Unless you’ve been on a deserted island or under a rock for a while, you probably remember the uproar that the Heartbleed bug caused when it came to light in the spring of 2014.

With the continual increase of internet connectivity worldwide, the threat of other exploits such as Heartbleed certainly won’t be going away any time soon. Some have already been identified.

To combat this, Canada Revenue Agency has begun a transition from the ubiquitous but obsolete Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol, which debuted in 1996, to it’s successor Transport Layer Security (TLS).

Such a change will have significant impact on CRA’s electronic services, including those used to for NETFILE, EFILE and related services. In order to ease the transition, they are implementing the switch in a two-stage process:

  1. Removal of support for SSL and switch to TLS version 1.0 will occur on December 18, 2014.
  2. Removal of support for TLS 1.0 and swtich to TLS version 1.2 will occur sometime in mid-2015.

This will result in electronic services being disabled in software products running on legacy operating systems, although printing and filing of returns by traditional mail will still be possible.

Debuting in 2008 and further refined in 2011, TLS 1.2 offers greatly enhanced encryption and improved security to protect your data.

So what about TaxTron?

For Microsoft users, the change to TLS 1.2 will necessitate a change to the version of .NET Framework used by TaxTron, from version 2 to 4.5.1. Unfortunately, this will create an issue especially for Windows XP users as .NET 4.5.1 is incompatible with Windows XP.

Systems running Windows 8 and onwards will be unaffected, as will Vista and Windows 7 users with .NET Framework 4.5.1 or higher installed.

Similarly on Apple’s side, Macintosh OS X 10.8 and higher users will be unaffected as well, but prior versions of the operating system will require an upgrade to a supported version of the OS to continue using electronic filing services.

Initially, TaxTron’s upcoming T1 products for 2014 will support TLS 1.0. An update will be made available in mid-2015 to TaxTron’s 2014 and 2013 product lines to support TLS 1.2 concurrent with the transition by CRA.

Remember, even with this change printing your return and mailing it to Canada Revenue is still possible. So you can rest assured that CRA and TaxTron both remain committed to the security of your personal data.

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