2017-0698971C6 2017 STEP - Q15 - Registration of Tax Preparers

Please note that the following document, although believed to be correct at the time of issue, may not represent the current position of the CRA. Prenez note que ce document, bien qu'exact au moment émis, peut ne pas représenter la position actuelle de l'ARC.

Principal Issues: Status of the Registration of Tax Preparers Program

Position: Response provided by SMED.

Author: Campbell, Katie

Section: -

STEP CRA Roundtable – June 13, 2017

QUESTION 15.  Registration of Tax Preparers Program

On January 17, 2014, the Minister released a proposal to introduce the Registration of Tax Preparers Program (RTPP) which is a registration system for tax preparers who prepare tax returns for a fee, and requested input from taxpayers, tax preparers and other stakeholders. Can the CRA comment on the input it has received, and the status of this proposal?

CRA Response

The Registration of Tax Preparers Program (RTPP) was originally announced as part of the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) three-point plan to improve voluntary compliance for small and medium-sized businesses.  The RTPP was designed as a registration system for tax preparers who prepare individual or corporate income tax returns for a fee.  The overall objective of the program was to work closely with the tax preparer community to prevent frequent and re-occurring mistakes in the filing of income tax returns.  The CRA launched a public consultation process on the RTPP in January 2014 to gain a better understanding of the business needs of tax preparers, the impact of the registration process and to solicit input from all stakeholders.

The tax preparer community provided valuable input into the proposed program.  In general, tax preparers expressed a desire to continue working closely with the CRA and the overall results of the consultations was that the RTPP should be designed to minimize additional red tape; to emphasize a collaborative and preventative approach to addressing non-compliance; and to enhance services that would serve to reduce non-compliance.  For a detailed analysis of the public consultations on the RTPP, please see the CRA website at What We Heard - A report on the public consultation for the proposed Registration of Tax Preparers Program.

Taking into consideration the input of stakeholders, the CRA further pursued its analysis of the legislative and system requirements needed to implement the RTPP.  This analysis has shown that to be effective the program as originally proposed would require significant investments that no longer align with CRA priorities.  However, the goals of the RTPP continue to be very relevant to an effective tax administration:  the value and importance of working closely with stakeholders to prevent common errors and improve long-term compliance.

The CRA is now considering other options that would serve to implement the objectives of the proposed RTPP through existing CRA programs and initiatives at lower costs.  With a collaborative, educational approach, that includes leveraging programs like the Liaison Officer Initiative, the upcoming pilot of the Dedicated Telephone Service for Income Tax Service Providers, and utilizing its current partnerships with various associations and other stakeholders as well as a continued commitment to an expanded suite of electronic services, the CRA believes it can achieve the objectives of the RTPP in a more cost-effective manner.

Katie Campbell (for SMED)

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