Audit of the Canada Revenue Agency - page 7

AUDIT REPORT OF THE PRIVACY COMMISSIONER OF CANADA,
2013
5
Introduction
ABOUT THE CANADA REVENUE AGENCY
The CRA administers tax laws and various social
and economic benefit and incentive programs for
the Government of Canada and for most provinces
and territories.
The Minister of National Revenue is accountable to
Parliament for all Agency activities, including admin-
istering and enforcing the
Income Tax Act
. The CRA
Board of Management exercises corporate oversight
on the Minister’s behalf including strategic planning.
The Agency Commissioner appointed as Chief
Executive Officer has the day-to-day responsibility
for the administration of and compliance with various
pieces of legislation including the
Income Tax Act
and
the
Privacy Act
. The Commissioner and Assistant
Commissioners sit on the Agency Management
Committee, which provides policy direction, manage-
ment control and risk management accountability
across the Agency.
To fulfill its mandate as Canada’s tax collector, the
CRA has one of the most extensive personal informa-
tion record holdings in Canada. In 2012 the Agency
received almost 27 million individual tax returns,
issued more than 34 million tax payments, sent
111 million credit and benefit payments to almost
12 million Canadians and responded to nearly 18 million
public inquiries. The CRA interacts with more
Canadians than any other government organization and
its operations have a significant impact on individuals
and businesses.
In 2012 the CRA had approximately 40 thousand
employees working in five regions and 40 tax service
offices and tax centres across Canada. Approximately
65 per cent—or 26,000—of CRA’s employees have
electronic access to taxpayer information through
various tax systems.
The CRA is subject to the
Privacy Act
and associated
Treasury Board policies and directives for the
management and protection of Canadians’ personal
information. Section 241 of the
Income Tax Act
also
imposes confidentiality requirements on its employ-
ees and others with access to taxpayer information.
Penalties may be imposed if the Act is not respected.
Exhibit 1: Protection of Taxpayer Information
under the
Income Tax Act
241. (1) Except as authorized by this section,
no official or other representative of a
government entity shall
(a) knowingly provide, or knowingly
allow to be provided, to any person
any taxpayer information;
(b) knowingly allow any person to have
access to any taxpayer information; or
(c) knowingly use any taxpayer information
otherwise than in the course of the
administration or enforcement of this Act,
the
Canada Pension Plan
, the
Unemploy-
ment Insurance Act
or the
Employment
Insurance Act
or for the purpose for which
it was provided under this section.
Additional information about the Agency is available
at
.
Introduction
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