On Monday, January 8, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) announced that they would be taking steps to make it easier for Canadians to file their income tax and benefit returns, no matter the method they choose. This new program will allow the approximately 1 million eligible Canadians to file their taxes by phone this year.
The new automated system, “File My Return”, will benefit Canadians with low or fixed income that is unchanged year-to-year. With this system, they will be able to call in and answer a series of questions and provide some personal information. They will not be required to any paperwork or calculations and will still have access to the deductions, benefits and credits that they are entitled to.
Those eligible will receive personalized invitation letters starting mid-February. The purpose of this system is to make the system easier and encourage people to file. The File My Return service will be available 21 hours a day, from 6am to 3am EST, 7 days a week, throughout the tax-filing season.
Additionally, CRA announced that those that filed taxes via paper tax forms in previous years will receive a tax package by mail. Canadians who use paper guides and forms will not be required to pick up a tax package at Canada Post, Service Canada or Caisse populaire Desjardins outlet.
“Improving service to Canadians is my top priority. We know that Canadians lead busy lives and doing taxes can sometimes be a challenge. This is especially the case for people with reduced mobility, people who live far from service locations and people without Internet access. The CRA is working to make it easier and simpler to find, complete and file a return. The new services we are now providing are more user-friendly and convenient, especially for Canadians with low or fixed income,” The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue said. This will help all those who file using paper forms. However, to ease the transition to this service, limited quantities of guides and forms will still be available in these locations starting February 26, 2018. Once quantities are no longer available at these locations, individuals can order them by phone or online. Beginning in 2019, documents will only be available from CRA. Documents are also available to be downloaded and printed online at www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/forms-publications/tax-packages-years/general-income-tax-benefit-package.html.
By making filing returns easier and simpler, these services will help millions of Canadians do their taxes.