Taxpayer Information Within CRA

On June 20, 2010, the Toronto Star reported that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) had performed internal investigations on its employees regarding improper access to taxpayer information. The report noted that certain employees had accessed taxpayer information for personal use – for example, one case involved an employee who checked financial information of creditors of her spouse.

Subsection 241(4) of the Income Tax Act outlines when taxpayer information may be disclosed. The subsection provides a number of situations where taxpayer information held by CRA can only be disclosed, including to properly calculate amounts under the Income Tax Act and to administer the Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance system.

The article states that CRA only informs victims of the breach of privacy where they judge the breach to be more than minor. However, the article is unclear as to how quickly they are informed and how much information they are given about the breach.