Fellow blogger Michael James' post today about his hassles with the Canada Revenue Agency reminded me that I received an email recently from a relatively new government service for aggrieved Canadian taxpayers - the Office of the Taxpayers' Ombudsman.
Here is a chunk of their email to me:
"Canada’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights was expanded in 2007 to include eight service rights. Mr. J. Paul Dubé was appointed as Canada’s first Taxpayers' Ombudsman in February 2008 to uphold these eight service rights by ensuring that taxpayers get professional service and fair treatment from the CRA.
In that light, the Office of the Taxpayers' Ombudsman plays an important new role by providing independent and impartial reviews of complaints about how the CRA serves and treats taxpayers. The Office also addresses systemic problems that affect large numbers of taxpayers.
Attached is an electronic version of our Interim Report as well as our first Annual Report. As they demonstrate, the activities of the Office of the Taxpayers' Ombudsman have already resulted in a number of disputes between taxpayers and the CRA being resolved. It provides a few examples of the types of cases in which we have made a difference in the lives of taxpayers. As a result of our intervention, the CRA has:
* issued apologies;
* released bank accounts they had seized;
* cancelled penalties and interest they were charging;
* reviewed some of its internal policies and procedures; and
* in some instances, ended collection activities.
Additional information is available at: http://www.taxpayersrights.gc.ca/mssg-eng.html." The complaint form can be downloaded here.