The public protector (or ombudsman) is appointed by the Quebec National Assembly with the mandate to “intervene . . . whenever [s]he has reasonable cause to believe that a person or group of persons has suffered or may very likely suffer prejudice as the result of an act or omission of a public body.” The public protector enjoys extensive investigatory powers, and her jurisdiction extends to Revenu Québec. The public protector regularly intervenes in audits, collection disputes, file processing, and other disputes with Revenu Québec after receiving complaints from taxpayers. The 2013-14 annual report, tabled on September 18, 2014, made headlines because of its searing indictment of a wide range of audit, collection, and customer service practices in which Revenu Québec officials “use, or in some cases, misuse, conferred powers to claim amounts that threaten the viability of businesses, without properly supporting their conclusions.” This article summarizes the report’s comments on Revenu Québec.
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