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Frequently asked questions about NETFILE - Technical

Frequently asked questions

  1. What if I have a firewall or anti-virus software?
  2. What if I don't have a home computer? Are there other ways I can use NETFILE?
  3. I don't want to set my cookies on. Can I still use NETFILE?
  4. What are certificates and why do they keep popping up on my screen?
  5. What if the site won't accept my electronic tax return?
  6. What if I get a message "Connection Timed Out" or "Page is not Available"?
  7. How do I sign my electronic tax return?

  1. What if I have a firewall or anti-virus software?
    If you have a firewall, you may have problems connecting to our transmission website. You may need to change the settings on your firewall to allow communication and uploading of your tax return between our server and your computer. The same will apply to any anti-virus software you have. The settings may need to be changed to allow communication and uploading of your tax return to our website.

  2. What if I don't have a home computer? Are there other ways I can use NETFILE?
    We expect that individuals will be able to use computers in a library, at work (if their employer permits it), or a computer belonging to a friend or relative. The only restriction will be that the computer must have the necessary secure systems.

    We always consider the protection of confidential information to be extremely important. Before we allow individuals to send their tax returns using NETFILE, certain security conditions must be met. The browser on the computer being used must have a minimum of 128-bit secure sockets layer encryption capability. For more information on this subject, see Security.

  3. I don't want to set my cookies on. Can I still use NETFILE?
    No, if you don't accept the cookie, you won't be able to send your tax return to us over the Internet.

    A cookie is a packet of data containing information that identifies you as it intermittently travels between your computer and us. This cookie is one of the ways we ensure that you continue to be identified and send the correct information during your online session. Right now, we have no alternate session management method for those of you who prefer not to accept browser cookies.

  4. What are certificates and why do they keep popping up on my screen?
    This is the explanation given by Internet Explorer as to what a certificate is. There are two different types of certificates: personal and website.

    A personal certificate is used when you send personal information to a client authentication server that requires a certificate. For example, a personal certificate would contain information such as your username and password.

    A website certificate is used when a secure website sends Internet Explorer a certificate that provides certain information about security for that website. A certificate is issued to a particular organization for a specific period of time. When you try to open that organization's website, Internet Explorer verifies the Internet address stored in the certificate and also verifies that the current date precedes the expiration date. If not, Internet Explorer can display a warning. For example, a website certificate would contain information verifying that the site is secure and genuine. This ensures that no other website can assume the identity of the original secure site.

  5. What if the site won't accept my electronic tax return?
    NETFILE has been set up to accept a specific file format (.tax), and the certified commercial tax preparation software or web application includes instructions on how to save your tax return in that file format. Verify that you've properly saved your tax return for NETFILE by following the software or application instructions.

    You may only send your ".tax" file. No other type of file will be accepted.

  6. What if I get a message "Connection Timed Out" or "Page is not Available"?
    Here are some suggestions if you get one of the above messages:

    • Ensure your browser is set to accept cookies and has 128-bit SSL 3.0
    • Clear your cache
    • Ensure that all firewalls, external or other, allows for file uploads. This includes the firewall in Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7.
    • Check your Internet connection to ensure it has not been disconnected.
    • If you have a router, ensure it allows file uploads and ensure that the Maximum Transmission Unit (MTU) setting is set to 1452 (this number may need to be adjusted depending on the Operating System).
    • Try another browser
    • Ensure that you do not have a virus that is preventing you from filing
    • If all else fails, try another computer

    If you are using a computer connected to a Local Area Network (LAN), such as a computer at work, the security settings on that computer could be preventing you from accessing NETFILE. Try a computer at home or a computer not connected to the LAN.

    You do not have to install the tax preparation software on the computer you use to file your tax return. You only need a computer that meets the security requirements and your ".tax" file saved on a disk.

    Since changing computer settings may cause other problems, we cannot provide you with assistance in this matter. You can however, contact your Internet Service provider (ISP) or the support desk for your router (if there is one) for assistance.

  7. How do I sign my electronic return?
    Your two items of identification (social insurance number and date of birth) make up your "digital signature," which is considered official.