Effective January 2013, the CRA will no longer mail invitations containing an access code to taxpayers who are eligible to use NETFILE to file their T1 personal income tax return. In other words, the CRA is eliminating the need for the access code that was previously used for NETFILE.
A1. NETFILE is one of our electronic tax-filing options. This transmission service allows you to file your personal income tax and benefit return directly to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) using the Internet. It allows the CRA to process your return much quicker, which means a faster refund. In most cases, with direct deposit, you can receive your refund in as little as eight business days, compared with four to six weeks for a paper return sent through the mail.
Tax returns filed via NETFILE must first be prepared using a certified software. There are several certified software packages and online services to choose from listed on our Web site - including options that are completely free.
NETFILE is secure. The CRA uses the highest levels of encryption available. These are the same levels that your financial institution uses to protect your banking information.
A2. The CRA continually monitors and refines its business processes to make sure it remains efficient and effective in its delivery of services to Canadians. We are modernizing our electronic processes to make them easier and more accessible for Canadians to use while maintaining the highest level of security. Our goal is to improve service, increase electronic filing, and reduce compliance burden to Canadians.
A3. This change will take effect for 2012 income tax returns, which are filed in 2013.
A4. Instead of using the access code when transmitting your return, the CRA will request your Social Insurance Number (SIN) and date of birth when you are ready to file your tax return. This will make it easier and faster for you to file your return using NETFILE, as there will be no need to wait to receive an access code.
A5. NETFILE is safe and secure. The CRA uses the most secure forms of encryption available today. These are the same levels that your financial institution uses to protect your banking information. We will continue to use a comprehensive and secure validation process for your data, while increasing the accessibility and ease of electronic filing.
A6. Filing a tax return using NETFILE is a one way transaction of information. No taxpayer information (such as banking information, address, or SIN) can be viewed or changed through this process.
There are a number of identification and tax-related validations performed by the CRA to prevent fraud. Along with these validations, the CRA does not permit you to change your address or your banking information through NETFILE. If a return is filed, the notice of assessment or refund is sent to the address or bank account the CRA has on file. Only the taxpayer or their legal representative is able to change this information.
A7. If you need to change any personal information on your tax return, you must update it with the CRA before you can use NETFILE. You may do so in a few ways, including through our secure online service called My Account. The CRA has validations in place to ensure the security and authenticity of your personal information prior to any data being changed on your account. The security of your personal information is our highest priority and if there is any doubt concerning your identity, we will not change any of your information.
A8. Only one initial return will be accepted using the NETFILE system.
You cannot use NETFILE to change or amend your tax return. To make a change to your tax return, you can use the Change my return option on My Account, our secure online service, once your original return has been assessed.
A9. Similar to paper filing, the CRA performs a number of identification validations, including validating your SIN and date of birth to the CRA database. If any identification error or discrepancy is found, the system automatically stops the processing of your return.
A10. A confirmation number will be issued to you after the CRA does a preliminary check of your return and it's accepted through NETFILE. This usually only takes a few seconds. Ensure you keep this confirmation number on file for your records.
A11. During this transition period, we will enhance our communication efforts relating to filing your T1 Return by using a variety of communication tools and products designed to reach Canadian taxpayers. Throughout the tax filing season, we will be updating the CRA Web site with relevant information, including reminders and tax tips. We will continue to update taxpayers on any changes and ensure all messages are clearly communicated in a timely manner.
A12. As a taxpayer, you should ensure that your personal information is kept confidential and secure. You should also know who you may have given your information to and exactly what information they may have. You must always ensure that your information is kept protected to prevent misuse of your personal data.