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How the CRA Collections System works?

How the CRA Collections System works?

Since 1st August, 2005, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has been given the responsibility of the cra collections of tax debts which was previously being handles by the Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC). CRA collection has the accountability for tax debts that are due to HRSDC through student loans, employment insurance, old age security, employment programs and Canada Pension Plan.

When the tax assessment or a reassessment is not paid, the balances which are unpaid are drawn from the relevant accounting system and these balances turn into collection accounts. There is a distinct accounting system for each line of revenue. The lines of revenue are corporate tax, personal income tax, Goods and Services Tax (GST) and salary deductions by all employers.

CRA Collections Agency

CRA Collections agency has to recover the entire balance of tax debts or make arrangements through individual payment plans from defaulters to recover the tax debt within a specified period of time. Recourse to legal action is taken when the defaulters are not able to arrange the filing of their tax returns. The kind of legal actions that can apply include certification of the debt in federal courts, garnishing of wages and accounts receivables, placing a lien on the assets of the taxpayer, setting off the tax debt against other government payments and seizing the assets of the taxpayer.

CRA Collections Agency can also take the tax defaulters and debtors to court in order to collect the debt which has not been paid. The procedures used by CRA Collections agencies to collect the outstanding tax debt amounts could be a combination of both automated and manual intervention. The CRA collection procedures may involve sending computer-generated letters, making reminder telephone calls, organizing field visits by the agents and sending legal notices.

The CRA collection activities take place through the Revenue Enforcement Management Information Tracking System (REMITS). This is done through a national collection call centre in the capital city of Ottawa and at eight other locations that organize collection for personal tax and Goods & Services Tax. The mode of collection will be determined by CRA collection authorities depending on the complexity as well as the size of an account.

REMITS of CRA collections arranges letters to all the tax debtors and takes care of specified accounts for which prior arrangements have been made. The call centre of CRA collection is responsible for outbound calls principally to those tax debtors whose outstanding amounts are below a specified dollar limit. The call centre is equipped with a telephone calling system which enables it to dial out to taxpayers automatically. The national pools make these outbound calls not considering any specific geographic boundaries for both individual tax and the Goods & Services Tax below a specified dollar limit.

CRA collection pools also conduct restricted enforcement actions such as garnishing the wages or accounts receivables of the taxpayers. The Tax Service Offices handle the more complicated accounts and conduct a range of legal enforcement like the seizing of assets or placement of liens on the properties of the tax defaulters.