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Outreach activities: CRA and COVID-19

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Free virtual tax clinics

Community organizations are hosting free virtual tax clinics for Canadians with a modest income and a simple tax situation. Volunteers may be able to complete and file your taxes for free, by videoconference or by phone, through the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) and the Income Tax Assistance – Volunteer Program in Quebec.

These virtual clinics will be held on an interim basis to help you with your taxes while still following physical distancing guidelines. Due to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, many community organizations had to close, postpone, or scale back on the free in-person tax clinics they offer.

To find a free virtual clinic, please check our directory or if you live in Quebec, contact Revenu Québec.

General information: Free virtual tax clinics

Other filing methods

We understand that you may no longer be able to attend our tax clinics due to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 virus. There are several other options for you to file your taxes:

  • NETFILE: File online using CRA certified tax-filing software (free and paid options available)
  • Paper filing: You can still file your income tax and benefit return on paper
    • if you filed on paper last year and your address with the CRA is up-to-date, you should have received your paper tax package in the mail by February 17, 2020
    • view or order the Income tax package for 2019, or call the CRA at 1-855-330-3305 to order a copy (make take up to 10 days for delivery)
  • File my Return: File your income tax and benefit return using our free and secure automated telephone service
    • invitation letters were mailed to eligible individuals with low or fixed incomes whose situations remain unchanged from year to year
    • for residents of Québec, only the federal portion of the income tax and benefit return is completed

For other ways to file your taxes, go to Doing your taxes.

For information on filing a Québec provincial tax return, contact Revenu Québec.

Digital services provided by the CRA

With the outbreak of COVID-19, you can use the CRA's secure digital services to interact with the CRA and easily manage your tax affairs. These services can help you track your refund, view or change your return, check benefit and credit payments, view RRSP limits, set up or update direct deposit, and receive email notifications.

Individuals registered for My Account can access certified software that has features that make tax-filing even easier:

  • Auto-fill my return automatically fills in parts of your tax return with information the CRA has on file
  • Express NOA gives you your notice of assessment right after the CRA receives and processes your return
  • ReFILE allows you to make changes to your return using certified tax software

If you are registered for My Business Account you can:

  • receive your mail online
  • submit documents
  • view and pay balances
  • transfer payments

Outreach activities for individuals

The CRA is adapting its Outreach Program to support individuals during COVID-19. Through this service, the CRA can help individuals to better understand their tax obligations and to help them get the benefits and credits they are entitled. Traditionally available in-person, this service is now available over the phone, where possible by completing an online request for an information session.

Outreach officers are being asked to maintain contact with partner organizations and associations to discuss the situation and concerns they may have with any planned activities. They will provide information, links, and documents to support partner organizations in helping taxpayers, where possible.

General information: Organizations: Outreach activities just for you!

Individual Tax Filing Assistance Initiative

The CRA doesn’t want you to miss out on the important benefits and credits you are entitled to and wants to help ensure your tax information is up to date.

In order to help, CRA agents may be calling taxpayers who have not filed their 2019 tax return. Agents will be able to direct taxpayers to virtual tax clinics, online certified tax software (some of which are free), and services offered via a toll free number to help filing a return. In certain circumstances, agents will also be able to complete tax returns directly with the taxpayer over the phone.

Liaison Officer services for small businesses

The CRA is adapting its Liaison Officer service to support small businesses and self-employed individuals during COVID-19. Normally, the CRA offers this service in person to help small business owners understand their tax obligations.

To meet critical business needs during this challenging time, the CRA is temporarily suspending the regular in-person service. Liaison Officers will be available exclusively by phone to provide the key information that small businesses and self-employed individuals need most urgently, including filing and payment deadlines and proactive relief measures.

Liaison Officers will be reaching out to taxpayers to explain these measures. Business owners and self-employed individuals can fill out the Liaison Officer Service request form to have a Liaison Officer contact them by phone.

We will also be working with key stakeholders to help promote this adapted service.

General information: Liaison Officer service

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