Canada Revenue Agency is launching the 2018 tax filing season

CRA warns all taxpayers to beware of phone calls or emails that claim to be from them but are not


Diane Lebouthillier

DIANE Lebouthillier, federal Minister of National Revenue, on Thursday announced that the 2018 tax filing season will officially open on Monday, February 26. The CRA will begin processing income tax and benefit returns filed by Canadians in the way that is most convenient to them.

The majority of Canadians choose to file their returns online. The CRA is making improvements for those who file online with programs such as Auto-fill My Return and NETFILE. For those who want to file themselves, the CRA has a list of certified tax software, some of which is free, that could make tax filing simpler.

The CRA is also processing returns faster. An enhanced service, Express Notice of Assessment (NOA), is available in certified tax software and allows Canadians registered for My Account and online mail to receive and print their NOA right after filing.

This year, the CRA has improved services for paper filers. In fact, approximately two million paper filers have already received their Income Tax and Benefit Guide and forms directly by mail rather than picking them up at Canada Post, Caisse populaire Desjardins, or Service Canada locations.

As previously announced on January 8, the CRA is also launching the File My Return (FMR) service. Over 950,000 eligible individuals with low income or a fixed income that is unchanged year-to-year have been invited to file their income tax and benefit returns simply by answering a series of short questions on a dedicated phone line, beginning February 26. This service will allow all the deductions, benefits and credits to which an individual is entitled, without the need for any calculations or paper forms to fill out.

As Canadians get busy filing their taxes, the CRA is reminding everyone to be cautious of fraudulent communications. The CRA warns all taxpayers to beware of phone calls or emails that claim to be from the CRA but are not. They may be phishing scams, or other fraudulent scams that could result in identity and financial theft.

Lebouthillier said: “With the opening of this year’s tax-filing season, I want to remind Canadians that filing an income tax and benefit return is the key to accessing benefits and credits like the Canada child benefit that I know can be an important source of support for many families. Doing your taxes is now easier, faster and more secure than ever before.”

Quick Facts:

  • Last year, nearly 90% of the 25 million returns Canadians filed were completed online.
  • Starting February 26, Canadians can start filing their income tax and benefit returns online.
  • March 1 is the deadline for contributing to a Registered Retired Savings Plan.
  • Canadians should have received most of the tax slips, such as T4s, and receipts needed to file a tax return by March.
  • Most Canadians income tax and benefit returns are due on April 30.
  • Self-employed individuals have until June 15 to file their return.
  • From February 26 to April 30, the CRA will be offering extended evening and weekend hours for Individual Tax Enquiries. Over 3,000 telephone agents will be available Monday to Friday (except holidays) from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (local time) weekdays, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (local time) on Saturdays (except Easter weekend) to serve as many people as possible. Our automated service will remain available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • New this year, individuals can obtain both their account balance and the amount of the last payment made to the CRA through the use of an automated, self-serve Interactive Voice Response system without needing to speak to an agent.
  • Express NOA allows those using certified tax software as well as tax preparers to print a notice of assessment right after filing.
  • Canadians can now make in-person payments at any Canada Post outlet using cash or debit card.