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News from the Canada Revenue Agency

published: 12/20/2021

With the holidays just around the corner, scammers could contact you pretending to be from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Scammers are trying to trick individuals into making payments, and we’re doing everything we can to put a stop to this. That includes letting you know when and how we might contact you.

How to make sure the caller is a CRA employee and not a scammer

A legitimate CRA employee will identify themselves when they contact you. The employee will give you their name and a phone number. Make sure the caller is a CRA employee before you give any information over the phone. This will protect you from giving money or personal information to a scammer. 

If you’re suspicious, this is how you can make sure the caller is from the CRA:

  1. Tell the caller you would like to first verify their identity.
  2. Request and make a note of their:
    • name
    • phone number
    • office location
  3. End the call. Then check that the information provided during the call was legitimate by contacting the CRA. Please do this before you give any information to the caller. 

Once you complete those three steps, you may call back the CRA employee to discuss the reason for their call.

Note that our individual tax, benefits and business enquiries lines offer an automated call back service. When wait times reach a certain threshold, you will be given the option of a callback, rather than waiting on hold. If you opt for a callback, we will give you a randomized four-digit confirmation number. This number will be repeated back to you by the call centre agent at the time of the callback. This is to provide you with assurance that the call is from a legitimate CRA employee.

When to be suspicious

Red flags that suggest a caller is a scammer include (but are not limited to):

  • The caller does not give you proof of working for the CRA. For example, their name and office location.
  • The caller pressures you to act now or uses aggressive language.
  • The caller asks you to pay with prepaid credit cards, gift cards, cryptocurrency or some other unusual form of payment.
  • The caller asks for information you would not enter on your return or that is not related to money you owe the CRA, for example, a credit card number.
  • The caller recommends that you apply for benefits. You can apply for benefits directly on Government of Canada websites or by phone. Do not give information to callers offering to apply for benefits on your behalf!

For more tips and helpful information, visit our Be Scam Smart or Slam the scam pages.

We may review your return

One reason we may contact you is if we are reviewing your income tax and benefit return. This could include reviewing you GST/HST, T4 or T5 information. You may receive a letter or a phone call telling you that the CRA is reviewing your return. If you're registered for email notifications, we will send you an email telling you that your letter is available in My Account. In most cases, our review is a routine check. It’s important that you reply and send all of the information requested as soon as possible. This will help us review your file quickly and easily.

It’s also important that you call the number in your letter in either of the following situations:

  • You can’t get the documents we’re asking for
  • You need more time to reply

By calling, we can give you more time to respond if you need it. We can also help you if you have any questions. If you don’t reply, we may disallow a claim of yours and you could have a balance owing.

If you own a small business or are self-employed, we may call you or send you a letter to offer free tax help through our Liaison Officer service. This will be the first contact. We will only use email if you provide your email address and consent to the CRA.

Want to report a potential scam?

You should report a scam if you suspect either of the following:

  • you have been the victim of fraud
  • a scammer has tricked you into giving personal or financial information

To report a scam, visit antifraudcentre.ca, follow the instructions on our Be Scam Smart page, or call 1-888-495-8501. If you think you may be the victim of fraud or you unknowingly provided personal or financial information, contact all of the following:

  • local police service
  • your financial institution
  • credit reporting agencies

You should contact the CRA if you:

  • think your CRA user ID or the password you use in personal dealings with the CRA has been compromised
  • want to disable online access to your information on the CRA’s sign-in services
  • want to re-activate online access to your information after it’s been disabled

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published: 07/19/2021

Authorized representatives can make a bulk request for the cancellation of penalties and interest on behalf of multiple taxpayers. This process makes it easier for representatives to apply for relief when their clients’ requests are based on common reasons and similar facts.

When submitting a bulk request, ensure the following:

  • authorization is on file for each taxpayer;
  • returns have been filed or remittances have been made, and;
  • penalties or interest have been charged.

A bulk request can be submitted by mail to the designated offices for your province.

You can find more instructions by visiting: How to submit a bulk taxpayer relief request for the cancellation of penalties and interest.

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published: 05/14/2021

If you are struggling with your tax payments, you can work with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to find ways to pay your tax debt based on your financial situation. Let us help you.

We know these are still challenging times. If you can’t make any payment, your tax debt will grow with the addition of interest charges. Let’s work together to determine what your options are.

You have several payment options if you can’t pay your tax debt in full:

Payment options

Partial payment

You can make partial payments to the CRA to reduce the amount of interest you need to pay on unpaid amounts. To see all the payment options or to make a partial payment, go to canada.ca/payments.

Payment arrangement

If you can’t afford to pay your taxes in one payment, you may be able to set up a payment arrangement with the CRA. A payment arrangement is an agreement between you and the CRA. It allows you to spread out your payments over time, based on your ability to pay, until you have paid your debt and interest in full. The CRA will work with you on a payment arrangement that works for your situation.

The CRA will continuously work with you to schedule payment arrangements, but can also apply credits or refunds towards outstanding debt to help with any outstanding amounts owing.

We have expanded the payment arrangement rules this year to give you more time and flexibility, based on your ability to pay.

Before calling the CRA, we encourage you to use these optional budget tools to help you determine what you can afford to pay on a regular basis:

To make a payment arrangement, contact the CRA as soon as possible.

TeleArrangement service

You can also make a payment arrangement by calling the CRA’s automated TeleArrangement service at 1-866-256-1147. When you call, you will need to provide:

  • your social insurance number
  • your date of birth and
  • the amount on line 15000 of your last notice of assessment

The TeleArrangement service is available Monday to Friday, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Eastern time. You can also call the CRA's debt management call centre at 1-888-863-8657 to speak to an agent. Agents are available Monday to Friday (except holidays) from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Eastern time.

Pay by pre-authorized debit

You can authorize the CRA to withdraw a certain amount directly from your bank account, on dates of your choosing, through one of the CRA’s following online services:

You can use these online tools to set up a pre-authorized debit agreement or to generate a QR code for paying at a Canada Post outlet.

Keep in mind it takes five business days from when you first set up a pre-authorized debit to when your funds will be processed. Also, you can’t cancel the debit agreement within the five days before it’s due. To use this service, you need to register for My Account, My Business Account or to MyCRA.

Unable to pay?

Communication is key. If you are unable to pay your tax debt in full immediately, you must tell the CRA as soon as possible so that we can work with you to determine a feasible payment arrangement. Interest compounds daily, at the rate set by law, until you pay the amount you owe in full. Go to When you owe money – collections at the CRA for more information.

Under the taxpayer relief provisions, the CRA may cancel or waive penalties or interest under certain conditions if you can’t meet your tax obligations.

Keep receipts and documents

You should keep all your receipts and documents for at least six years starting from the end of the last taxation year to which they relate.

Sometimes the CRA reviews returns to make sure that income, deductions, and credits are properly reported. If the CRA reviews your return, having your receipts and records on hand will make it easier for you to support your claims.

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published: 04/30/2021

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is warning Canadian taxpayers and their representatives about creating or ignoring fake documents, fake loans, and fake business agreements in order to get around the Income Tax Act or the Excise Tax Act. These actions, even if passive, may qualify as culpable conduct and may be subject to civil third-party penalties in conjunction with any criminal charges that may apply.

Culpable conduct

Culpable conduct in tax matters is the type of conduct which courts have applied a civil penalty in the past. More precisely, culpable conduct was defined by the Canadian court as conduct, whether an act or a failure to act, that is:

  • tantamount to intentional conduct,
  • or that shows an indifference as to whether the Act is complied with,
  • or that shows a wilful, reckless or wanton disregard of the law.

In essence, intentionally misrepresenting tax liability, overlooking or being wilfully blind when examining a client’s income tax affairs, even if in previous years matters were handled by a different tax preparer, could result in third-party penalties.

The law

Under the Income Tax Act, there are two third-party penalties: the planner penalty and the preparer penalty. Although they address different issues about involvement in tax schemes, both penalties address culpable conduct. The planner and preparer penalties can carry substantial financial consequences for a tax preparer or third-party associated with a false or misleading statement.

Planner penalty

The planner penalty applies to those who create false statements, help another person make, or cause someone to make, a false statement about their taxes that they know is false or misleading or would be reasonably expected to know is false or misleading if they had not acted with culpable conduct.

Preparer penalty

The preparer penalty applies to those who make or assent to making a false statement for another person that they know is false or misleading, or would reasonably be expected to know is false or misleading if they had not acted with culpable conduct.

Your actions may have serious consequences

If you have been involved in making fake or exaggerated documents to avoid or evade tax, you may face serious consequences, including penalties, court fines, and even jail time. The same goes for people who promote tax schemes, even if they are not involved in the scheme planning.

People who avoid or evade tax take resources away from the social programs that benefit Canadians.

What can you do?

For important tax matters, the CRA encourages all Canadians to seek an independent second opinion from a reputable tax professional.

If you suspect someone of promoting or participating in an abusive tax scheme, you can report it online at canada.ca/taxes-leads or by calling the Informant Leads Centre at 1-866-809-6841. The CRA will take steps to protect your identity. Also, you may give information anonymously.

The CRA continues to encourage taxpayers to come forward and correct their tax affairs through the Voluntary Disclosures Program: canada.ca/taxes-voluntary-disclosures.

For more information on tax schemes, go to canada.ca/tax-schemes.

Contacts

Media Relations
Canada Revenue Agency
613-948-8366
cra-arc.media@cra-arc.gc.ca

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To receive updates on what is new at the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), you can:

published 3/26/2021

Why you would send the CERB back?

You must repay the CERB if you no longer meet the eligibility requirements for any 4-week period you received it. Your situation may have changed since you first applied, or you may have made an honest mistake when applying. This could happen if:

  • You applied for the CERB but later realize you’re not eligible.
  • You applied for and got a CERB payment from both the CRA and EI/Service Canada for the same eligibility period.
  • You receive social assistance benefits and realize the CERB will affect your other benefits.
  • You applied for the CERB twice in one period.
  • You earned more employment or self-employment income than expected in the period(s) you applied for.

Still not sure if you need to repay the CERB?

Go to return or repay a payment or call 1-833-966-2099.

Before you repay the CERB

Make sure you know which department you got your CERB from.

  • If you got the CERB from the CRA, you must repay it to the CRA.
  • If you got the CERB from Service Canada (EI), you must repay it to Service Canada.

Not sure whether you got your CERB payment from the CRA or Service Canada?

Go to return or repay a payment or call 1-833-966-2099.

How to repay the CERB to the CRA

To repay the CERB to the CRA, choose one of the following options:

  • Online: using CRA My Account
  • Online banking: with your financial institution
  • By mail: mail a cheque (new or the original if you have it) or money order to the CRA.
    Do not send cash through the mail.

    If you are sending a new cheque or money order:
    • Make payment out to “Receiver General for Canada”
    • Indicate it is for “Repayment of CERB”
    • Include your Social Insurance Number (SIN)

For more information go to return or repay a payment.

Mailing Address

Revenue Processing – Repayment of CERB
Sudbury Tax Centre
1050 Notre Dame Ave.
Sudbury ON P3A 0C3

How to repay the CERB to Service Canada

To repay the CERB to Service Canada, choose one of the following options:

  • Online banking: with your financial institution
  • In person: at your financial institution
  • By mail: mail a cheque or money order to Service Canada
    Do not send cash through the mail

    If you are sending a new cheque or money order:
    • Make your payment out to: “Receiver General for Canada.”
    • Write your SIN on the front of your cheque or money order.
    • Indicate it is for “Repayment of CERB.”

For more information go to return or repay a payment.

Mailing Address

ESDC Remittances
PO Box 1122
Matane QC

Impact on your taxes

The CERB is taxable and you will need to report any payments you received on your 2020 income tax return. This means you may need to pay taxes on the CERB you received since no tax was deducted when you received the CERB. Most individuals should have already received a T4A tax slip with the amount of CERB they received for the 2020 tax year. CERB payments, including any CERB payments not repaid before December 31, 2020, must be declared on a taxpayer’s tax return.

If you received a T4A slip that does not accurately reflect the payments you received, contact the CRA by phone. For more information, visit T4A: Report COVID-19 amounts.

published: 01/12/2021

Every tax season, community organizations partner with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Revenu Québec to offer free tax clinics. This is made possible through the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP). In Quebec, this program is called the Income Tax Assistance – Volunteer Program.

Currently, community organizations that run tax clinics must cover the cost of these events. The CRA knows that these costs can be a challenge for participating organizations and that they may be a barrier for encouraging others to sign up.

To offer more support to community organizations and to encourage others to sign up, the CRA is piloting a new grant program for the upcoming tax season. The grant program will help organizations offset some of these costs and provide funding for returns filed so they can focus on what they do best – helping people in need.

The CRA will be investing more than 10 million over three years toward the new grant program. Organizations will be able to submit grant applications starting in May 2021.

You can find more information about the grant program, including eligibility criteria, at canada.ca/free-tax-clinics-grant.

If you’re interested in running a free tax clinic in 2021, visit Host a free tax clinic. With more organizations offering the service, more Canadians will have the support they need to get their taxes done cost- and stress-free, and receive their benefits and credits.

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published: 12/15/2020

This year has been filled with unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many Canadians unexpectedly had to work from home which resulted in millions of Canadians setting up their work space in their kitchens, bedrooms and living rooms.

In response, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, provided today additional details on how the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has made the home office expenses deduction available to more Canadians, and simplified the way employees can claim these expenses on their personal income tax return for the 2020 tax year. Employees with larger claims for home office expenses can still choose to use the existing detailed method to calculate their home office expenses deduction.

Employees who worked from home more than 50% of the time over a period of a least four consecutive weeks in 2020 due to COVID-19 will now be eligible to claim the home office expenses deduction for 2020. The use of a shorter qualifying period will ensure that more employees can claim the deduction than would otherwise have been possible under longstanding practice.

A new temporary flat rate method will allow eligible employees to claim a deduction of $2 for each day they worked at home in that period, plus any other days they worked from home in 2020 due to COVID-19 up to a maximum of $400. Under this new method, employees will not have to get Form T2200 or Form T2200S completed and signed by their employer.

To simplify the process for employees choosing the detailed method, the CRA launched today simplified forms (Form T2200S and Form T777S) and a calculator designed specifically to assist with the calculation of eligible home office expenses.

For more information on working from home expenses go to Canada.ca/cra-home-workspace-expenses.

Quick Facts

  • Home office expenses can be claimed as a deduction on an employee’s personal income tax return. Deductions reduce the amount of income they pay tax on.
  • For those using the detailed method to calculate their home office expenses, the CRA has expanded the list of eligible expenses that can be claimed to include home internet access fees. A comprehensive list of all eligible expenses is available online.
  • According to Statistics Canada, “Working from home continues to be an important adaptation to COVID-19 health risks, with 2.4 million Canadians who do not normally work from home doing so in October.
  • The CRA engaged many stakeholders in the fall of 2020 about the simplified Form T2200 and work-space-in-the-home expenses prior to introducing these temporary measures. For more information, go to the Backgrounder – Consultation on the simplification of Form T2200.
  • The new temporary flat rate method to calculate the deduction for home office expenses was announced on November 30th in the Fall Economic Statement.

Associated Links

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published: 12/8/2020

Submitting legal documents related to T1 in Represent a Client

As of October 19, 2020, our online Represent a Client (RAC) service allows you to submit legal documents, such as a will or a power of attorney, to identify you as a legal representative.

This means you don’t have to mail or fax us documents, saving you time and postage.

Changes to authorization validation for representatives over the telephone

The CRA has a legal obligation to protect confidential taxpayer information. Therefore, we can provide confidential information only to the taxpayer or individuals the taxpayer has authorized.

To share confidential taxpayer information with you over the phone, the CRA needs to be able to validate that you are authorized on the taxpayer’s account.

As of January 2021, if you are a representative associated with a firm, a business or a group, you must have your own RepID and provide it to the CRA before you can represent your client. This will significantly enhance the security of confidential taxpayer information by allowing our agents to verify that you are authorized on the taxpayer’s account.

The taxpayer does not have to sign and submit a new authorization request for this change. The administrator within RAC for the business number (BN) or GroupID with administrative rights on the business number (BN) or the GroupID can associate your new RepID to the BN or GroupID.

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published: 8/1/2020

The Dedicated Telephone Service (DTS) is now a permanent CRA program available nationally.

By using the service, income tax service providers can connect with experienced CRA officers from the Income Tax Rulings Directorate who will be able to help them interpret the provisions of the Income Tax Act. After determining the nature of the tax issue, these officers will carefully consider the question and then send the service provider helpful information and guidance.

While these officers do not have access to individual taxpayers’ accounts, the DTS is a valuable technical resource to help service providers resolve their interpretive tax issues.

To register, small- and medium-sized income tax service providers – those with 50 or fewer partners – are invited to fill out and send the completed DTS registration form to dts-str@cra-arc.gc.ca. You can also visit the DTS web page for further information about the service, including eligibility criteria and more details on how the service can help.

published: 4/30/2020

We recognize the vital role that the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Program plays in supporting Canadian businesses. We are doing everything we can to ensure that businesses receive their credits as soon as possible during these difficult times, and that innovation and creativity are fully supported when they are most needed.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)’s Business Continuity Plan has been adjusted to include priority activities that support the economic well-being of Canadians. This includes programs like SR&ED.

Here are some measure the CRA is implementing:

  • Most refundable claims will be processed as soon as possible with minimal burden on the claimants, injecting funding into businesses that need it now to help manage the adverse financial implications of the pandemic. Claims accepted at this time may be subject to review/audit at a future date to ensure eligibility.
  • The CRA is prioritizing objections inventory related to critical programs, including SR&ED claims.
  • We will generally not contact small or medium businesses to initiate any SR&ED claim reviews. This pause is reflective of the CRA’s efforts to mitigate health risks and minimize the burden on businesses, while concentrating on prioritizing the delivery of benefits to Canadians during this challenging time.
  • Any taxpayer under audit who wishes or needs their SR&ED claim review to proceed may work with their auditor remotely by telephone and through My Business Account to advance the file as much as possible under the current circumstances.
  • If you have questions about the status of your SR&ED claim, we continue to be available to help and answer questions; please contact the SR&ED Program in the tax services office that serves your area. For contact information, go to canada.ca/taxes-sred.
  • Should you have questions on other topics such as filing and payment deadlines and proactive relief measures, the CRA’s liaison officers will be available exclusively by phone to provide the key information that small businesses and self-employed individuals need most urgently. Business owners and self-employed individuals can fill out the Liaison Officer Service request form to have a liaison officer contact them by phone.

published: 4/21/2020

To help employers keep and re-hire workers amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government is implementing the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).  This important economic measure provides a 75% wage subsidy of up to $847 per employee per week, to eligible employers, for up to 12 weeks, preventing further job losses and encouraging employers to re-hire workers previously laid off as a result of COVID-19, retroactive to March 15, 2020.

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy calculator is available to support employers as they prepare to apply for the CEWS.

The CEWS calculator can be found on CRA’s Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Web page. This Web page incorporates feedback received during user testing with stakeholders, including the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada.  It includes detailed information and instructions about who can apply for the subsidy, how eligibility is assessed, and how the subsidy is calculated.  The calculator also includes a printable statement feature that employers can use to view their claim at a glance and, as of April 27, enter required information into the CEWS application form quickly and easily.

By providing employers with additional details about their subsidy claim, the CEWS calculator can equip employers with important information they can use now to make more informed decisions about retaining and re-hiring workers. A series of information sessions will be held in the coming days to provide a forum for eligible employers.

The CRA also encourages employers to sign up for My Business Account or Represent a Client, as employers will be able to apply through these portals. The CRA will open the application process on April 27, 2020.  CEWS claims will be subject to verification by the CRA. Funds for approved applications will begin to be released on May 5.