As we work towards release of our new 2013.1 T2 software, and begin planning for the 2013 T1 product line, (no off-season for us here…) we just wanted to take a moment to give you some info on upcoming changes from CRA, fresh from their Software Conference.
NETFILE is changing!
You may recall last year that CRA stopped sending out tax forms to everyone along with their NETFILE Access Code, as they eliminated the Access Code for individuals. Well, next year it will be even easier.
Web Access Service
Up to now, everyone has had to create their “.tax” file, then go to the CRA NETFILE site to transmit it, attach the file, and try to submit it. This worked OK for a while, but if you’re out there and you had difficulty because you accidentally attached the wrong file, know that there were a lot of people in the same boat. It was confusing, and frustrating for a great many people.
Now some would (and some did) ask, why can’t we just automatically put the right info on the CRA website instead of having the customer look for it. And it was a good question. The reason is that CRA is very restrictive about what software like TaxTron can automatically do for the average taxpayer. (Although the rules are a little more relaxed for the tax professionals out there)
For example, we can’t automatically fill in your province of return, or automatically try to claim a GST credit for you. And taxpayers still can’t change their address or direct deposit information at the same time they file their return.
But as of 2013, things are changing as CRA is implementing a Web Access Service for tax software. The software will create the .tax file just as it did before. But now it will then proceed to send the return directly to CRA along with your SIN and date of birth information so that you won’t even have to go to the CRA website and type in your info or attach any file. It will all happen automatically. No typos, no incorrect files. Quick and simple.
Revenue Quebec has been doing this for a while and now it’s the rest of Canada’s opportunity to enjoy the service.
Extended Filing Window
At the same time, CRA extended the filing window to the end of November from September. Well next year starting in February, tax professionals will be able to electronically file clients’ returns year-round, and CRA has said the average taxpayer will be able to do the same through NETFILE starting in 2014!
New Tax Filers
Traditionally, young people born in Canada filing their first return has to send their returns by paper, and CRA changed that last year with the ability to NETFILE their first return.
That was great for the students out there, but newcomers to Canada were still forced to send their returns the old fashioned way, with the processing delay that entailed and everything.
Well now as of 2013, immigrants to Canada will be able to NETFILE their returns as well. Tax professionals will also be able to EFILE an immigrant’s return along with their T1013 form.
With the additional initiatives of E-Payments, E-Delivery, and E-Documents, you’ll soon be able to pay directly online. CRA will be able to send you documents through a secure portal online, and you’ll be able to send them info the same way, for example when they’re looking for additional information from you like medical receipts, etc. CRA wants to have everything handled securely and electronically, making it faster for everyone, including taxpayers. These changes are just a few steps in that direction.
There’s even more to tell, but that’s for another time.