Tax administration responses to COVID-19: Measures taken to support taxpayers

  • A chatbot is being developed to solve PIT questions from taxpayers through a digital app.
  • Taxpayers have the possibility of receiving services by postal mail.
  • Government of Canada webpages (through www.canada.ca) have been updated to provide a single point of reference for up-to-date information on the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including updated pages highlighting the taxpayer relief measures. Also, the CRA Liaison Officer Service, offering help to owners of small businesses to understand their tax obligations, is customising the information it offers by ensuring small businesses are aware of any changes such as filing and payment deadlines, proactive relief measures, etc.

    Further, the CRA is moving a number of services from face-to-face to phone and electronic platforms:

    • To reduce the necessity for in-person meetings with taxpayers and tax preparers, and reduce administrative burden, as of 18 March 2020, the CRA is adopting a temporary administrative measure to facilitate electronic authorisation of representatives on taxpayer accounts.
    • The CRA Outreach Program, assisting individuals to better understand their tax obligations and to obtain the benefits and credits to which they are entitled, is being offered over the phone, and through webinar, where possible.
    • The CRA Liaison Officer service, traditionally available in-person, is now available over the phone.
    • In light of challenges facing the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program, generally offered through face-to-face interactions, additional efforts to encourage individuals to file their tax returns electronically are being explored.

    The Chilean tax administration (SII) is providing taxpayers with news and information about new procedures via social media, e-mails, the website and mass media. Messages are supported with graphic media to illustrate taxpayers on what they can / are allow to do, how to proceed and what kind of documentation is needed for such purposes. While social media is also used to reply to taxpayers’ specific inquiries, the scope of mass media is mainly focused on to strengthen the spreading of news and procedures to broader audiences.

    To ensure internal alignment and standardization regarding communications to taxpayers, each message, either on text or image, is previously released to internal audiences (both front and back office) through the SII´s intranet website and a newly released social business platform.

    To contact tax offices, additional contact channels have been implemented, including social networks and dedicated e-mails. Furthermore, efforts have been put in place to keep the hotlines opened. Each SII location has a dedicated e-mail box to receive taxpayers’ requirements and documentation, as a virtual extension of in-person procedures.

    Other measures taken to provide services remotely include:

    • Authorisation of physical receipts via internet
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