If you’ve ever struggled with a tax question for your small business, or the thought of a Canada Revenue Agency agent marching toward your office strikes fear in your heart, relax – the CRA is now offering free, in-house help for small businesses. The government realizes the huge role that small business owners play in the Canadian tax system and wants to help them meet their obligations.
As part of this program, unincorporated small businesses can now request free in-person help, and small business groups and associations may request free in-person seminars from CRA liaison officers. After a successful test run in the greater Montreal area, and as part of Finance Minister Dianne Lebouthillier’s promise to offer more client-focused service, the CRA has expanded this service to 130 offices located throughout the provinces and territories.
An in-person CRA Liaison Officer can:
- Answer your tax-related questions and address your concerns
- Discuss common tax errors and financial benchmarks in the your business community
- Describe how various tools and services offered by the CRA can help your business
- Offer to review your books and records, and provide recommendations on how to strengthen your bookkeeping system
For seminars, the officer can:
- Explain common tax errors
- Demonstrate how to use financial benchmarks for your group’s industries
- Describe how the CRA’s services can help your businesses
- Explain general bookkeeping concepts and best practices
This is an excellent opportunity to gain some tax knowledge, educate your staff and get to know someone from your local CRA office better. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about whether a request for an in-person visit can result in an audit or the CRA reassessing your previous returns.
More than 25,000 small businesses have taken advantage of this opportunity since the initiative began in 2014. All you have to do to join them is submit the Liaison Officer Service Request Form from the CRA website CRA.ca.