What’s new for tax professionals and tax preparers this tax-filing season

Here's the important information you need to know about changes for the 2018 tax-filing season:

New services

  • Introducing the Pensionable and insurable earnings review (PIER) service– In February 2018, a new service will be introduced in My Business Account and Represent a Client (level 2 and 3 representatives) that will display:
    • a list of PIER cases sorted by tax year or case number
    • a detailed summary of PIER discrepancies
    • a list of employees included in the PIER, including their total earnings, pensionable earnings, insurable earnings, deductions reported and required, and deficiencies.
  • Changes to Form T183 and Form T1013T183, Information Return for Electronic Filing of an Individual's Income Tax and Benefit Return, no longer has an area for taxpayers to authorize a representative to deal with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Instead, authorization is given through T1013, Authorizing or Cancelling a Representative.
  • View transactions and pay balances with CRA BizApp – The CRA has released a new mobile web app called CRA BizApp. This app lets small businesses and sole proprietors view their business account balances and make payments by pre-authorized debit to their corporation, goods and services tax / harmonized sales tax (GST/HST), payroll, and excise duty accounts.

Enhanced services

  • Don’t make clients wait for notices of assessment; get them an Express NOA – This service delivers a notice of assessment directly into your certified tax software shortly after you file the return electronically. To use the service, individuals must be registered for online mail and file electronically using a certified tax software.
  • ReFILE  lets you adjust returns using tax software – The ReFILE service now lets individuals send the CRA changes to their return using NETFILE filing software. Individuals must make sure they receive their notice of assessment before sending a change through ReFILE.
  • Get Online mail directly in My Account – The CRA is adding more mail for individuals to receive directly in My Account. This tax season, online mail provides correspondence about tax free savings accounts, notices of assessment, benefit notices and slips, and more, including correspondence from some of the CRA’s review programs (e.g. requests for receipts).
  • Protect your account with Account Alerts – For added security, when a representative is added, deleted, or changed on an individual’s account, an email will be sent to the individual notifying them of the recent activity on their account.
  • Automatically fill in parts of a return with Auto-fill my return – Authorized representatives will now see more information, such as their clients’ repayable balance for the Home Buyers’ Plan and the Lifelong Learning Plan.

Changed credits and deductions

  • Canada caregiver credit – This non-refundable tax credit replaces the family caregiver credit, the credit for infirm dependants age 18 or older, and the caregiver credit. It gives tax relief to eligible individuals who have a spouse or common-law partner or a dependant, with an impairment in physical or mental functions.
  • Disability tax credit (DTC) certification – Nurse practitioners across Canada can now certify the application form for the DTC.
  • Medical expense tax credit – If you need medical intervention to conceive a child, you may be eligible to claim certain expenses even if you do not have a medical condition. These expenses are the same as those that would generally be allowable for individuals who have a medical condition. If you had fertility-related expenses for any of the 10 previous calendar years and you have not claimed them, you can request a change to your income tax and benefit return(s) to include these eligible expenses.
  • Tuition, education, and textbook credits – As of January 1, 2017, the federal education and textbook credits were eliminated. However, you can still carry forward unused amounts from previous years. Also, with certain conditions, you may now be able to claim the tuition amount for fees you paid to a post-secondary educational institution for occupational skills courses, even if they are not at a post-secondary level.
  • Children’s credits – As of January 1, 2017, the children’s arts tax credit and children’s fitness tax credit were eliminated.
  • Public transit tax credit – As of July 1, 2017, this credit was eliminated. For this tax year, you can claim the cost of eligible public transit expenses only for travel taken from January 1 to June 30, 2017.

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