Report 4—Canada Child Benefit—Canada Revenue Agency
At a GlanceReport 4—Canada Child Benefit—Canada Revenue Agency
Why we did this audit
- The Canada Child Benefit is a key public policy tool for reducing poverty and inequality by providing help to low‑income families.
- It is important that the first payment be made in the shortest possible time frame because eligible families entitled to the benefit need the financial support to help with the cost of raising children.
- The assessment of Canada Child Benefit eligibility was well-managed and payments were accurate and timely.
- Through the Canada Child Benefit program, the government provided support to more families at the beginning of the pandemic.
- By law, the primary caregiver is presumed to be the female parent. Given the diversity of families today in Canada, this concept presented difficulties for applicants and the agency.
Key facts and figures
- The formula adopted for the additional one-time payment of up to $300 at the beginning of the pandemic, allowed for close to 265,000 higher-income families not previously entitled under the Canada Child Benefit to receive payments totalling almost $88 million.
- The female presumption concept is a legislative requirement and only 1 payment per household can be issued under the Income Tax Act.
- To improve the administration of the Canada Child Benefit program, the Canada Revenue Agency should
- ensure that the list of documents that applicants can submit are suitable for assessing eligibility
- require valid proof of birth for all applications
- improve receipt of data from other government organizations to obtain greater assurance that the eligibility conditions are met
- The Canada Revenue Agency should enhance its procedures and communications to mitigate the confusion and sensitivities caused by the female presumption concept.
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|Completion date||11 January 2021|
|Tabling date||25 February 2021|