Service improvements are benefiting millions of Canadians this tax season
April 27, 2018 Sudbury Canada Revenue Agency
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is committed to improving its services to help Canadians file their income tax and benefit return and receive the benefits and credits they are entitled to in a timely and efficient manner.
As the 2018 tax-filing season draws to a close, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, today visited the CRA’s tax services office in Sudbury, Ontario, where she met with public servants processing some of the millions of income tax and benefit returns the CRA receives each year.
The general deadline to file an income tax and benefit return for this tax-filing season is April 30, 2018. With only a few days left, nearly 20 million returns have been filed, over 90% of them electronically. In the coming days, the CRA expects approximately another 5 million returns to be filed. This is the busiest period of the tax year.
This tax-filing season, the CRA has announced a number of new and improved services online, over the phone, or on paper. For example, Auto-fill my return helps electronic filers by filling in parts of their return with information the CRA has on file. It has been used over 8.5 million times so far. Another new innovation for this year, Express NOA, allows filers to view and print their Notices of Assessments seconds after filing, and has already been used by hundreds of thousands of filers. File my Return, the CRA’s new service that lets eligible Canadians file returns over the phone, has been used to file nearly 50,000 returns. Additionally, approximately two million Canadians who filed by paper last year were mailed their tax guide and forms. This new service meant that Canadians who file by paper, especially those with reduced mobility, that live far from service locations, or are without internet access, did not have to visit a Canada Post, Service Canada, or Caisse populaire Desjardins outlet to get their tax package.
As is the case every year, some taxpayers need to adjust their returns after filing. Last year, the CRA received approximately two million requests from taxpayers to adjust their return. New this year, individuals can refile their changes electronically using the same tax software they used to file in the first place. Taxpayers can also access Change my return online to request an adjustment.
As this tax-filing season draws to a close, the CRA reminds Canadians to remain vigilant against tax scams and fraud. The CRA will never send an email with a link that asks you to divulge personal or financial information, ask for personal information of any kind by email or text message, request payment by prepaid credit cards, send an email in English or French only, or leave personal information on an answering machine or voice mailbox. If you get a call saying you owe money to the CRA, call us at 1-800-959-8281 or check My Account to be sure.
“The improvements to the CRA’s services benefit millions of Canadians as this tax-filing season comes to a close. I would like to remind everyone that it’s important to file your tax return so you can get the credits and benefits you may be entitled to, such as the Canada child benefit. Whether you file online or on paper, it’s never been easier to file. Our government is continuing to invest in client-focused service improvements so that the CRA can respond to the expectations of Canadians. ”
-The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue
11.2 million refunds have been issued, with 73% of them being issued by direct deposit. The average refund is $1,662. Canadians who file electronically and are signed up for direct deposit can get their refund in as little as 8 business days, versus up to 8 weeks for paper returns.
New registrations for My Account, which gives Canadians access to the CRA’s full suite of online self-service options, have increased by 28% this filing season.
Approximately 50,000 individuals have signed up for Account alerts this filing season. This service helps protect Canadians by keeping tabs on their information and letting them know when certain changes were made to their file in My Account.
Approximately 700,000 Canadians have registered for online mail this year, the fast, easy and secure way to manage your tax correspondence with the CRA.
Over 600,000 returns have been filed through the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program, a program through which volunteers help Canadians with modest income and simple tax situations file their returns for free.
The CRA has certified 28 different tax preparation software products for use when filing a 2017 return. A list of certified tax software packages, some of which are free, is available online.
Canadians who prefer to use tax preparers or other professionals can choose from over 63,000 certified electronic filers registered with the CRA.
There are many ways you can make a payment to the CRA, including the CRA’s My Payment service. If you owe money to the CRA but you can’t pay the full amount now, the CRA can work with you to set up a payment arrangement.
Adjustments submitted electronically through ReFILE or Change My Return are usually processed within an average of two weeks. Adjustment requests submitted on paper are usually processed within an average of 8 weeks. These service standards apply to routine adjustments only, as more complex requests will take longer.
Note: All figures are valid as of April 27, 2018.
Office of the Minister of National Revenue
Canada Revenue Agency
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