The Canada Revenue Agency is resuming additional activities: know when we’re contacting you and how to avoid scams

September 17, 2020

Ottawa, Ontario

Canada Revenue Agency

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is gradually resuming additional activities, and it may legitimately be us calling Canadians to discuss their tax and benefit situations. However, you should be aware of scammers pretending to be CRA employees. They often call Canadians to try to trick them into paying fake debts, and may even contact you by email, letter, or text message.

To protect yourself from scams, it’s important to know when and how the CRA might contact you. Here is some information on the CRA’s legitimate activities that are resuming and tips on how to recognize when the CRA is trying to contact you:

CRA activities resuming in September

Due to the Government’s ongoing efforts to support Canadians through the COVID-19 pandemic, the CRA suspended many collections and compliance activities and committed to resuming them in a thoughtful and phased manner, taking into consideration the health and safety of our employees and the needs of Canadian taxpayers. To this end, this September, the CRA will:

The CRA aims to be completely transparent and proactive in identifying activities that are resuming. A complete overview of the timelines for the CRA’s return to business activities can be found online. This will be updated periodically as new information is available.

How we’re serving Canadians in their time of need

The CRA has a dedicated and highly skilled workforce committed to serving Canadians during their time of need. We are ensuring our efforts to sustain the tax system and many social programs it supports do not create undue burdens or financial hardship for Canadians as we work diligently to introduce measures to aid in the recovery of the economy. If you’re struggling or dealing with financial hardship, it is important for you to know the following:

 Reasons the CRA may call

The CRA may call if we previously wrote to you, or in any of these situations:

Make sure the caller is a CRA employee and not a scammer

Legitimate CRA employees who contact Canadians will identify themselves as CRA agents and provide their name and a telephone number. You can make sure the caller is a CRA employee before providing any information on the phone. This will protect you from giving money or personal information to a scammer. This is how you can make sure the caller is from the CRA:

  1. Tell the caller you would like to first verify their identity
  2. Ask for, and make a note of, their:
    • name
    • phone number
    • office location
  3. Check that the call you received was legitimate by contacting the CRA at the number that applies to your situation. Common phone numbers are:
    • 1-800-959-8281 for the Individual Income Tax enquiries line
    • 1-800-959-5525 for the Business enquiries line
    • 1-888-863-8657 for individual debts
    • 1-877-477-5068 for GST/HST debts
    • 1-877-548-6016 for payroll debts
    • 1-866-291-6346 for corporation debts
    • 1-866-864-5823 if the call you received was about a government program such as employment insurance or Canada Student Loan debts

Double check the status of your tax account and make sure the CRA has your current address and email

When in doubt, ask yourself

For more information visit canada.ca/taxes-fraud-prevention.

Want to report a potential scam?

To report a scam, visit antifraudcentre.ca or call 1-888-495-8501. If you think you may be the victim of fraud or you unknowingly provided personal or financial information, contact your local police service, financial institution, and credit reporting agencies.

Anyone who suspects they have been the victim of fraud or have been tricked into providing personal or financial information should report it by following CRA’s directive on the Government of Canada web site at canada.ca/taxes-fraud-prevention.

Contacts

For general inquiries:

Canada Revenue Agency
1-800-959-8281

For reporters:

Media Relations
Canada Revenue Agency
613-948-8366
cra-arc.media@cra-arc.gc.ca

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