Canada's NDP


March 21st, 2024

Letter to CRA Minister Bibeau, its time to make automatic tax filing a reality

Canadian families are struggling to put food on the table with sky-high food prices and rent. They count on their government to make life more affordable.

This tax season is no different. Canadians are scrambling to file their taxes, looking for the most affordable way to do so. As the NDP critic for Tax Fairness, I am writing to you today to call for action on the promise your government made in 2020 and again in 2023 to implement an automatic tax filing system. This will help all Canadians save money and avoid the hassle in filing their taxes. In budget 2023 your government promised to implement the program beyond 2025, but Canadians are fed up with waiting—they want to see this implemented now. You should give tax filers a clear deadline for when they can expect a fully automated tax filing. Canadians want to see results before 2025 not beyond it.

An automatic tax filing system will make it easier and more affordable for people to get their taxes in on time and receive the benefits to which they’re eligible. In 2020, up to 12 per cent of Canadians did not file their taxes due to, lack of resources, lack of awareness and language barriers. We also know that Canadians have lost out on over a billion dollars on eligible benefits with the government’s current tax filing system—this cannot wait.

Many low-income households face socio-economic barriers when it comes to filing their taxes. When the onus is on the individual, working people often pay out-of-pocket to hire a third party or purchase software to file their taxes. While these are valid options, they cost money that families would rather use to pay for food or other necessities. Third-party tax filers like H&R Block should not be taking a cut from benefits to low-income people when the same job can be done for a fraction of the cost by the government through an automatic tax filing system.

Automatic tax filing would make life easier and more affordable for Canadians currently facing a cost-of-living crisis. Your government needs to stop delaying on your promise and implement a tax filing system as soon as possible.

MP Niki Ashton, NDP Tax Fairness Critic
Churchill—Keewatinook Aski