The CRA’s call centre performed better this tax season, but there’s still work to be done

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According to the CRA, this past tax-filing season, 74 per cent of calls made to the CRA’s Individual Tax Enquiries lines were answered (45 per cent by an agent, and 29 per cent by automated service) compared to 37 per cent for the 2015 tax-filing season.Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press

Midnight Friday marked the official end of the 2017 tax-filing season as that’s the final deadline for individuals with self-employment income (and their spouse or partner) to file without getting hit with a late-filing penalty. As of earlier this week, more than 27 million returns had been filed this season, nearly 90 per cent of them electronically.

If you’d had occasion to call the Canada Revenue Agency over the past few months, you may have had some trouble getting through on your first call. According to the CRA, this past tax-filing season, 74 per cent of calls made to the CRA’s Individual Tax Enquiries lines were answered (45 per cent by an agent, and 29 per cent by automated service) compared to 37 per cent for the 2015 tax-filing season (30 per cent by an agent, and 7 per cent by automated service). More callers can now wait in queue, which has reduced the number of call attempts needed to reach an agent from an average of 3.3 attempts in 2015-2016 to an average of 2.1 for 2017-2018.

While this is certainly an improvement, the CRA says that “it will continue working to further meet the evolving expectations of Canadians.”

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