In recent years the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has done a lot of work in their online services to make paying income taxes, tracking benefits and refunds, and updating information easier. The CRA MyAccount service has been around since early 2015 and provides a great portal for taxpayers to access their information in the CRA’s records. Using MyAccount CRA, people are able to update their personal information, communicate with the CRA, request benefits and refunds, and adjust their income tax returns. Additionally, when working with a professional tax filer, CRA MyAccount allows people to authorize their accountant to act on their behalf when dealing with the CRA.
New in 2016, the CRA launched a service they have titled MyBenefits. This new service provides even more access to the agency, allowing people to apply for child, and provincial benefits rather than having to apply on paper. Further, people are able to determine the amount of their payments, and expected payment dates. They can also update any changes to their status that may affect their payments directly through the MyBenefits app rather than having to contact the agency.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the CRA is putting in place more controls to stop online fraud. Both MyAccount, and MyBenefits accounts include the CRA’s new identity fraud prevention measures. By enrolling in the services, the CRA will alert users to any changes or potential abuse in their accounts immediately by email. While the CRA requires an email address on file to enable this service, we do want to remind readers that the CRA does not require personal information to be sent by email. Emails received from CRA should only indicate that an issue has been identified and request that the user contact the agency by phone. Never provide sensitive information by email in response to an email received from CRA.
This blog post was written by Derek Edelkoort CPA, CGA.