As it was recently found out, the Canada Revenue Agency is still giving wrong information to people inquiring about tax issues. The government found call centre agents were giving wrong information 13% of the time to personal tax inquiries and 17% of the time to benefit inquires.
The Auditor General looked at the CRA’s call centres in 2017 and found out that agents were giving the wrong information as much as 30 per cent of the time. It was also found almost half of phone calls didn’t get through, with callers getting busy signals and having to call back multiple times.
In the current fiscal year, the government found call centre agents were giving the wrong information 13 per cent of the time to personal tax filers, 17 per cent of the time for benefit inquires and six per cent of the time for business inquiries.
All of that could lead to callers paying too much or too little tax and later being subject to reassessments or penalties by CRA.
In response to that, CRA has overhauled training requirements for new call centre agents having them do eight weeks of additional training on top of the six that was required previously, before they start taking live calls. They’re also more frequently updating manuals and guides the operators refer to when taking calls.
The CRA also has a new phone system to make sure most of the calls are now getting through. The agency’s spokesperson Christopher Doody said they are seeing improvements and hope to answer 100 per cent of calls in time.
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