CRA shutters tax filing portal in the height of tax season

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CRA shutters tax filing portal in the height of tax season

CRA shutters tax filing portal in the height of tax season - 4.3 out of 5 based on 10 votes

“Keep your tax matters private. Keep tax offline,” says Philippe DioGuardi.

( 10 Votes )

From our archives
April, 2014
Last week the Minister of National Revenue, The Hon. Kerry-Lynne Findlay happily announced that more Canadians were filing T1 tax and benefit returns online than ever before. As of March 24, 2014, the Minister reported that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) had received over 6.7 million returns, with close to 84% filed electronically, compared to 80% at the same time last year. Electronic filing is quickly becoming the norm, said the Minister, as taxfilers discover how convenient, easy, and secure online filing is. Direct Deposit has also increased. So far, 65% of taxpayers getting a refund received it by direct deposit compared to 61% at the same time last year. Minister Findlay encouraged all Canadians to join the growing number of their neighbours and friends who are filing online. 
According to her news release, when combining online filing with direct deposit, taxpayers may get their refunds in as little as eight days. Given the number of free software options available, filing a T1 income tax and benefit return couldn't be easier or simpler.
So much for the CRA party line. This week the advice is drastically different. Spooked by revelations that the heartbleed security bug may have exposed the passwords and personal information of taxpayers who have filed online, signed up for direct deposit of benefits and refunds, and/or set up personal online access to their tax accounts, the CRA has shut down all external access to its online services.
 
 
“No one knows if your personal tax information has been compromised,” says tax lawyer and tax privacy advocate Philippe DioGuardi. “The CRA has been very quiet on that subject. But since the heartbleed bug may also affect your online banking, anyone filing online and registered for direct deposit has a double-trouble risk of exposure.”
 
 
CRA has graciously announced that taxpayers can file their taxes the old-fashioned way. On paper, mailed to the CRA.  Further, the CRA advises that if you end up filing late because you could not file online, they will not assess late filing penalties. Will they, however, cancel the paper-filing fee – about $25  –  they have been charging to taxpayers who didn’t file online? That’s a good question.
 
 
Philippe DioGuardi suggests that “When you receive your 2013 assessment, check the fees and penalties section carefully. If you find a charge or a penalty, object. On paper and through the mail.”
 
And for 2013 if you haven’t yet filed, on paper and through the mail is now the only way to go, Mr. DioGuardi suggests. 
 
Seems like the old fashioned way is still the safest.
 

Taxpayer   12.04.2014 02:08
Thanks for the warning

CRA really messed up on this. Can we trust exiling ever again?

 
 
       
 

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