The CRA has not forgotten the paper filer

Statement

February 25, 2020

Ottawa

Canada Revenue Agency

Each year almost 90% of Canadian taxpayers choose to file their personal income taxes using electronic methods. However, we have heard from some Canadians that the “traditional” paper method just works better for them. Those paper filers might feel like the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) wants to pressure all taxpayers to file electronically. That is simply not the case. While we do encourage taxpayers to take advantage of the benefits of filing online, we know that being a world class tax agency begins with providing world class services. Which, when it comes to filing personal taxes, includes offering the classic paper based option.

This year the CRA has, once again, mailed the 2019 income tax package to 1.7 million individuals who filed a paper income tax and benefit return last year. We introduced this direct mail service two years ago to make sure that we got the packages to those who filed by paper in the past. This service is especially important for those who need it most, such as seniors, people with mobility restrictions, and those living in rural and remote areas. Taxpayers started receiving their packages after January 10, 2020.

Since we know some Canadians, who may prefer the paper method, might not have received a copy in the mail, a limited number of tax packages will be made available, in both official languages, at select Service Canada sites across Canada. Alternatively, Canadians can order a copy either by going to canada.ca/get-cra-forms, or by calling the CRA toll-free number at 1-855-330-3305, or they can print copies for themselves by visiting canada.ca/taxes-general-package.

In an effort to reduce paper waste, tax packages will no longer be available at Canada Post or Caisse populaire Desjardins locations. However, taxpayers who do visit their local Canada Post location will find information on how to contact the CRA to get a copy.

The CRA offers multiple options for taxpayers to file their income tax and benefit returns:

  • Filing online - using NETFILE and EFILE
  • Filing by paper
  • Filing by phone – Using the File my Return option, eligible Canadians can answer a series of short questions through a dedicated, automated phone service.

We recognize that Canadians have diverse needs when it comes to return filing, and we are committed to making sure no one is left behind. Filing taxes by paper has become a tradition for some Canadians. They have been doing it that way for years, and it works for them. To those individuals, I want to assure you that the CRA has not forgotten you, the Paper Filer.

The above statement may be attributed to:
Frank Vermaeten, Assistant Commissioner at the Canada Revenue Agency.

Images

These images may be used for print and online publications for news articles related to this news release

Photo of two paper 2019 income tax packages, with the package for Nunavut resting on top of the package for British Columbia.

5766 × 3243 px; 2.39 MB

Photo of two paper 2019 income tax packages, with the package for Nunavut resting on top of the package for British Columbia

Photo of a man who is in the process of filling out his paper income tax package with a pen.

6000 × 3375 px; 2.58 MB

Photo of a man who is in the process of filling out his paper income tax package with a pen.

Audio quotes

This audio clips may be used for radio, podcast or other media for news articles related to this news release

Audio clip of CRA spokesperson Frank Vermaeten discussing the paper filer

Speaker: Frank Vermaeten, Assistant Commissioner at the Canada Revenue Agency

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) to serve as many people as possible. 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.
  • Canadians should have most of the tax slips, such as T4s, and receipts needed to file a tax return, by the end of February.
  • Taxpayers should file an income tax and benefit return, even if their income is tax exempt or they have no income in 2019, because it is the only way to receive benefits and credits to which they may be entitled.

Associated Links

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Contacts

Media Relations
Canada Revenue Agency
613-948-8366

cra-arc.media@cra-arc.gc.ca

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