Figures tabled in Parliament last summer showed nearly seven in every 10 callers were greeted by the signal in the 2014-15 fiscal years, indicating that call volumes had pushed the system to capacity.“I can’t believe they don’t put callers on hold,” said one post on an Internet chat board.“Compared to a busy signal, being on hold would be great.”The data show that of the 12.8 million calls between March 30 and May 1 a busy signal greeted almost four in every five calls.

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Goodale said the figures show that budget cuts at the CRA, including decreases in front-line staff to handle inquiries, have eroded its ability to meet service standards.

The funding to the CRA’s taxpayer’s services, for instance, has been cut by about 24 per cent over the 2012--16 fiscal years leading to an equivalent reduction in the number of staff, government documents say.

Goodale said the government needs to revisit its CRA budget cuts and review the technology used to answer citizen queries to improve service standards.

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Getting through to the Canada Revenue Agency by phone can still be a challenge despite the Liberal government’s campaign promise to overhaul the agency’s service model and make it “fairer, more helpful and easier to use.”Preparers and individual filers complain that many calls to the agency’s general enquiries line are met with a busy signal, although some land at a phone menu system that offers recorded messages about tax topics and the opportunity to connect with an agent.

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