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CRA Service Improvements

Based on Issues Raised by the Taxpayers' Ombudsman in Published Systemic Examination Reports

Date: September 2018

The Office of the Taxpayers’ Ombudsman works closely with the CRA to deal with the issues raised by the Taxpayers' Ombudsman in regular examination reports.

Investigation of Ruling Letters From the CRA’s CPP/EI Rulings Division and Their Information Completeness

The initial report called ‘Rights and Rulings’ provided to the Minister of National Revenue March 2017.

Suggestion #1

A copy of the CPP/EI Rulings Report can be requested by employed people and payers along with guidelines on how to get it.

Suggestion #2

Any amount or over-contribution from the workers and payers can originate from the decision of the Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance rulings letters.

Suggestion #3

The employees along with the payers eligible for a Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Employment Insurance (EI) ruling should be informed of any updates of the CRA’s publications and website sections along with the step-by-step guidelines of what they are expected to do before and after a ruling is made. Such guides should also contain information about any outstanding CPP balance and/or EI rewards.

Suggestion #4

The following information needs to be included in the CPP and EI rulings letters issued by the CRA:

  • the contact details of the rulings officer (e.g. name and telephone number) along with the invitation to get in touch in case of any questions related to the decisions made;
  • link to the "Have you received a CPP/EI ruling?" website.
Suggestion #5

It’s recommended by the Taxpayers' Ombudsman for the CRA to monitor possible changes that can be implemented in order to improve the effectiveness and include an additional explanation of the decisive factors within each ruling letter.

Investigating the Factors Causing Service Issues Relating to Delays in the CRA’s Taxpayer Relief Program

The initial report called ‘Without Delay’ provided to the Minister of National Revenue September 2017.

Suggestion #1

Every person who has filed a request for relief is expected to receive the following from the CRA:

  1. Information about the complexity degree of the request submitted. In some cases it can be just a regular request of relief, whereas in others it may be more complex;
  2. Clear estimate time of the request processing.
Suggestion #2

The same standards of time processing periods of taxpayer relief requests should be maintained throughout the country.

Suggestion #3

The CRA is expected to determine the factors causing or influencing the fluctuations in the number of taxpayer relief requests along with their general impact on the Taxpayer Relief Program.

Suggestion #4

In order to make sure that the Taxpayer Relief Program meets or improves its processing deadlines for the requests, the CRA is recommended to preplan sufficient and permanent funding of the Program.

An Investigation of the CRA’s Communication Practices and Activities Towards Shelters and Support Organizations in Regards to the Credits and Benefits Issued to Them by the CRA

The initial report called ‘Benefits unsheltered’ provided to the Minister of National Revenue September 2017.

Suggestion #1

The CRA is expected to search for new communication channels and methods to educate, inform and cooperate with organizations in order to provide accurate information on credits and benefits to people using shelters.

Suggestion #2

The CRA should conduct more promotional activities in order to increase the level of awareness about credits and benefits for people using shelters.

Suggestion #3

The consistency across the country should be accurately maintained by the CRA regarding the following topics:

  • Delivering information to organizations about credits and benefits available to people using shelters
  • Promotion of outreach services