The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is introducing a host of enhancements to its business and individual programs that will ease processes for authorizing taxpayer representatives, filing several elections, tracking the progress of tax filings at the CRA and more. \nCRA officials highlighted these changes at a recent CRA-CPA Canada Technology Working Group meeting. This forum brings together senior CRA officials, tax preparers, tax software developers and other stakeholders to share information and brainstorm ideas for making tax administration better. \nMany of the newest improvements, summarized below, were suggested at the group’s past meetings.\nBUSINESS TAX PROGRAM IMPROVEMENTS\nMy Business Account (MyBA)\nComing in May 2020, the MyBA secure electronic portal will be updated to feature some useful new functions. These include:\n\n the ability to view up to seven years of information and import data into T2 software using T2 Autofill (up from five years)\n online access to and electronic filing of the GST/HST new residential rental property rebate form (GST 524) is being added to the suite of rebate applications that can already be electronically filed\n \n this includes the Public Service Bodies’ related forms (GST66 and GST523-1), new housing rebate forms (GST190 and GST191) and the General Application for Rebate of GST/HST (GST189)\n \n \n\nMore enhancements to MyBA that are in the works but not yet scheduled for release include the ability to:\n\n sign up for email correspondence and receive confirmation when a payment is applied to an account \n upload up to 150MB of documents (with the limit based on total file size, rather than the 10-document cap now in place)\n submit documents in response to CRA requests without a CRA reference number\n\nPre-authorized debits for employers\nStarting in February 2020, employers will be able to set up pre-authorized debits for payroll withholdings for up to 10 employees.\nPERSONAL INCOME TAX PROGRAM IMPROVEMENTS\nTuition slips now included in T1 auto-fill\nStarting for 2019 T1s, post-secondary institutions will have to report tuition fees and related amounts on a new T2202 form so that data can be automatically added to a taxpayer’s T1 Income Tax Return with auto-fill my return. Since this feature is new, the CRA expects to encounter a few issues and will work on improving it over time.\nTransferring payments in MyAccount (MyA)\nThe CRA is aware of the problems caused when tax payments are allocated to a wrong account (e.g., to current-year instalments instead of prior-year tax owing). The CRA is looking into giving taxpayers and their representatives the ability to reallocate tax payments among various tax years and accounts.\nStreamlined processes for authorizing taxpayer representatives\nIn February 2020, the CRA will introduce new processes for personal income taxpayers to authorize third-party representatives (summarized on our tax resources for CPAs).\nMORE IMPROVEMENTS \nProgress tracker\nThe CRA is developing a “Progress Tracker” that will give taxpayers and representatives status updates on their tax filings and questions submitted to the CRA. The new solution will launch in two phases:\n\n The first phase launched on December 16, 2019 and introduced a new “Check CRA Processing Times” tool that you can access on the CRA website and via the MyA and MyBA portals. The tool sets out general processing times for various CRA programs based on the CRA’s published service standards.\n The second phase of the solution will be an account-specific tracking service offered in MyA and MyBA where taxpayers will be able to confirm that their return was received and track the progress of other activities related to their filings.\n\nFinally, for a list of welcome changes made to MyBA and MyA earlier this fall that you might have missed, see the CRA’s October 2019 update presentation. \nKEEP THE CONVERSATION GOING\nDo you have any other suggestions on how the CRA can further improve its e-services for businesses and individuals? Post your ideas and we’ll consider bringing them the table at our next CRA CPA Canada Technology Committee meeting.\n \nCPA Canada’s Tax Blog is designed to create an exchange of ideas on tax policy and practice issues, and their impact on those who practice tax. Your comments can provide helpful input into the public interest advocacy positions developed by CPA Canada.