If you’ve been having trouble with your dealings with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), there is a Taxpayers’ Ombudsman that may be able to help. In addition they have some good tips for how to deal with CRA.
The types of complaints they can review are
– Undue delays
– Poor or misleading information
– Unfair treatment
– Staff behaviour
If you think you have a suitable case for the Taxpayers’ Ombudsman, check out the tips for filing a complaint. The highlights of the tips are to be clear about what you want and to submit complete information.
The Ombudsman also offers a list of tips for dealing with CRA. Many people falter on the tip about being calm and respectful. No matter how egregious your treatment by CRA, it is unlikely to be the fault of the CRA employee you are speaking to on the phone.
Like many service workers, CRA employees who interact with the public get paid the same whether or not they help you (within limits). Whether you like it or not, they hold the power and you don’t. Fortunately, most people like to be helpful and CRA employees are no different.
Your best bet is to be likeable. This doesn’t mean backing down from what is rightfully yours. It just means remaining respectful. Your best hope is to make the CRA employee an ally of yours in righting whatever wrong you’ve suffered.
Here’s an example of something unhelpful to say:
"MY TAXES PAY YOUR SALARY!!"
After this gem you may not get maximum cooperation from the CRA employee you blasted.
There is no guarantee that treating CRA employees well will get you what you want, but it improves your odds.