Tax department often didn’t answer or got it wrong, says report
As if paying taxes weren’t bad enough, the auditor-general has found that 29 million telephone calls could not get through to the tax department out of a total of 53.5 million. That means more than half the calls got either a busy signal or a recorded message saying to call back later. Each blocked caller was found to have made an average of three or four calls per week and often they never got through.
Poor accuracy noted
Worse yet, the auditor-general found that when agents did answer the phone the information they gave was not accurate 30 per cent of the time. His report suggests that may be because of gaps in agents’ training or maybe because they use too many different applications to look for answers.
The report also notes that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) does not accurately measure its own performance.
Tax agency pleads aging technology
In response, the tax agency said it was limited by its “aging call centre technology” and that it has “signed a commitment to transition its call centres to a new telephony platform as part of the Government of Canada’s Contact Centre Transformation Initiative.”
Hopefully not a solution like Phoenix
Canadians could be forgiven for blanching at this news since the government of Canada’s last attempt to modernize and centralize a system led to the ongoing Phoenix pay debacle whereby half a million civil servants have been underpaid, overpaid or not paid at all for the past two years. That problem is costing hundreds of millions to fix and, so far, shows no signs of being resolved any time soon.