New taxpayer watchdog plans to monitor how CRA handles pandemic-stressed taxpayers


OTTAWA — The new federal taxpayers’ advocate says he plans to keep a close eye on how the Canada Revenue Agency treats Canadians feeling the financial pain from the COVID-19 pandemic.

François Boileau says the CRA has agreed to be understanding with Canadians as the agency shifts back to tax-collection mode after months of doling out emergency aid.

The taxpayers’ ombudsperson adds that he expects many people to feel pressure regardless, which may send more complaints to his office.

So far, Boileau says the pandemic hasn’t harmed his office’s ability to respond to complaints from people who believe they have been treated unfairly by federal tax officials.

He also says he plans to reach out to marginalized groups who may feel too intimidated to simply engage with the CRA on tax issues.

Boileau took over the role of ombudsperson at the start of the month after more than a decade as Ontario’s French-language services commissioner.