Know How to Recognize a Scam

There are many fraud types, including new ones invented daily.

Taxpayers should be vigilant when they receive, either by telephone, mail, text message or email, a fraudulent communication that claims to be from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) requesting personal information such as a social insurance number, credit card number, bank account number, or passport number.

These scams may insist that this personal information is needed so that the taxpayer can receive a refund or a benefit payment. Cases of fraudulent communication could also involve threatening or coercive language to scare individuals into paying fictitious debt to the CRA. Other communications urge taxpayers to visit a fake CRA website where the taxpayer is then asked to verify their identity by entering personal information. These are scams and taxpayers should never respond to these fraudulent communications or click on any of the links provided.

To identify communications not from the CRA, be aware of these guidelines.

If you receive a call saying you owe money to the CRA, you can call us or check My Account to be sure.

If you have signed up for online mail (available through My Account, My Business Account, and Represent a Client), the CRA will do the following:

  • send a registration confirmation email to the address you provided for online mail service for an individual or a business; and
  • send an email to the address you provided to notify you when new online mail is available to view in the CRA's secure online services portal.

The CRA will not do the following:

  • send email with a link and ask you to divulge personal or financial information;

Exception:

If you call the CRA to request a form or a link for specific information, a CRA agent will forward the information you are requesting to your email during the telephone call. This is the only circumstance in which the CRA will send an email containing links.

  • ask for personal information of any kind by email or text message.
  • request payments by prepaid credit cards.
  • give taxpayer information to another person, unless formal authorization is provided by the taxpayer.
  • leave personal information on an answering machine.

When in doubt, ask yourself the following:

  • Did I sign up to receive online mail through My Account, My Business Account, or Represent a Client?
  • Did I provide my email address on my income tax and benefit return to receive mail online?
  • Am I expecting more money from the CRA?
  • Does this sound too good to be true?
  • Is the requester asking for information I would not provide in my tax return?
  • Is the requester asking for information I know the CRA already has on file for me?

If you do have a debt with the CRA and can't pay in full, take action right away. For more information, go to When you owe money – collections at the CRA.

How to protect yourself from identity theft

  • Never provide personal information through the Internet or by email. The CRA does not ask you to provide personal information by email.
  • Be suspicious if you are ever asked to pay taxes or fees to the CRA on lottery or sweepstakes winnings. You do not have to pay taxes or fees on these types of winnings. These requests are scams.
  • Keep your access codes, user ID, passwords, and PINs secret.
  • Keep your address current with all government departments and agencies.
  • Choose your tax preparer carefully! Make sure you choose someone you trust and check their references. Always review your return, agree with the content before filing, and follow up to make sure you receive your notice of assessment, since it contains important financial and personal information that belongs to you.
  • Before supporting any charity, use the CRA website at www.cra.gc.ca/charities to find out if the charity is registered and get more information on the way it does business.
  • Be careful before you click on links in any email you receive. Some criminals may be using a technique known as phishing to steal your personal information when you click on the link.
  • Caller ID is a useful function. However, the information displayed can be altered by criminals. Never use only the displayed information to confirm the identity of the caller whether it be an individual, a company or a government entity.
  • Protect your social insurance number. Don't use it as a piece of ID and never reveal it to anyone unless you are certain the person asking for it is legally entitled to that information. If an organization asks for your social insurance number, ask if it is legally required to collect it, and if not, offer other forms of ID.
  • Pay attention to your billing cycle and ask about any missing account statements or suspicious transactions.
  • Shred unwanted documents or store them in a secure place. Make sure that documents with your name and SIN are secure.
  • Immediately report lost or stolen credit or debit cards.
  • Carry only the ID you need.
  • Do not write down any passwords or carry them with you.
  • Ask a trusted neighbour to pick up your mail when you are away or ask that a hold be placed on delivery.

Have you been a victim?

You should report deceptive telemarketing to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online or by calling 1-888-495-8501.

If you suspect you may be the victim of fraud or have been tricked into giving personal or financial information, contact your local police service.

If the CRA has confirmed that a taxpayer's information has been compromised, the Agency will act to prevent the fraudulent use of the information involving systems and processes for which the CRA is responsible.

If your social insurance number (SIN) has been stolen, you should contact Service Canada at 1-800-206-7218. For more information, see Social Insurance Number (Service Canada website).

You can ask the CRA to disable online access to your information on the CRA login services by calling the e-Services Helpdesk. After access to your information is disabled, you may change your mind and want access again. If so, you can call the e-Services Helpdesk and ask that your access be re-activated.

If you think your CRA user ID or the password you use in personal dealings with the CRA has been compromised, contact our e-Services Helpdesk.

 

 Personal Income Tax Information

As we all know, tax season is fast approaching.  We have included a personal tax checklist below to assist you in the gathering of information required to complete your tax return.  This is for your records and it is not necessary to bring it in with your slips unless there has been a change in your contact information (including address, phone numbers or email address).

Personal Tax Checklist  (Microsoft Word)

Personal Tax Checklist (PDF) 

Important Dates from the CRA (*** This information was taken from the Canada Revenue Agency Website)

When to file

April 30: Returns due for individuals. Most Canadian income tax and benefit returns for 2016 are due on April 30, 2017. However, as this date is a Sunday, the CRA will consider your return as filed on time and your payment to be made on time if the CRA receives your submission or it is postmarked by midnight on May 1, 2017.

June 15: Returns due for self-employed workers and their spouses or common-law partners. However, if you have a balance owing for 2016, you still have to pay it on or before April 30, 2016. As this date is a Sunday, the CRA will consider your payment as received on time if it is postmarked by midnight on May 1, 2017.

You can pay before you file your return. If you do, specify the year to which you want the payment applied. When you complete your return, claim this amount on line 476. As long as you file your return and pay by April 30, 2017, we will not charge you interest or a late-filing penalty.

You can file your return early and make a post-dated payment. As long as you file your return and pay by April 30, 2017, we will not charge interest on your balance owing.

Payment of Personal Income Tax Owed

You can make your payment in one of the following ways:

Make a payment

Making tax payments has never been easier. When you pay online, you can make your payment anytime, from anywhere.

Online payment methods

Online banking

Pay your taxes the same way you pay your phone or hydro bill.

  1. Sign in to your financial institution's online banking service.
  2. Under “Add a payee,” look for an option such as:
    • CRA (revenue)-current year-tax return
    • CRA (revenue)-tax amount owing
    • CRA (revenue)-tax instalment

To avoid a misapplied payment, carefully enter your account number (social insurance number or business number).

Other information about paying your taxes using online banking:

  • Most financial institutions let you set up a payment to be sent to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on a pre-set date or dates.
  • Business payments may only be made from a business bank account.

For help paying your taxes through online banking, please contact your financial institution.

Debit card – Interac® Online (Visa® Debit cards are now accepted)

Use the CRA's My Payment service to pay with your debit card.

Pre-authorized debit

Set it and forget it: Pre-authorized debit (PAD) is an online, self-service, payment option. Using this option, you can authorize the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to withdraw a pre-determined payment amount from your bank account to pay tax on one or more dates. You won’t have to remember to mail your payments again.

For both businesses and individuals, the PAD option lets you create an agreement for many different payment types. The PAD service also lets you fully self-manage your agreement(s). You can set up a pre-authorized debit agreement at your convenience using the CRA's My Account or My Business Account services. For more information, go to Pre-authorized debit.

Third-party service provider/Credit card

You may be able to make a payment through a third-party service provider who will send your business or individual payment and remittance details online to the CRA for you. Third-party service providers may offer different payment options, including credit cards.

Select any of the third-party service providers listed below to link to their website. The payment service offered by each company is noted in brackets. Third-party providers charge a fee for their service.

Avoid late fees! Even if you pay today, the CRA may not receive your payment today. We receive your payment on the date the service provider sends the funds to us—not the date you make your payment. The CRA may charge you penalties or interest or both if your payment is late. Contact your service provider to find out if you will experience processing delays.

You are responsible for making sure the CRA receives your payment by the payment due date. If you are using a third-party service provider, you must clearly understand the terms and conditions of the services you are using.

Note

Links to other websites, or references on this website to products, services, or publications other than those of the CRA, are provided only for the convenience of CRA website users. The CRA does not endorse these products, services, or publications.

Other payment methods

Pay at your financial institution, or using wire transfers.

Pay at your Canadian financial institution

You can make your payment at your financial institution in Canada. To do so, you need a personalized remittance voucher.

Note

  • Do not mail us cash or include it with your return.
  • If you make a payment that your financial institution does not honour, we will charge you a fee.
  • A payment in foreign funds will be accepted. However, the exchange rate for converting the payment to Canadian dollars is determined by the financial institution at the time it processes your payment.
  • You have to make arrangements with your financial institution when you make a payment of more than $25 million.

Pay using wire transfer

Non-residents who do not have a Canadian bank account can pay using wire transfer. For more information, see Wire transfers.

More information about your payment

Misapplied payments

Accurate information—it's a must!

To make sure your payment is applied to the intended account, it's important to make sure the information you give us when you make the payment is accurate. Make sure you tell us the account number you would like the payment applied to and the tax year the payment is for if the payment is not for the current tax year. Businesses have to give their business number, period end date, and the fiscal year they want the payment applied to. Filling out your voucher accurately is important, since our employees process payments based on the instructions you give.

When you make an electronic payment to the CRA, the same information is required. You fill in all relevant payment details when identifying the CRA as a bill payee or when paying using your debit card with the CRA's My Payment service. It's important that you provide the correct account number and the type of payment such as, CRA (revenue)-(current year)-tax return; CRA (revenue) tax owing, or CRA (revenue)-tax instalment. Your payment is applied using the information you give.

Misapplied payments

If you are a business owner or a representative and your payment was not applied to your account as expected, you can use My Business Account or Represent a Client to transfer payments within your various accounts or call 1-800-959-5525 for help.

If you are an individual and your payment was not applied to your account as expected, call 1-800-959-8281 for help.

If you are a non-resident taxpayer and your payment was not applied to your account as expected, for help call 1-855-284-5946 from anywhere in Canada or the United States or 1-613-940-8499 from outside Canada and the United States.

Have a debt with the CRA and can’t pay in full?

Stay connected

For regular information updates on our services, follow @CanRevAgency on Twitter.

 

#208, 2520 Ellwood Drive SW
Edmonton, AB
T6X 0A9

780-439-9328
Ext 0
kimh@haca.ca

Copyright © Herbert & Associates Chartered Accountants 2015