EFILE news and program updates

What's new

Important dates for the filing season starting in February 2020

The EFILE and ReFILE services are open for transmissions from February 24, 2020 at 8:30 a.m. (Eastern time), until January 22, 2021, for the electronic filing of your clients' 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 T1 personal income tax and benefit returns.

News and program updates

March 26, 2020

Extended Hours of Operation from your designated EFILE Helpdesk

Please note that due to measures taken surrounding the COVID-19 virus, the extended service hours of the EFILE Helpdesks are cancelled. These measures will be in effect as of Thursday, March 26, 2020.

Go to our EFILE Helpdesk support page for current information.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

 

March 18, 2020

Filing Season Deadline Extensions

In order to provide greater flexibility to Canadians who may be experiencing hardships during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Canada Revenue Agency will defer the filing due date for the 2019 tax returns of individuals, including certain trusts.

 

  • For individuals (other than trusts), the return filing due date will be deferred until June 1, 2020. However, the Agency encourages individuals who expect to receive benefits under the GSTC or the Canada Child Benefit not to delay the filing of their return to ensure their entitlements for the 2020-21 benefit year are properly determined.
  • For trusts having a taxation year ending on December 31, 2019, the return filing due date will be deferred until May 1, 2020.


The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all taxpayers to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.

March 18, 2020

Temporary measure immediately enabling electronic signatures for the T183, Information Return for Electronic Filing of an Individual's Income Tax and Benefit Return, and the T183CORP, Information Return for Corporations Filing Electronically

If an individual or a corporate taxpayer wishes to file their income tax return through an electronic filer, they must authorize the electronic filer to do so by completing a T183, Information Return for Electronic Filing of an Individual's Income Tax and Benefit Return, or a T183CORP, Information Return for Corporations Filing Electronically.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is committed to improving and enhancing the services it offers to Canadians, including digital services, and is continuously striving to ease the burden imposed upon taxpayers and tax preparers when filing income tax returns. From March 18, 2020 to August 31, 2020, to meet the evolving expectations of taxpayers and electronic filers during this difficult time, and to reduce administrative burden, the CRA will recognize a Form T183 or T183CORP that contains an electronic signature as having met the signature requirements of the Income Tax Act as a temporary administrative measure.

An electronic signature would provide taxpayers and their representatives with further options to have these information returns signed. Electronic filers are already responsible for verifying the identity of the taxpayer, both to protect their own interests and the integrity of the tax system. This will not change.

In order for the CRA to accept an electronic signature from a taxpayer whose identity has been verified by the filer, the electronic signature will generally need to be provided in one of the following ways:

  • It may be provided if the taxpayer sends the information return, including the electronic signature using the electronic address most recently provided by the taxpayer to the electronic filer;
  • It may be provided in person by the taxpayer, in the presence of the electronic filer. e.g. using a stylus or finger on a tablet; or
  • It may be provided through an access controlled, secured electronic location such as a secure website, that is accessible to the taxpayer only because the location of the secure website has been made known to the taxpayer and access has been granted by the filer.


The number of tax returns filed electronically by tax preparers continues to grow and industry stakeholders have been requesting this change, especially now with the recent rise in COVID 19 cases in Canada. The proposed change is expected to better meet the needs of this population, and will reduce an unintended burden that the current signature requirement imposes on some individuals. These provisions will be in place until August 31, 2020. The CRA will continue to pursue regulatory requirements to implement these measures permanently.

March 5, 2020

EFILE monitoring

As part of its commitment to protect taxpayer information, during the monitoring program, the Canada Revenue Agency will ask you for a number of copies of Form T183, Information Return for Electronic Filing of an Individual's Income Tax and Benefit Return.

You may send the requested forms to us electronically using the Submit documents option in the Represent a Client (RAC) portal. You must be registered in RAC in order to use this option. Do not reply by email since email is not a secure form of communication. We will provide you with a specific time frame to respond to our request. If you do not respond on time, we may suspend your EFILE privileges. Refer to the letter we may send you for additional information.

In addition, after we have received the forms, we may also ask for a written explanation of errors.

Do not submit T183 forms unless we ask you for them. If your client has to make a payment, do not ask them to send a copy of Form T183 with the payment. Instead, refer them to the Payments to the Canada Revenue Agency webpage for payment options.

If you have questions about this message, please call your EFILE Helpdesk.

Thank you for your co-operation in this matter.

February 27, 2020

REMINDER: Consultation - Electronic Signature on T183 Form

This is a reminder that the Canada Revenue Agency’s consultation on enabling electronic signatures for the T183 and T183CORP closes on March 4, 2020. We encourage those who have not yet had a chance to provide their feedback to do so, using the link below. Thank you to those who have already provided feedback!
***

The Canada Revenue Agency is proposing regulatory changes to enable electronic signatures for the T183 and T183CORP. The information below can be found on CRA Engage. Please click the link to provide your feedback.


https://www.cra-engage-arc.ca/en/engagement-initiatives/consultation-enabling-electronic-signatures-t183-and-t183corp


Consultation on enabling electronic signatures for the T183, Information Return for Electronic Filing of an Individual's Income Tax and Benefit Return and T183CORP, Information Return for Corporations Filing Electronically


If an individual or a corporate taxpayer wishes to file their income tax return through an electronic filer, they must authorize the electronic filer to do so by completing a T183, Information Return for Electronic Filing of an Individual's Income Tax and Benefit Return, or a T183CORP, Information Return for Corporations Filing Electronically.


Subsection 150.1(4) of the Income Tax Act requires an individual’s signature on these information returns before the electronic filer can transmit the income tax return to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The electronic filer is also required to keep a copy of the information return containing the individual’s signature for six years and may be asked to provide proof of the signed return during the CRA’s monitoring process.


Electronic filers have told the CRA that the need for a signature can create unnecessary complications in the interaction between the tax preparer and the individual. For example, an individual living in a remote location could suffer a financial burden as a result of having to travel to their electronic filer’s place of business twice, once to drop off the information required to prepare their tax return, and a second time to sign Form T183 when the return has been prepared. The tax preparation and software industry have also told the CRA that without provisions for an electronic signature, there are barriers to innovation, thereby limiting efficient and responsible tax filing systems that benefit Canadian taxpayers.


In response to these concerns, the CRA is proposing changes that will allow taxpayers to use electronic signatures for these forms. Under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, an electronic signature means a signature that consists of one or more letters, characters, numbers or other symbols in digital form incorporated in, attached to or associated with an electronic document.


Canadians are invited to provide comments on the proposed changes.


Proposed changes


The CRA is committed to improving and enhancing the services it offers to Canadians, including digital services, and is continuously striving to ease the burden imposed upon taxpayers and tax preparers when filing income tax returns. To meet the evolving expectations of taxpayers and electronic filers, and to reduce administrative burden, the CRA is pursuing the ability to recognize a Form T183 or T183CORP that contains an electronic signature as having met the signature requirements of the Income Tax Act. An electronic signature would provide taxpayers and their representatives with further options to have these information returns signed. Electronic filers are already responsible for verifying the identity of the taxpayer, both to protect their own interests and the integrity of the tax system. This will not change.


This proposal would require subsection 150.1(4) of the Income Tax Act to be added to Schedule 2 of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. In conjunction with this change, regulations would be introduced to reflect that electronic signatures that meet specific requirements will be accepted for information returns (Form T183 and T183CORP) made under that subsection. In order for the CRA to accept an electronic signature from a taxpayer whose identity has been verified by the filer, the electronic signature will generally need to be provided in one of the following ways:


(i)    It may be provided if the taxpayer sends the information return, including the electronic signature using the electronic address most recently provided by the taxpayer to the electronic filer;

(ii)    It may be provided in person by the taxpayer, in the presence of the electronic filer. e.g., using a stylus or finger on a tablet; or

(iii)    It may be provided through an access controlled, secured electronic location such as a secure website that is accessible to the taxpayer only because the location of the secure website has been made known to the taxpayer and access has been granted by the filer.

The number of tax returns filed electronically by tax preparers continues to grow and industry stakeholders have been requesting this change. The proposed change is expected to better meet the needs of this population, and will reduce an unintended burden that the current signature requirement imposes on some individuals.


Thank you to all who provide feedback on this regulatory proposal. The consultation will close on March 4, 2020, and your feedback will be considered.


February 27, 2020

Reminders


EFILE online services - Transmission History

You can track your transmission history, for the current filing program, on our secure EFILE web service. This service provides links to access:

  • Accepted transmissions
  • Rejected transmissions requiring correction (with the associated error clues)
  • Amended T1 returns submitted through ReFILE

Be sure to check your transmissions on a regular basis, so you can correct any errors and retransmit before the filing due dates  (April 30 for most Canadians).

You can log in to the secure site whenever it’s convenient for you!

Form T183

Be sure to check out the updates made to the Form T183, Information Return for Electronic Filing of an Individual’s Income Tax and Benefit Return.

Also, remember that you are required to have a completed Form T183, signed by your client, for each T1 initial and amended return you transmit, when using the EFILE or ReFILE services.

February 24, 2020

Help us improve our process of recording dates of death correctly

Dates of death on tax returns

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) noticed that tax preparers occasionally include a deceased person’s date of death on the living spouse’s tax return. This may result in the CRA mistakenly recording the living spouse as deceased.

This error can cause major financial and emotional consequences since it can stop all benefit payments to the living person. The benefits that would significantly affect them are the Canada child benefit, goods and services tax credit / harmonized sales tax credit, the Canada Pension Plan and old age security. Other benefits may also be affected.

Therefore, please make sure you include the date of death information only on the deceased person’s tax return.

Social insurance numbers (SIN) on legal documents

If you are a representative settling a deceased person’s estate, please make sure you clearly write the deceased person’s SIN on the will and the death certificate before you send these documents to the CRA. This will help ensure there are no delays in the CRA updating the appropriate records with the date of death information.

Thank you for your cooperation.

February 20, 2020

Discounter Information

The CRA is focused on using modern technology to improve its services and make filing easier for all Canadians. As part of this commitment, we are offering a service that lets you submit Form RC76, Application and Agreement to Obtain a Discounter Code/Discounter Direct Deposit Enrolment, through the Represent a Client online portal.

You can use Form RC76 to register as a discounter as well as to update your information with us. As a discounter, you must keep your information updated. This service is secure, confidential, and efficient. Once you have successfully submitted your documents, we will send you a confirmation number. For more information on submitting documents electronically, go to Submit documents online.  

To meet the needs of the tax professional community and to prepare for the upcoming tax-filing season, stay informed of all changes to procedures and policies, by referring to the Information for discounters webpage and Guide T4163. Remember that you are responsible for complying with the provisions of the Tax Rebate Discounting Act.

If you require more information you may email us at DISCOUNTERG@cra-arc.gc.ca.

February 19, 2020

Filing tax returns for your Canadian clients? Check the boxes.

Elections Canada encourages tax preparers to ask their clients who have Canadian citizenship to check the relevant boxes in the Elections Canada section of their return. By doing so, these clients will make sure that they are registered to vote at their current address. Consenting to share their name, address and date of birth with Elections Canada is the easiest way for Canadian citizens to make sure that their voter information stays up to date. For the first time this year, young Canadian tax filers aged 14 to 17 may also consent to provide their information to Elections Canada to be added to the Register of Future Electors. Once the eligible future electors turn 18, their information will be added to the National Register of Electors.

Accurate lists of electors allow for better services to electors and contribute to electoral integrity. Elections Canada thanks you for your continued support during this tax season.   

To learn more about the Elections Canada consent questions in the Canada Revenue Agency’s T1 income tax guide, please visit elections.ca or call 1-800-463-6868.  

February 18, 2020

Express Notice of assessment (NOA)

Your client doesn’t have to wait for the notice of assessment (NOA) or reassessment. Use the Express NOA service if your client wants the results right away!

In its ongoing commitment to serving Canadians better, the Canada Revenue Agency continues to offer the Express NOA service. Using certified software, individuals and authorized representatives can view a notice of assessment right after the return is received and processed by the CRA.


The Express NOA service is available year round in EFILE and NETFILE-certified tax preparation software, except for April 30, 2020 and periods of regularly scheduled system maintenance.


To use the Express NOA service, you must:

  • be a registered electronic filer;
  • be registered in Represent a Client and have a RepID, GroupID or business number;
  • be authorized for online access with the CRA:
  • through T1 or T2 EFILE-certified software: an authorization signature page is kept by the client and by the representative for 6 years. The only time a representative may need to send the signed signature page generated by EFILE is if the CRA asks to see a copy to prove that the representative acquired consent from their client prior to electronically filing,
  • directly by the taxpayer though My Account or My Business Account (MyBA), or
  • through RaC: a client’s signed authorization signature page was submitted through Submit Documents.
  • complete Part F of Form T183, Information Return for Electronic Filing of an Individual’s Income Tax and Benefit Return, and select for Express NOA option; and
  • use EFILE-certified software.


Note: When your client completes Part F of Form T183 to have their notice of assessment or reassessment made available electronically to you, the CRA will not send you or your client a paper copy of the notice of assessment or reassessment.

February 17, 2020

Print orders of publications and forms

Need a form? You can print the forms or publications you need directly from our website: canada.ca/get-cra-forms. The CRA will accept these printed or photocopied forms for processing.

February 11, 2020

Significant changes to the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) authorization processes for February 2020

Please note that you do not need to renew or resubmit authorizations if you do not want or need to make changes to your existing authorizations. The new processes only apply to new authorization requests or new changes to existing authorizations. As always, online access continues to include offline access such as by phone, mail, fax and in-person.

  • By mid-February 2020, a new e-authorization process for individual taxpayers will be introduced in Represent a Client (RaC), similar to the existing business authorization process in RaC. This will provide you with an additional method of submitting authorization requests. This process does not require the use of tax software, but does require the uploading of the completed authorization signature page in RaC.
  • For online access, the existing T1013 form is being discontinued. This means new e-submission of authorizations using T1 software will generate a new authorization signature page that will need to be signed by the taxpayer and kept by the electronic filer for 6 years.
  • IMPORTANT: The CRA may request signed copies of authorization signature pages to verify that taxpayer consent was given. There is no requirement to submit signed paper versions of the signature pages generated by the software package unless the CRA requests the signature page.
  • For offline access, three of the CRA’s authorization forms are being combined into one: the T1013, RC59, and NR95 will be combined into the new AUT-01 Authorize a representative for Access by Phone and Mail. Offline access means that the representative can only access taxpayer information by telephone, by mail, or in person.
  • With regard to the new AUT-01 for offline access only, it is very important to not mail, fax or upload this form as an e-submission document if you already have online access. All AUT-01 forms submitted to the CRA will be processed as new requests and will override previous requests. If AUT-01 forms are mailed, faxed or uploaded by electronic filers, representatives will lose their online access.
  • E-submitting authorizations using software will no longer be delayed for the reasons that generated response messages W103, W104 and W105. For instance, when a ‘care of’ address is present on the taxpayer’s CRA account at the time of submission.
  • Barcodes for authorizations will be discontinued.
  • Existing level 1 and level 2 authorizations for individuals will no longer be cancelled when the CRA is notified of the death of the taxpayer. This will avoid having to re-submit a new authorization to re-authorize the same representative after the taxpayer’s date of death. Instead, a new condolence letter will be sent to the deceased taxpayer’s Estate informing it of the presence of authorized representatives on the account, and of the option for an executor to either cancel these or to add new ones.


For more information on the changes to authorizations for individuals, please call 1-800-959-8281. For changes to authorizations for business, please call 1-800-959-5525.

February 3, 2020

Consultation - Electronic Signature on T183 Form

The Canada Revenue Agency is proposing regulatory changes to enable electronic signatures for the T183 and T183CORP. The information below can be found on CRA Engage. Please click the link to provide your feedback.


https://www.cra-engage-arc.ca/en/engagement-initiatives/consultation-enabling-electronic-signatures-t183-and-t183corp


Consultation on enabling electronic signatures for the T183, Information Return for Electronic Filing of an Individual's Income Tax and Benefit Return and T183CORP, Information Return for Corporations Filing Electronically


If an individual or a corporate taxpayer wishes to file their income tax return through an electronic filer, they must authorize the electronic filer to do so by completing a T183, Information Return for Electronic Filing of an Individual's Income Tax and Benefit Return, or a T183CORP, Information Return for Corporations Filing Electronically.


Subsection 150.1(4) of the Income Tax Act requires an individual’s signature on these information returns before the electronic filer can transmit the income tax return to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The electronic filer is also required to keep a copy of the information return containing the individual’s signature for six years and may be asked to provide proof of the signed return during the CRA’s monitoring process.


Electronic filers have told the CRA that the need for a signature can create unnecessary complications in the interaction between the tax preparer and the individual. For example, an individual living in a remote location could suffer a financial burden as a result of having to travel to their electronic filer’s place of business twice, once to drop off the information required to prepare their tax return, and a second time to sign Form T183 when the return has been prepared. The tax preparation and software industry have also told the CRA that without provisions for an electronic signature, there are barriers to innovation, thereby limiting efficient and responsible tax filing systems that benefit Canadian taxpayers.


In response to these concerns, the CRA is proposing changes that will allow taxpayers to use electronic signatures for these forms. Under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, an electronic signature means a signature that consists of one or more letters, characters, numbers or other symbols in digital form incorporated in, attached to or associated with an electronic document.


Canadians are invited to provide comments on the proposed changes.


Proposed changes


The CRA is committed to improving and enhancing the services it offers to Canadians, including digital services, and is continuously striving to ease the burden imposed upon taxpayers and tax preparers when filing income tax returns. To meet the evolving expectations of taxpayers and electronic filers, and to reduce administrative burden, the CRA is pursuing the ability to recognize a Form T183 or T183CORP that contains an electronic signature as having met the signature requirements of the Income Tax Act. An electronic signature would provide taxpayers and their representatives with further options to have these information returns signed. Electronic filers are already responsible for verifying the identity of the taxpayer, both to protect their own interests and the integrity of the tax system. This will not change.


This proposal would require subsection 150.1(4) of the Income Tax Act to be added to Schedule 2 of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. In conjunction with this change, regulations would be introduced to reflect that electronic signatures that meet specific requirements will be accepted for information returns (Form T183 and T183CORP) made under that subsection. In order for the CRA to accept an electronic signature from a taxpayer whose identity has been verified by the filer, the electronic signature will generally need to be provided in one of the following ways:


(i)    It may be provided if the taxpayer sends the information return, including the electronic signature using the electronic address most recently provided by the taxpayer to the electronic filer;

(ii)    It may be provided in person by the taxpayer, in the presence of the electronic filer. e.g., using a stylus or finger on a tablet; or

(iii)    It may be provided through an access controlled, secured electronic location such as a secure website that is accessible to the taxpayer only because the location of the secure website has been made known to the taxpayer and access has been granted by the filer.

The number of tax returns filed electronically by tax preparers continues to grow and industry stakeholders have been requesting this change. The proposed change is expected to better meet the needs of this population, and will reduce an unintended burden that the current signature requirement imposes on some individuals.


Thank you to all who provide feedback on this regulatory proposal. The consultation will close on March 4, 2020, and your feedback will be considered.



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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