I don’t like getting bills in the mail. I don’t have home delivery from Canada Post and it is currently -15 C in my neighborhood. That’s why I have arranged for all or most of my business correspondence addressed to arrive by email or online.
The CRA must have become aware of my aversion to the cold because, like so many Canadian service providers, they are jumping onto the electronic post bandwagon with both feet in 2014.
The CRA has long been a proponent of electronic services and, starting with this year’s tax return, the CRA will be asking for your email address so they can send communications to your inbox instead of by mail. Don’t worry: they will not be sending your next Notice of Assessment to your Gmail account -- they are much too sensitive to the privacy of your personal information to take such a risk.
An email originating from CRA will inform you that correspondence addressed to you is to be found at the agency’s “My Account” service. The email will tell you to login to “My Account”, where you will be able to see those communications you would have previously have received by mail – a Notice of Assessment or Re-assessment or a request for information.
The “My Account” service has been around for a number of years. The enhanced version is a very useful tool that can give you lots of details about your carry forward amounts, the tax returns you have filed and even the ability to adjust your previously assessed return online.
However, there is no need to sign-up for the full “My Account” service when you receive an email notification of from CRA.
You will simply need to go to “My Account” and enter four pieces of information to verify your identity:
- Social insurance number
- Date of birth
- Current postal code (as it appears in the CRA’s records), and
- An amount entered on one of your tax returns (it used to be line 150 but now the line numbers and even the tax year may vary.)
Just remember, the date of correspondence from CRA is the date it was sent, not the date you opened it in “My Account”. So, like any e-billing, the onus is on you to stay on top of it.
If you are like me and love the convenience of electronic mail, be sure to enter your email address on the “CRA questions” page of your UFile tax software this year.