Along with tax professionals all over Canada, Drache Aptowitzer LLP has noticed the increasing processing delays in every department of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The backlog can be extreme. In the last three years, the processing time for charitable applications may have as much as doubled. And there have been similar delays in resolving even minor tax disputes.
We know this backlog at the CRA is frustrating to our clients. Many of our clients’ are waiting anxiously with their entire lives or businesses on hold while the CRA processes their files. Some are frustrated at the bureaucracy standing between them and the charitable registration they need to carry out their good works. Others are suffering terribly under the weight of interest compounding daily on disputed amounts while they wait for the CRA to respond to their objections.
The cause of the increasing backlog seems to be the CRA’s current rearrangement of its tax centres, and there is very little we can do to speed things along.
The CRA is currently undergoing processing activities “streamlining”. This means a massive relocation and consolidation of operations all over the country, and it has resulted in many experienced CRA employees being shuffled into new roles with which they had no prior training for and may not have the personality for. The union representing the CRA workers has been cited estimating that more that 2,300 of its members will be affected or displaced.
Many agents have left the CRA altogether in frustration with their new roles or in order to avoid moving locations. This is particularly troublesome when so many positions within the CRA come with an intense learning curve. The result of this “streamlining”, at least for now, is increased workloads and growing backlogs in virtually every department. And while we sympathize with the professional frustration of the staff at the CRA, our sentiments are with our clients, who have placed their trust in us and are suffering personally and financially.
Drache Aptowitzer LLP lawyers will continue to press your case with the CRA. We are optimistic that the CRA’s streamlining process will eventually result in a return to the CRA’s previous levels of efficiency.