Minister Lebouthillier launches the CRA’s People First approach for Tax Filing Season 2020

News release

February 24, 2020                            Ottawa                      Canada Revenue Agency

Today, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, launched the 2020 tax filing season.

Canadians can file their returns online, on paper, or by phone for those who qualify. In doing so, they can access a number of credits and benefits put in place by the Government of Canada to help with the increasing cost of living.

The Canada Child Benefit, the Canada Workers Benefit and the GST/HST Credit are just some of ways you might be able to put more money in your pocket by filing your tax return.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has listened to Canadians and understands that the tax filing experience can be improved. As a result, it is launching a new People First approach to guide their efforts to better serve Canadians. The CRA’s goal is to be trusted, fair, and helpful by putting people first.

This tax season, the CRA is making the filing process easier, faster, and more secure with changes such as:

  • Charlie the Chatbot – Canadians want the CRA to use new technology to help them get the information they need, when they need it. Charlie the Chatbot will be online in March and can answer general tax filing questions.

  • Check CRA processing times tool – Canadians told the CRA that it should be easier to check timelines. The Check CRA Processing Times tool on uses published service standards to calculate expected completion times for tax returns.

  • Personal identification number (PIN) – Canadians want better and more secure access to the CRA’s services. They can now create a PIN in My Account or with the help of a CRA agent to identify themselves quickly and securely when calling the CRA. 

  • Pay any balance owed – The CRA has made it easier for Canadians to pay their balance owing. Using the new “Proceed to Pay” buttons located in My Account, Canadians can make a secure and fast payment.

  • Tax packages for paper filers – Canadians asked the CRA to improve its forms and guides. This year, the CRA has simplified the paper tax package and has once again mailed packages to those who filed on paper last year.

  • Telephone wait times – Canadians wanted a better call experience when contacting the CRA. Estimated wait times are now provided both on the phone and on the new contact information web page to help callers decide when is the best time to call.

Canadians can continue to take advantage of free tax help services, including free tax clinics through the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program, the CRA’s Northern Service Centres, and the Liaison Officer service for small businesses, self-employed individuals and individuals with rental income.

The CRA is constantly improving its services to help Canadians file their return, pay their tax on time, and receive the benefits and credits to which they are entitled. It will continue listening to Canadians, and changing how it works to deliver on its commitment to put people first.


“Our government is committed to modernizing the CRA and making sure it provides people-first service to Canadians. This tax filing season, I encourage you to use our new services which make filing a return faster, easier, and more secure. By filing your taxes, you are contributing to all the services which make Canada a great place to live, and you will access the benefits and credits to which you are entitled.”

– The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue

“The CRA is listening to input from CPA Canada and our members in an important and ongoing discussion. The framework agreement in place between the CRA and CPA Canada provides a formal avenue for the knowledge and insights of the accounting profession to be heard with the collective goal being an improved tax system. We are glad to see suggestions from our members and others are contributing to the kinds of new CRA service initiatives that benefit taxpayers.”

– Bruce Ball, FCPA, CPA, CFP, Vice-president, Taxation, Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada)

Quick facts

  • The due date for income tax and benefit returns for most Canadians is April 30, 2020.

  • Self-employed individuals have until June 15, 2020, to file their return. However, any balance owing is due April 30, 2020.

  • From now until April 30, 2020, the CRA will offer extended evening and weekend hours for individual tax enquiries. Telephone agents will be available Monday to Friday (except holidays) from 9 am to 9 pm (local time), and from 9 am to 5 pm (local time) on Saturdays (except Easter weekend). The CRA’s automated service will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

  • On December 19, 2019, the CRA released its Serving Canadians Better consultation report. To address Canadians’ needs as identified in the report, the CRA has committed to make information more helpful and easier to understand, provide more convenient access to services and support, and make sure Canadians feel understood, respected and valued.

Associated links


Jeremy Bellefeuille
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of National Revenue

Media Relations
Canada Revenue Agency

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