Sherra Profit, the Taxpayers’ Ombudsman, will examine the Canada Revenue Agency’s legal warnings when collecting unpaid taxes. The Ombudsman has received complaints alleging the CRA has been taking legal action, such as freezing bank accounts and garnishing wages, without notifying taxpayers first.
"While the CRA's collections practices and collections officers' behaviours are some of the most common complaints received in my office, we have received more specific complaints about the legal warnings aspect,” stated Profit in an announcement issued April 7. “CRA collections officers generally try to work out an acceptable payment arrangement that will allow taxpayers to avoid undue financial hardship. Taxpayers who contacted my office indicated they were taken by surprise, and said they have faced financial hardship and stress because of the lack of notice prior to CRA taking legal action."
The Ombudsman will be examining how the CRA notifies people of the legal actions they will take to collect debt, and if they communicate their practices to the public. After this examination, the Taxpayers' Ombudsman will make her findings public in a report.