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The Connaught Building, home of the Canada Revenue Agency
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) (formerly Revenue Canada under the Federal Identity Program) is a federal agency that administers tax laws for the Government of Canadamarker and for most provinces and territories, international trade legislation, and various social and economic benefit and incentive programs delivered through the tax system. It also oversees the registration of charities in Canada, and tax credit programmes such as the Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Credit Program.

The Canada Revenue Agency was previously known as the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA) until a federal government reorganization in December 2003 when it was decided to split the organization's customs and revenue responsibilities into separate organizations. Since then, Canada Border Services Agency is part of the Public Safety Canada portfolio to handle customs responsibilities.

The CCRA was short-lived, having been created in a November 1999 reorganization of the federal government where it had been known for many years under its statutory name the Department of National Revenue. It was also referred to as Revenue Canada under the Federal Identity Program of the Treasury Board of Canada. To this day, most Canadians have continued to refer to the agency as "Revenue Canada" through its CCRA and CRA official designation periods.

Example of a cheque from the Canada Revenue Agency


Administration of taxation laws

The CRA administers most individual and corporate income taxes in Canada. With the exception of Quebecmarker provincial individual income tax, the CRA Administers all personal and trust tax returns. CRA also administers all corporate income taxes in Canada, except for Quebec and Alberta provincial corporate income taxes. The Ontario Ministry of Finance also partially administers the provincial corporate income tax for tax years ended prior to January 1, 2009, however administrative functions are being increasingly transferred to CRA. .

The CRA administers the Goods and Services Tax (GST) (the Canadian federal value added tax) in all provinces except Quebec, where Revenu Quebec administers both the QST and GST. IN Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland & Labrador, where the GST is replaced with a Harmonized Sales Tax which is administered by CRA. On March 26, 2009, the Government of Ontario proposed that the Ontario Retail Sales Tax be harmonized with the GST on July 1, 2010. Although not explicitly announced, it is likely this harmonized tax will be administered by CRA.. The Government of British Columbia has announced that it will harmonize its Provincial Sales Tax effective July 1, 2010, at which time the newly aligned tax will be administered by the CRA

Criticism

The Canada Revenue Agency is inconsistent in regard to breaks for delinquent tax payers, so much that there is a risk that taxpayers could begin to "shop around" to other tax offices for the best deal.

The Canada Revenue Agency is also inconsistent when compensating taxpayers for mistakes. A recent case being Irvin Leroux who lost $4.5 million in assets due to a Canada Revenue Agency mistake.

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