10 Ways the CRA Is Helping Small Businesses to Succeed

by Craig Anthony

4 min read

You’ve probably experienced your share of challenges while operating your small business, and taxes are probably on your short list of unpleasant responsibilities. The Canada Revenue Agency is aware of the struggles small businesses face when confronted with tax rules and regulations. In keeping with its mission to make tax administration effective and responsive, the CRA has made great strides in updating its small business tax resources. As a result, you’ll be able to utilize CRA tools more easily for your business, making your tax preparation chores simpler, and less stressful.

1. More Online Freedom

Over the years, business accounting practices have gravitated from laborious paper-based systems to intuitive online systems. Speed and simplicity are the reasons for this switch. Online software makes it easy to log transactions, generate reports, and keep track of financial information. While the CRA already provides a lot of information for businesses online, there’s always room for improvement. The agency is making it easier than ever for businesses to manage their information online, including improved direct deposit and return address options.

2. Improved Payroll Tax System

The CRA has made a change in its administration procedures that directly effects thousands of businesses. Your company may benefit from filing payroll taxes less often than previously required. You’re still required to follow standard CRA rules for payroll tax reporting. Good record keeping is the best way to stay on the agency’s good side.

3. CRA Team Assistance

The CRA has lots of authority to throw its weight around when it comes to tax regulation enforcement, but that doesn’t make it heartless. The CRA wants to help your business as much as possible. It has a team of auditors tasked with staying on top of issues faced by small and medium-sized companies, and this team provides valuable input, which influences agency programs and policies.

4. Streamlined Business Number

Complexity can certainly gum up the works when you’re dealing with tax issues and payments. The agency has made it easy for businesses to use one business number throughout several government programs. Having a single business identity eliminates redundancy, and makes things less confusing for everyone.

5. Simplified My Business Account

If you’ve paid business taxes, you’re already familiar with My Business Account. If not, you’ll be registering for an account soon. This was already a good portal for handling online tax payments, and it has always given businesses good access to resources. The CRA has expanded this valuable portal, and you can now conduct a wider range of online transactions from a single account. To gain access to My Business Account, sign up for My Account, which requires a business number, a username, and a password.

6. Tax Reminders App

Remembering to file tax forms or make tax payments is usually the last thing on your mind when you’re running your business. Missing tax deadlines isn’t a casual matter, and these missed dates can lead to unwanted penalties. Avoid these hassles by downloading the CRA Business Tax Reminders app on your smartphone. You have complete control to customize reminders, so you’ll always be on time for tax due dates.

7. The Liaison Officer Initiative

The CRA wants to make sure you’re doing your taxes the right way, which is why it offers excellent liaison support services. Your assigned liaison officer is available for personal visits, giving you specific guidance on all tax-related matters. Your liaison officer can also review your bookkeeping operation and provide helpful tips on how to improve your financial systems before tax time arrives.

8. Ask Your Tax Questions Online

You’re bound to have questions about tax preparation and compliance. Getting straight and reliable answers to those questions is crucial to avoiding tax reporting mistakes. The CRA provides a multitude of answers online for all sorts of business tax questions. This means you can get answers 24 hours a day whenever you need them.

9. Better Telephone Agent Accountability

Some tax issues are so complicated that you’ll want to speak with a telephone service agent. Agents vary in their abilities and helpfulness, and previously, it was difficult to call attention to an agent’s unsatisfactory service. Now, any telephone agent you speak with has an AgentID, making it much easier for agency supervisors to keep track of caller complaints. Supervisors can nip individual agent-related problems in the bud quickly, and agents are held accountable for bad service.

10. Ongoing Professional Consultation

To ensure the agency continues to offer valuable services, the CRA has committed to ongoing business consultation. Every two years, the agency consults with small and medium-sized businesses. During these sessions, you can share your ideas, complaints, and suggestions, which benefits the entire business community. Complying with Canadian tax laws and understanding how those laws effect your company is a lot easier when your business takes full advantage of CRA’s tools and consulting services.

References & Resources

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