Minister Shea Announces New Measures to Cut Red Tape

Halifax, Nova Scotia, October 1, 2012… The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of National Revenue, today unveiled important new measures the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is undertaking as part of the Government’s ambitious and far-reaching plan to cut red tape. This will support businesses in creating jobs and economic growth.

As part of its Red Tape Reduction efforts, the CRA has created a dedicated team that is responsible for coordinating and addressing small business issues. The CRA has mandated the team to ensure the Agency takes a “small business lens” approach to service improvements with a renewed and enhanced focus on cutting red tape for small businesses. This focus on engagement with small businesses and stakeholders will ensure that the perspectives on the small business community are taken into account in the CRA’s work. The CRA has already put in place some changes to improve services for business, including improved online registration for a Business Number, and providing GST/HST rulings more quickly to support informed business planning.

“Our Government believes that Canada’s entrepreneurs should be able to focus on growing their business and creating jobs. Small businesses spoke; the CRA listened and is taking action. The Agency understands the importance of reducing red tape for small businesses, and is committed to a renewed focus on red tape reduction and service improvements,” said Minister Shea.

The Government’s Red Tape Reduction Action Plan details the ways in which the Government is addressing issues identified as irritants by business during consultations in 2011. The regulatory reforms flowing from this plan support the Harper Government’s top priority of jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. The vast majority of these reforms will be implemented in the next three years.

“The reforms that the Government has committed to under the Action Plan are a game-changer for doing business in Canada,” said Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board and lead minister of the Action Plan. “These reforms will root out red tape irritants and make the regulatory system more open, predictable, and transparent.

Canada is internationally recognized as one of the best places in the world to do business. Solid fiscal fundamentals, with the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio among G7 countries, and a competitive tax regime has distinguished Canada at a time when many countries are struggling with rising debt and an increasing tax burden.

“In 2008, the government reduced paper burden by 20 percent over two years which was a good first step in addressing one of the biggest lags on productivity among small firms – red tape,” said Leanne Hachey, Vice-President, Atlantic Canada for CFIB. “Today’s announcement is a giant leap forward in actually tackling the issue for the long-term and actually making a difference in the lives of Canada’s entrepreneurs,” added Hachey.

The Government of Canada’s efforts to reduce the tax compliance burden are having a positive impact. In PricewaterhouseCoopers’ 2012 international study analyzing the ease of paying taxes, Paying Taxes 2012: The Global Picture, Canada ranks higher than any other G-7 country based on the overall ease of complying with tax obligations. PricewaterhouseCoopers also identified Canada as a potential model for other countries’ tax system from the perspective of a company filing and paying taxes.

To continue to build on Canada’s world class tax system, the CRA will consult with businesses across Canada this fall to obtain further feedback and ideas on proposals to reduce the regulatory burden.

For more information on Red Tape Reduction, visit