Revenue Canada

Formerly the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency and Revenue Canada, the Canada Revenue Agency is a federal agency that administers tax laws for most territories and provinces and the Canadian government. The agency also oversees a variety of incentive, economic, and social programs under the tax system as well as international trade legislation. The CRA administers tax credit programs and the registrations of charities.

The agency is responsible for administering trust tax and personal tax returns, collecting Goods and Services Tax. The Harmonized Sales Tax has replaced GST in some of the provinces, including Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and British Columbia. HST combines the provincial sales tax and Goods and Services Tax into one transaction and is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency.

Reviews or audits are also performed by the CRA in order to ensure compliance with the acting tax laws. Auditors can audit, inspect, and examine the records and books of taxpayers as well as their property. They are also allowed to enter places of business and premises of taxpayers, requiting managers and property owners to answer questions and offer reasonable assistance. Finally, auditors have the right to request documents and information from taxpayers and third parties. Taxpayers who refuse to cooperate risk facing obstruction charges as detailed in the Income Tax Act.

The Canada Revenue Agency offers a number of electronic services to individual taxpayers and businesses. Individuals can file and change their returns, make payments, register formal disputes, get direct deposit, calculate family benefits, and more. TELEFILE is a service offered by the CRA to eligible individuals. They can file their benefit return and income tax electronically free-of-charge by using a touch-tone phone. Businesses can also benefit from the electronic services of the agency by making payments, filing a return, or making an online request. The option of registering a business is also available. In addition, businesses can download publications and order forms, make electronic payments, and calculate payroll deductions.

Businesses that require corporate income tax, payroll, GST/ HST, and import/ export business accounts should register a business number account with the Canada Revenue Agency. The CRA requests that new registrations provide the Major Business Activity, social insurance number and name of the company’s director or owner. Registering for a business number is possible online, by phone, or by mail. Before registering, business owners should have the following information: business activity, sales amount/ reporting period, accounting periods, and more.

Canada Child Tax Benefit is administered by the CRA, and eligible families receive tax-free monthly payments to help them meet the costs of raising children. CCTB may include Child Disability Benefit and National Child Benefit Supplement. NCBS is a joint initiative of the federal, territorial, and provincial governments aiming to reduce and eliminate child poverty. The initiative seeks to reduce duplication and overlap of government services and programs, ensuring that families are employed as to promote attachment to the country’s workforce. Child Disability Benefit is intended as a tax-free benefit and available to families with children meeting the requirements for the disability amount. It supplements the Children’s Special Allowances, which makes payments to provincial and federal institutions and agencies that care for children.

What about differences in tax regulations for aboriginal people? It should be noted that unless the income of aboriginal persons is eligible for tax exemption, as specified in the Indian Act, the same tax rules apply to aboriginal people as to other residents of Canada. Only purchases made and income earned on/ after 31 January may be subject to tax exemption.