Online Mail Canada Revenue Agency

The CRA has created a new online mail service that allows individuals to receive some correspondence from the CRA online through My Account.

I recently received a call from a client asking about Online Mail from CRA and asked what my thoughts were on the service.

Here are my thoughts:

  • you need to be registered with CRA for online mail
  • “eligible correspondence” will generate an email to you advising of Online Mail being available in your My Account (what is My Account)
    • currently limited to:
      • Notice of Assessment (issued after February 9th, 2015)
      • Notices of Reassessment (issued after February 9th, 2015)
  • as more correspondence becomes available you will be automatically registered to receive them online rather than by mail

Advantages (as per CRA site)

  • Paperless — viewing your correspondence online means less paper clutter around the home. The CRA even sends you an email notification when there is new mail in your secure online account, so you won’t miss a thing.
  • Convenient — when there is correspondence to view, you only need to log in to My Account to see it. You can access your tax information whenever you need it, wherever you are. To register, go to My Account.
  • Secure — the CRA takes the protection of Canadians’ tax information very seriously. The CRA uses the same high levels of security that financial institutions use to protect your banking information.

My concerns

  • Ensure that you use an email account that is secure and that you check frequently.
    • Many remedies available to taxpayers who disagree with an Assessment Notice or Reassessment Notice are time limited.  Missing an email might result in no remedy being available as the deadline to object has been missed. This article from Jamie Golombek @JamieGolombek National Post May 29, 2015 speaks of the timing of filing an objection.
  • Ensure that you keep CRA updated on changes to your email address.

I recognize that CRA is looking to streamline the process and reduce the costs of mailing documents to taxpayers, however you should ensure that you understand the impact of receiving online mail from CRA and treat it with the same importance as physical mail.

 

 

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