TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 07/04/13 -- The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of National Revenue and Minister for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, today announced a number of improvements to services offered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) based on consultations with small businesses and their tax professionals.
The Focussing on Small Business Priorities report reiterates the Harper Government's commitment to cutting red tape for small and medium-sized enterprises, saving them time and money, and stimulating job creation and growth.
"Our Government is listening to Canada's small business community and we have already taken real steps to cut red tape so that small businesses across the country can continue to grow and create jobs," said Minister Shea. "Improved technology put in place by our Government has made it much easier for small businesses to manage their taxes and we are committed to continuing that progress. With this latest suite of improvements, business owners and their tax professionals will have greater access to the online services they are asking for."
As a result of the feedback received through these consultations, the CRA is making the changes that businesses want and need most. This includes commitments to:
-- Allow businesses to submit payroll enquiries through the My Business Account enquiries service;-- Allow businesses to update business banking and direct deposit information online;-- Improve access to My Business Account by reducing the processing time for a Business Consent Form from 14 days to only 5 days; and-- Increase outreach to businesses to ensure they are aware of less burdensome filing frequency options (for example, filing quarterly rather than monthly).
In November 2012, the CRA held Red Tape Reduction consultations in seven cities across Canada to help improve services it provides to small and medium-sized businesses. The CRA met with over 140 small business owners, accountants, and bookkeepers for input on five themes, including reporting obligations and online services.
These improvements will build on the success of online services already put in place by the Harper Government. Earlier this year, Minister Shea received the Golden Scissors award from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) for introducing measures that improve services at the CRA and reduce the burden placed on small businesses. This included introducing the My Business Account Enquiries Service, which allows businesses to ask tax questions related to their account online and receive information they can rely on in writing.
"Small businesses are major employers all across Canada, and help to support their communities," said Plamen Petkov, CFIB Director of Provincial Affairs for Ontario. "The previous improvements at CRA have already made things much easier for business owners. With these new changes to online services our members should be able to spend even less time meeting their tax obligations and more time running their business."
Launched in October 2012, the Harper Government's Red Tape Reduction Action Plan introduced systemic reforms to the federal regulatory system to limit regulatory burden and make it more transparent, accountable, and predictable. The plans include 90 changes to eliminate unnecessary paperwork and introduce time-saving measures.
To read the Focussing on Small Business Priorities: Canada Revenue Agency Consultations on Cutting Red Tape report, or for more information on the CRA's work under the Red Tape Reduction Action Plan, go to www.cra.gc.ca/redtapereduction.
FOR BROADCAST USE:
The Minister of National Revenue and Minister for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the Honourable Gail Shea, today announced that a number of improvements to services offered by the Canada Revenue Agency based on consultations with small businesses and their tax professionals. "With this latest suite of improvements, business owners and their tax professionals will have greater access to the online services they are asking for," said Minister Shea.
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Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of National Revenue
Canada Revenue Agency