Canada: Rapport Annuel Du Bureau De La Protection Des Droits De La Clientèle De Revenu Québec: Il Reste Encore Beaucoup À Faire!

Last Updated: July 25 2018
Article by Nicolas Simard and Laurianne Dusablon

Depuis plusieurs années, de nombreuses pratiques de Revenu Québec (« RQ ») ont été dénoncées par le public, les médias et différents organismes. Ceci a contribué à la perte de confiance du public envers l'agence gouvernementale.

Dans son rapport annuel 2014-2015, le Protecteur du citoyen déplorait le comportement de RQ auprès des contribuables et soulignait, en résumé :

  • la judiciarisation inutile des désaccords ;
  • l'application de positions rigides malgré les décisions contradictoires des tribunaux ;
  • les méthodes de vérification inadéquates et abusives ;
  • l'émission d'avis de cotisation erronés basés sur des présomptions inadéquates;
  • le refus de RQ de considérer les explications de certains contribuables.

En réponse à ces critiques, RQ promettait un changement de culture et a adopté la Charte des droits des contribuables et des mandataires (la « Charte ») en octobre 2016. Depuis son adoption, le Bureau de la protection des droits de la clientèle (le « Bureau ») a pour mandat de s'assurer du respect des droits qui y sont énoncés et d'offrir un mécanisme de résolution de conflits entre les contribuables et RQ dans les cas d'insatisfaction ou de non-respect de ces droits.

En septembre dernier, le rapport annuel 2016-2017 du Protecteur du citoyen rapportait encore de nombreux cas de manquements à des principes de justice fondamentale par RQ.

Le 19 juin 2018 dernier, le Bureau a publié son deuxième rapport annuel par lequel il présente ses observations relatives aux demandes d'intervention et des plaintes reçues pour la période de avril 2017 à mars 2018 (le « Rapport 2017-2018 »). Ainsi, durant la dernière année, le Bureau a été sollicité à 8 300 reprises et 2 306 dossiers ont été ouverts, dont 1 812 sont liés à des plaintes relatives à la perception des impôts et des taxes par RQ. Bien que le Rapport souligne une diminution de 21% du nombre de plaintes totales par rapport à l'an dernier, la diminution de celles relatives à la perception des impôts et taxes n'est que de 3%. On note aussi que 28% des plaintes se sont avérées fondées et ont requis l'intervention du Bureau. Le Rapport 2017-2018 révèle certaines situations où le Bureau a dû intervenir auprès de RQ à la défense des contribuables :

Obtention de délai additionnel

Un représentant était mandaté par plusieurs personnes pour corriger leurs déclarations de revenus antérieures afin de demander le remboursement d'un crédit d'impôt non réclamé depuis dix ans. Pour ce faire, le représentant devait produire la demande ainsi que des procurations l'autorisant à représenter ses clients à Revenu Québec avant le 31 décembre d'une année donnée. Toutefois, certaines de ces personnes étaient décédées et les procurations devaient être accompagnées de plusieurs documents, ce qui ne pouvait être effectué dans le temps requis en raison des délais judiciaires nécessaires. Le délai de 30 jours accordé par Revenu Québec était insuffisant et les successions des personnes décédées risquaient de perdre le droit au crédit d'impôt pour au moins une année. Après analyse du dossier, le Bureau est intervenu et le représentant a obtenu un délai de trois mois avec une possibilité de prolongation.

Annulation des frais de prise en charge et de recouvrement

Un contribuable avait quitté la province de Québec pour s'établir à l'étranger en 2012 et n'a pas produit de déclarations de revenus pour les années d'imposition 2012 et suivantes. Ne réussissant pas à le contacter, Revenu Québec lui a arbitrairement émis des avis de cotisation pour ses années d'imposition 2012 et 2013 et a entamé des mesures de recouvrement pour obtenir les sommes dues. Informé de la situation en 2016, le contribuable a fourni à Revenu Québec la documentation nécessaire. Revenu Québec a effectué des rajustements, à la suite de quoi le contribuable avait droit à un remboursement d'impôt. Malgré tout, Revenu Québec a maintenu les frais de prise en charge du dossier et de recouvrement imposés. Le Bureau est intervenu pour faire annuler ces frais, car bien qu'ils étaient justifiés à l'origine, ils ne l'étaient plus dans un contexte où le contribuable n'avait aucune dette fiscale.

Révision d'une décision de refus d'accorder un crédit d'impôt

Revenu Québec a refusé d'accorder un crédit d'impôt pour investissement à une société relativement aux frais engagés pour l'achat d'une machinerie usagée que la société a ensuite remise à neuf, au motif que les coûts de rénovation étaient insuffisants par rapport à la juste valeur marchande de la machinerie fournie par la société. Le Bureau est intervenu et a constaté qu'aucune évaluation formelle de la juste valeur marchande n'avait été demandée à la société. Cette dernière a donc soumis la preuve à Revenu Québec que la juste valeur marchande était inférieure à celle initialement considérée et Revenu Québec a accordé le crédit d'impôt pour investissement.

Les nombreux dossiers où l'intervention du Bureau s'est avérée nécessaire et ceux où il y a eu manquement aux principes de justice fondamentale indiquent que le changement de culture s'opère lentement chez RQ. Pour ces motifs, malgré les efforts honnêtes du Protecteur du citoyen et du Bureau de la protection des droits de la clientèle, il reste encore beaucoup à faire pour s'assurer que RQ traite les contribuables de façon juste et équitable.

Le Bureau, par son traitement des plaintes des contribuables et ses interventions auprès des différentes directions de RQ pour améliorer leurs façons de faire, joue un rôle crucial dans le changement de culture organisationnelle de RQ. La réalisation de ce changement demandera des efforts soutenus pendant encore plusieurs années. L'important est qu'il soit amorcé et qu'il se poursuive.

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