EFILE for individuals

EFILE is a service that lets authorized service providers and discounters send individual income tax return information to the CRA directly from the software used to prepare the tax return.

Clients take their documents to a registered tax preparer and, who, for a fee, will prepare their return and send it to us electronically using EFILE.

If you are a business that provides EFILE services to individual clients, go to EFILE for Electronic Filers. If your business also provides tax discounting services, go to Information for discounters.

Who can use EFILE?

Almost all Canadians (95%) are eligible to use EFILE. Please ask your service provider if you are able to use EFILE or see the list of exclusions if you have any questions.

Where can you find an EFILE service provider?

To locate an electronic provider, try our "postal code search". Type in the postal code of the area where you would like to find an EFILE service provider, and a list will be provided on-line immediately.

What are the benefits of EFILE?

  • Faster refunds – Since EFILE cuts out several manual steps, we can process most electronic returns in about two weeks.
  • Improved accuracy – Before we accept a return for processing, we perform a series of computer checks and balances. This results in greater accuracy.
  • Paperless – There are no paper returns to file and, unless we ask for receipts, none are needed. With few exceptions, EFILE is an environmentally friendly, paperless system.
  • Ease of mind – You have a professional prepare your taxes for you and you can authorize your electronic provider to represent you. See Represent a Client or ask your service provider for details.
  • Ease of payment – Individuals can file early and do not have to pay an amount owing until April 30.

Frequently asked questions about EFILE

  1. What about your documents?
  2. What if we need more information before we assess your return?
  3. When can you expect your refund?
  4. How can you get faster payments and income tax refunds?
  5. What if you have a balance owing?
  6. What if you need to change your return?
  7. What if we review your return after we assess it?

1. What about your documents?

You have to show all your documents to your EFILE service provider. Neither you nor your EFILE service provider should send us a paper copy of your return or any documents, unless we ask you to do so. Your service provider can give you more details.

You will be required to sign a completed Form T183, Information Return for Electronic Filing of an Individual's Income Tax and Benefit Return, authorizing the transmission of your return.

Keep all information slips, receipts, and other documents used to prepare your return, as well as a copy of your completed Form T183, for six years. We may ask to see them.

2. What if we need more information before we assess your return?

We may need more information from you before we can assess your return. We will let your EFILE service provider know if your return has been selected for review. We use the same criteria to select both paper and EFILE returns for a more detailed review.

If we do such a review, we will ask for supporting documents to verify the amounts you claimed. For example, we may ask to see your RRSP receipts. We will contact your EFILE service provider directly for supporting documents, if your EFILE service provider has been designated as your representative on Form T183 AND if your EFILE service provider has indicated that he/she should receive our pre-assessment or post-assessment letters. Otherwise, we will contact you.

3. When can you expect your refund?

In most cases, we can process an electronic return in about two weeks since EFILE cuts out several manual steps. With direct deposit, you could receive your refund in as little as eight business days.

If you don’t get your refund within two weeks, check with your EFILE service provider first to see if we have asked for any supporting documents.

You can also track the status of your return through the following services:

  • My Account
  • Telerefund service at 1-800-959-1956
  • Individual income tax and Trust enquiries line at 1-800-959-8281

4. How can you get faster payments and income tax refunds?

To get faster payments and refunds, ask your EFILE service provider about our direct deposit service. You can use this service for your income tax refund, your goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax credit payment and your Canada child benefit (CCB). Refunds and payments can be deposited directly into an account at your financial institution.

5. What if you have a balance owing?

There are a number of ways to make payments to the CRA, including paying online. For more information, go to Make a payment to the Canada Revenue Agency.

6. What if you need to change your return?

After we have acknowledged receiving your return, you cannot send us another version. You must wait until you receive your notice of assessment. Once you have received it, you may make changes to your return by the following options.

  • You can request the change electronically by logging on to My Account and selecting the Change my return option.
  • Your EFILE service provider can change it online with ReFILE.
  • Your tax preparer can electronically file an adjustment using Represent a Client.
  • You or your tax preparer can send the CRA a completed form T1-ADJ, T1 Adjustment Request.
  • You can send a signed letter explaining the changes (including the years of the returns you want us to change), your social insurance number, an address, and a telephone number where we can reach you during the day. With the letter, include supporting documents for your original return and documents for the changes you want to make.

7. What if we review your return after we assess it?

We routinely review returns after we assess them, whether they are filed electronically or on paper. This does not mean that you or your EFILE service provider made any errors or omissions. If we select your return for review after we assess it, we will send you a letter (or to your EFILE service provider, if you completed Part E of Form T183, Information Return for Electronic Filing of an Individual's Income Tax and Benefit Return) asking for receipts and documents to support your claims. If you receive such a letter, please read it carefully and send the information we request.

We cannot respond to requests a confidential nature received over the Internet or through electronic means. If you need more information, please contact your tax services office.

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