Member survey highlights ways to improve T1 efile program

Tax practitioners have voiced concern about the new mandatory efile rules for paid tax preparers. Read about what Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) is doing to help.

With the new mandatory efile rules for paid tax preparers, a number of practitioners have voiced concerns. To better understand the challenges involved and formulate advice for Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on potential improvements, CPA Canada commissioned an online survey of tax preparers and those responsible for tax preparation services offered by their practice. Although it was not possible to change the efile system for 2012 T1s, we received a lot of excellent feedback as practitioners adjusted to the new rules.

Respondents identified numerous obstacles that could prevent them from using efile or that make the process cumbersome. Members also supported recommendations for improvement, including:

  • introduction of system whereby efile preparers would be monitored over several years and experience fewer reviews after establishing a good track record
  • increasing the return threshold for mandatory preparation to 25 (from 10)
  • reviewing and updating CRA’s efile requirements to ensure that preparers who efile do not face more requirements than other preparers
  • broadening the range of forms that can be efiled to include all personal income tax forms, elections and foreign reporting forms
  • investigating a method that would allow efiling of tax slips and other documentation with the return to avoid follow-up reviews
  • allowing for payment options other than through online banking
  • notifying preparers of files to be selected for pre- and post-assessment verification review at the time the return is efiled

CPA Canada has shared these recommendations with CRA for their consideration and potential action. As noted, CRA says it intends to broaden the list of forms that can be efiled.