There have been rumours for years of Whitehorse’s Canada Revenue Agency office closing, and an attempt was made by CRA a couple of years ago. Budget cuts and the “do-it-yourself-online” attitude at the CRA 1-800 numbers have contributed to what now seems to be inevitable.
Last week, on one of my visits to the Revenue Canada office (I am a bookkeeper) the CRA employee informed me that the closing of the Whitehorse office as of Oct. 1 will become a reality. I almost “lost my cool,” but of course she was just the messenger.
Later that week, I phoned the CRA 1-800 number and ended up talking to CRA in Toronto. (Great, they still have an office there, except it is very likely that they do not know where Whitehorse is.) Once again, a CRA employee told me that she could not do anything about it, and I should start using the online services.
I later talked to her supervisor and he referred me to the website to file a complaint. He pointed out that we should look at CRA as a business, trying to cut costs wherever they can. (Or should I say, wherever CRA sees fit?)
What do they base this closure on? Does CRA base that on population, or on tax dollars coming in?
We all pay taxes, and would we not expect to be provided with a service, like having a CRA office?
On top of that, we are a capital city, which I would think should have a CRA office. Wouldn’t you?
CRA suggests one can remit at the bank or pay online. Sure we can, yet this do-it-yourself attitude is going to get a lot of people unemployed and surely is not providing a service. But CRA does not see it that way.
In my attempts to try and keep this service in Whitehorse, I have also written a letter to MP Ryan Leef, but as of yet, have not had any reply.
It is my opinion that CRA has a duty and service to fulfill to the public. (One of the reasons we pay taxes is to receive services.) Let us try and keep our tax office in Whitehorse open!
If you agree, I hope you are able to find 15 minutes out of your busy life to write a complaint. A service complaints form can be found at www.cra-arc.gc.ca. (Click “Complaints and Disputes,” then “Service Complaints.”)
Once the form is completed, you can fax it to 1-866-388-7371 (or email it to me, at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will do that for you.)
The spokesperson in Toronto told me that the CRA has to take each complaint seriously, so let’s send them many.