Canada Revenue Agency encouraging more people to file tax returns online
OTTAWA — The Canada Revenue Agency wants more people to file their personal income tax returns online.
The agency has discontinued its free Telefile service that allowed people with basic returns to file by entering their tax information using the telephone.
Canada Revenue has also stopped mailing people who use the online service Netfile an individual access code and wants them to use their social insurance numbers and birth dates instead.
“We are modernizing our electronic processes to make them easier and more accessible for Canadians to use while maintaining the highest level of security,” reads the agency’s website.
“Our goal is to improve service, increase electronic filing and reduce compliance burden to Canadians.”
Agency officials declined an interview request Thursday on the policy changes.
The Canada Revenue website says fewer people were using Telefile and almost two-thirds of Canadians now file their returns using services such as Netfile, either on their own or with the help of a tax preparer.
It says using Netfile allows the agency to process tax returns and send out refunds more quickly — in as little as eight business days.
Scrapping the Netfile access code will also speed up service without affecting security, the agency says.
“The Canadian Revenue Agency uses the most secure forms of encryption available today. These are the same levels that your financial institution uses to protect your banking information.”
To use Netfile, people must either buy certified commercial tax software or find a free program. These options are usually posted on the agency website. http://www.netfile.gc.ca/
Taypayers who prefer to process their returns on paper can download the forms from the Canada Revenue website or pick up copies at Canada Post outlets.