EACH almost 90% of Canadian taxpayers choose to file their personal income taxes using electronic methods. However, CRA says it has heard from some Canadians that the “traditional” paper method just works better for them. Those paper filers might feel like the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) wants to pressure all taxpayers to file electronically.
The CRA says: “That is simply not the case. While we do encourage taxpayers to take advantage of the benefits of filing online, we know that being a world class tax agency begins with providing world class services. Which, when it comes to filing personal taxes, includes offering the classic paper-based option.”
This year the CRA has, once again, mailed the 2019 income tax package to 1.7 million individuals who filed a paper income tax and benefit return last year. It introduced this direct mail service two years ago to make sure that it got the packages to those who filed by paper in the past. This service is especially important for those who need it most, such as seniors, people with mobility restrictions, and those living in rural and remote areas. Taxpayers started receiving their packages after January 10.
The CRA says: “Since we know some Canadians, who may prefer the paper method, might not have received a copy in the mail, a limited number of tax packages will be made available, in both official languages, at select Service Canada sites across Canada. Alternatively, Canadians can order a copy either by going to canada.ca/get-cra-forms, or by calling the CRA toll-free number at 1-855-330-3305, or they can print copies for themselves by visiting canada.ca/taxes-general-package.”
In an effort to reduce paper waste, tax packages will no longer be available at Canada Post or Caisse populaire Desjardins locations. However, taxpayers who do visit their local Canada Post location will find information on how to contact the CRA to get a copy.
The CRA offers multiple options for taxpayers to file their income tax and benefit returns:
- Filing online – using NETFILE and EFILE
- Filing by paper
- Filing by phone – Using the File my Return option, eligible Canadians can answer a series of short questions through a dedicated, automated phone service.
“We recognize that Canadians have diverse needs when it comes to return filing, and we are committed to making sure no one is left behind. Filing taxes by paper has become a tradition for some Canadians. They have been doing it that way for years, and it works for them. To those individuals, I want to assure you that the CRA has not forgotten you, the Paper Filer,” says Frank Vermaeten, Assistant Commissioner at the Canada Revenue Agency.