Big changes coming to the CRA

We recently spoke with an agent from the Canada Revenue Agency Business Window representative who mentioned that as of January 1, 2014, the last of the CRA front offices were closed down. It used to be that you could pay for various liabilities with the cash counter, reviewing tax returns or general inquiries with CRA personnel in some of the district taxation offices. Generally, the CRA is pushing hard for the general public to use their website for information and enquires and internet to pay for liabilities on-line.

There are certain criteria that need to be met in order to arrange a meeting with CRA:

  • Disability or language barrier
  • If confidentiality can’t be met/determined over the phone
  • The issue is too complex to discuss over the phone
  • It is an urgent certification of residency

Another interesting development over the past few weeks is that the Government of Canada has instructed the CRA to not accept inquiries from taxpayers/business owners/directors unless their SIN number is on file with CRA. Even though SIN numbers are listed on the corporate tax returns, this information is not updated in the system. The agent for the CRA was unable to find the specific message on the CRA website, so he informed us verbally about these changes.

This means that when you call the CRA and wants to discuss your account with their staff, the CRA will only speak to you if your information (SIN) is on file. If that isn’t on file, the CRA will only speak to your representative that you have registered on file, for example, the accounting firm.

This is a brand new piece of information that we will have to learn more about. These changes have some potentially large ramifications. Specifically it affects how you as an individual or business owner interact with the CRA about questions or changes with your account. If you have questions or concerns, please speak to your accountant or contact us at 416-495-1098 or info@apbs.ca.

The blogs posted on our website provide information of a general nature. These posts should not be considered specific advice; as each reader's personal financial situation is unique and fact specific. Please contact a professional advisor prior to implementing or acting upon any of the information contained in one of the blogs.

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