Minister, that Canadians care most about: their families, the safety of our streets and communities, their pride in being a citizen of this country, and their personal financial security.

Source: Canada Revenue Agency, Apr 2013

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