EFILE news and program updates

What's new

The EFILE program is now closed for the electronic filing of your clients’ initial and amended T1 personal income tax and benefit returns.
EFILE and ReFILE services will re-open on Monday, February 24, 2020.

News and program updates

January 15, 2020

Attention: Last day to transmit T1 returns and T1 Form T1135

The CRA’s EFILE, ReFILE and T1135 web services will stop accepting transmissions of your clients’ initial and amended (T1) personal income tax and benefit returns and T1135 forms for T1 at 11:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) on Friday, January 17, 2020, in order to convert our systems to prepare for the next filing season. These services will re-open on Monday, February 24, 2020, at 8:30 a.m. (Eastern Time). Thank you for your continued support and participation.

Please ensure you transmit any initial or amended T1 returns and T1135 forms for T1 before January 17, 2020, to avoid having to wait until the new program starts.

The following services will still be available after January 17, 2020:

  • Corporation Internet Filing for Corporation Income Tax (T2) returns.
    Note: You must have renewed your EFILE number and password and passed suitability screening to continue to file T2 returns using your EFILE number and password after January 17, 2020. Go to canada.ca/revenue-agency/corporation-internet for more information.
  • Electronic filing of Form T1013.
    Note: You must use the 2018 version of the tax software to electronically submit the 2018 form through the T1013 transmission web service until 8:00 p.m. on Friday, February 7, 2020 (Eastern Time). When the transmission web service for Authorizing or Cancelling a Representative re-opens at 6:00 a.m. Monday, February 10, 2020 (Eastern time), it will only accept a new signature page format which is available in the 2019 version of the software.


January 8, 2020

Service interruptions – System maintenance

The Canada Revenue Agency's (CRA) systems will be undergoing annual maintenance. As a result, the following service interruptions will occur during the time frames noted below:

  • The EFILE, ReFILE, T1135, and Express NOA web services will be unavailable from 11:00 p.m., Friday, January 17, 2020 to 8:30 a.m., Monday, February 24, 2020 (Eastern Time).
  • The Pre-authorized debit web service will be unavailable from 11:00 p.m., Friday, January 17, 2020 to 6:00 a.m., Monday, February 24, 2020 (Eastern Time).
  • The Auto-fill my return service will be unavailable as of 11:00 p.m., Friday, February 7, 2020 to 6:00 a.m., Monday, February 10, 2020 (Eastern Time).
  • The EFILE online application "Transmission History" will be unavailable from 11:00 p.m., Friday, February 7, 2020, to 8:30 a.m., Monday, February 10, 2020 (Eastern Time).
  • The T1013 transmission web service will be unavailable from 8:00 p.m., Friday, February 7, 2020, to 6:00 a.m., Monday, February 10, 2020 (Eastern Time).


Note: There will be no service interruptions to the following EFILE online applications: "Register for EFILE", "Yearly renewal" and "Account maintenance".

January 7, 2020

Reminder – Have you renewed your access to our electronic services?

Thank you for using the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) electronic services!

To maintain your EFILE access for the coming year, including receiving emails from the CRA, you have to renew your EFILE participation online. This will allow you to use the following electronic services:

  • Authorizing or Cancelling a Representative web service
  • Business Consent and Cancel Business Consent web service
  • Auto-fill my return service
  • Form T1135 transmission web service
  • Client Data Enquiry (CDE)
  • Corporation Internet Filing
  • EFILE
  • Express NOA service
  • AgriStability/AgriInvest Corporation forms transmission web service (NEW)
  • ReFILE
  • Email notifications from the CRA

The CRA conducts a suitability screening process each year before existing electronic filing applicants are permitted to electronically file income tax returns on behalf of their clients. This process may take up to 30 business days. If you fail to submit your renewal at least 30 business days before January 17, 2020, or you do not pass the suitability screening process due to outstanding issues, we cannot guarantee uninterrupted filing services.

Please submit your renewal as early as possible to avoid unnecessary delays.

How to renew:

  • Make an online request at canada.ca/efile.
  • Click on "EFILE Login" and follow the instructions.
  • To log on, you will need your current EFILE number and password.
  • Seconds after submitting your online renewal request, you will receive a confirmation page.
  • The confirmation page will include your newly assigned password and the location of the EFILE Helpdesk responsible for your file.


You must update your tax preparation software with your newly assigned password to ensure any future transmissions are successful.

Once your renewal request has gone through the suitability screening process, you will receive an email or letter informing you of the result.

Note:  As an electronic filer, if you operate in more than one location, you are required to have multiple EFILE numbers. Remember to complete a separate renewal request for each EFILE number.

To file electronically, you have to follow the procedures available at canada.ca/efile. You should become familiar with the information on these pages before using EFILE.

Have you lost your EFILE number or password?

  • DO NOT file a new application using the "Register for EFILE" link.
  • Simply contact your EFILE Helpdesk for assistance.


Discounter information

  • If you are also a discounter, you do not need to renew your discounter code.
  • You must electronically submit a revised Form RC76 when information previously given on Form RC75, Form RC76, or Form RC115 has changed.


Questions?

  • Consult the EFILE webpages for answers to the most frequently asked questions.
  • If the answer is not on our webpages, call your EFILE Helpdesk.


IMPORTANT NOTE: You MUST complete a FORM T183 for each initial and amended T1 return you transmit.

January 2, 2020

Removal of Direct Deposit enrolment from the T1 return

Please note that the CRA will be removing the option to enrol for direct deposit through the T1 paper return. This change will take effect at the start of the 2020 filing season for the 2019 tax year. Taxpayers will still be able to register through the following methods: My Account online, MyCRA mobile application, by phone, select financial institutions, or by completing and mailing a direct deposit enrolment form available at the following link: https://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/recgen/form/inscription-enrolment-eng.html.

This change will not affect T1 returns filed electronically by tax preparers; however, should you experience issues transmitting and need to file by paper, your client must enrol through one of the options noted above. If attaching an enrolment form with the paper return, a void cheque or bank stamp is required or the form will be rejected.

December 23, 2019

Service interruptions – System maintenance

The Canada Revenue Agency's systems will be undergoing annual maintenance. As a result, the following service interruptions will occur during the time frames noted below.

The following web services will be unavailable from 11:00 p.m., Friday, January 3, 2020, until 6:00 a.m., Monday, January 6, 2020 (Eastern Time).

  • The EFILE online application "Transmission History"   
  • The Auto-fill my return and Express NOA services
  • The T1013 transmission web service

The following web services will be unavailable from 11:00 p.m., Friday, January 3, 2020, until 8:30 a.m., Monday, January 6, 2020 (Eastern Time).

  • EFILE
  • Refile
       
    Note: There will be no service interruptions to the following EFILE online applications:
    "Register for EFILE", "Yearly renewal”, and "Account maintenance".


December 19, 2019

Claiming Employment Expenses

The following information was shared earlier this year in a message to a range of stakeholder groups. It is now being shared directly with the EFILE community to increase awareness in advance of the upcoming T1 filing season.

Shareholder-employees: Here’s what you need to know about claiming employment expenses.


When you are an employee and also a shareholder, you must satisfy two key conditions before you can deduct employment expenses on your income tax return:

1.    The expenses were incurred as part of your employment duties, and not as a shareholder.

If you are a shareholder, you must establish that the expenses were incurred in your capacity as an employee and not a shareholder. To do this, you must be able to establish that the expenses are comparable to expenses incurred by employees (who are not shareholders or related to a shareholder) with similar duties at your company, or at other businesses similar to your company in size, industry and services provided. You do not need to include this information on your tax return or the Form T2200, Declaration of Conditions of Employment; however, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) could ask you to provide this later.

2.    You were required to pay for the expenses yourself as part of your employment duties.

Usually, a written contract of employment specifies the expenses a non-shareholder employee must pay. Sometimes there is no written contract or the requirement to incur expenses is not clearly identified in the contract, but there is an implied requirement for the employee to pay the expenses. For example, an employee can demonstrate an implied requirement by showing they face possible disciplinary action from their employer if they do not meet the requirement.

If you are a shareholder-employee however, an implied requirement may be more difficult to demonstrate and a written contract may not be adequate to establish that you were required to pay for the expenses as part of your employment duties.

To satisfy this condition, you must therefore be able to establish that the expenses are comparable to expenses incurred by employees (who are not shareholders or related to a shareholder) with similar duties at your company, or at other businesses similar to your company in size, industry and services provided. This will support that you were required to pay the expenses to fulfill your obligations in your capacity as an employee.

You must satisfy both key conditions to deduct the expense(s) on the T1 individual income tax return. If both conditions are met, you may, as a shareholder, have the authority to certify Form T2200, Declaration of Conditions of Employment, for yourself or a related employee.

October 21, 2019

Electronic Services - 2020 Program

Thank you for using the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) electronic services!

We are proud to work with you to continue to build on this success story, and are grateful for your hard work and dedication as we embark on another filing season.

To maintain your access for the coming year, including receiving emails from the CRA, you must renew your participation online. This will allow you to use the following electronic services:

  • Form T1013 transmission web service
  • Business authorization transmission web service
  • Auto-fill my return service (AFR)
  • Form T1135 transmission web service
  • Client Data Enquiry (CDE)
  • Corporation Internet Filing
  • EFILE
  • Express notice of assessment service (Express NOA)
  • AgriStability/AgriInvest Corporation forms transmission web service (NEW)
  • ReFILE
  • Email notifications from the CRA

The CRA conducts a suitability screening process each year before existing electronic filing applicants are permitted to electronically file income tax returns on behalf of their clients. This process may take up to 30 business days. If you fail to submit your renewal at least 30 days before January 17, 2020, or you do not pass the suitability screening process due to outstanding issues, we cannot guarantee uninterrupted service for the filing of T2 returns and the transmission of T1013 forms. Please submit your renewal as early as possible to avoid unnecessary delays.

If you renew between October 21, 2019 and January 17, 2020

Transactions during this time period will fail if your software has not been updated with your newly assigned password, so you must update your tax preparation software with your newly assigned password in order to continue:

  • Transmitting T1013 and T1135 forms,
  • Filing T2 returns,
  • Transmitting 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 T1 returns, and
  • Submitting T1 adjustments for the 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 tax years using the ReFILE service offered in certified EFILE software.

If you DO NOT renew your account between October 21, 2019 and January 17, 2020
You may continue to use your current password, until January 17, 2020 to:

  • Transmit T1013 and T1135 forms,
  • Transmit T2 returns,
  • Transmit 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 T1 returns, and
  • Submit T1 adjustments for the 2015, 2016,  2017, and 2018 tax years using the ReFILE service offered in all certified EFILE software.

As of January 17, 2020, at 11:00 p.m. eastern time, we will stop accepting T1 transmissions temporarily to convert our systems for the next filing season.

After January 17, 2020, in order to be able to transmit T1013 forms, file T2 returns, you will need to have:

  • Renewed your EFILE account,
  • Passed suitability screening, and
  • Updated your tax preparation software with your newly assigned password.

As an electronic filer, you have to comply with the electronic filing procedures that are available at canada.gc.ca/efile. You can also review the criteria for our suitability screening process on these pages. Please familiarize yourself with the information on these pages before using EFILE. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: You have to complete Form T183 for each initial and amended T1 return you transmit. Form T183 will be revised for the 2020 filing program; please ensure that you review the changes made to the form. For example, one of the changes is to the “Declaration and authorization” section where the taxpayer’s signature is required, will be at the bottom of the form.

How to renew

  • Make an online request at canada.ca/efile.
  • Click on the "EFILE Login" button located in the right side menu bar.
  • To log on, you will need your current EFILE number and password.
  • Seconds after submitting your online renewal request, it will be validated and you will receive a confirmation page.
  • The confirmation will include your newly assigned password and the EFILE Helpdesk responsible for your file.
  • Once your renewal request has undergone the suitability screening process, you will receive an email or letter to advise you of the result. 

Note:

You only need one EFILE number to file all your clients' income tax returns. Only tax preparation businesses that operate more than one location are required to have multiple EFILE numbers.
If you operate more than one location, remember to complete a separate renewal request for each EFILE number.

Have you lost your EFILE number or password?

  • Please DO NOT file a new application using the "Register for EFILE" link.
  • Simply contact your EFILE Helpdesk for assistance.

Discounter Information

  • If you are also a discounter, you do not need to renew your discounter code.
  • A revised application Form RC76 is required when information previously provided on Form RC75, Form RC76, or Form RC115 has changed.

Questions

  • Consult the EFILE webpages for answers to your most frequently asked questions.
  • If the answer is not available on our webpages, call your EFILE Helpdesk.

 

 

October 19, 2019

Electronic Filing Services Shutdown

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) administers a comprehensive suite of processing systems, applications and databases that support its personal income tax (T1) program.

Since June 2016, many system upgrades have been deployed in phases to update the electronic filing service and modernize technology components, while protecting the integrity of the tax base and ensuring benefit program delivery. As a result, error-free electronic returns that are successfully received via EFILE are now processed even more rapidly!

In its final phase and to prepare for the next filing season, a major conversion of the database structure will be undertaken in January 2020. In addition, keying fields on the return and on all federal, provincial and territorial schedules and forms will be renumbered for the 2019 tax year. Approximately 135 line numbers are currently out of sequence and will be re-sequenced. Existing line numbers of 3 and 4 digits will be changed to 5 digits. Lines currently in the 1000, 7000, 8000 and 9000 ranges are not affected.

As of January 17, 2020, 11:00 p.m. eastern time, the EFILE and ReFILE services will stop accepting transmissions, a week earlier than expected to ensure full implementation and integration of all components. This will allow for a smooth transition and will provide us with the necessary time to ensure success for such a large system conversion.

Thank you for your understanding as we implement these important system changes.

 

October 18, 2019

Important information and interruption of services for annual conversion

Prior to opening for the upcoming program, the Canada Revenue Agency's (CRA) EFILER Information System will undergo its annual conversion process.

The following services will be temporarily unavailable from Friday, October 18, 2019, at 8:00 p.m. eastern time until Monday, October 21, 2019, at 8:30 a.m. eastern time:

  • Transmission of T1 and T2 returns
  • EFILE online services (Register for EFILE, Yearly renewals, Account maintenance activities and Transmission history)
  • ReFILE service
  • Form T1135 transmission web service
The following services will be temporarily unavailable from Friday, October 18, 2019, at 8:00 p.m. eastern time until Monday, October 21, 2019, at 6:00 a.m. eastern time:
 
  • Form T1013 transmission web service
  • Client Data Enquiry service (CDE)
  • Auto-fill my return service (AFR)
  • Express notice of assessment service (Express NOA)
  • Email notifications from the CRA
  • Business authorization transmission web service
On October 21, 2019, you will receive a Lyris message inviting you to renew your participation for the 2020 EFILE program.
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