Efiling mandatory, CRA reminds preparers

Tax preparers across Canada are getting reminders from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) about their obligations to efile the personal tax returns they prepare. It’s all part of the CRA’s strategy to boost compliance.

If you’re a tax preparer who’s received a CRA letter with information about the mandatory electronic filing rules for T1 returns, you’re not alone. The CRA is sending these letters to some 800 tax preparers who didn’t meet their obligations last year as part of its education campaign to raise awareness about the rules.

Because the rules are new — they took effect at the start of 2013 — the CRA realizes the scope for misunderstanding and aims to be flexible for the first few years. But in the future, penalties may be applied for each paper-filed T1 personal income tax return that should have been electronically filed.

The CRA’s educational outreach is getting results. Last year, over 1,150 letters were sent to preparers that had filed more than 10 returns on paper in the 2013 filing season. Of the 800 letters sent this year, about 500 were sent to preparers who had also received a letter in the previous year.

The CRA points out that 82 per cent of Canadians had their returns efiled last year, enjoying faster processing and quicker refunds. The move to mandatory efiling is part of the CRA’s commitment to offer Canadians safe, secure and convenient services.

You can find more information about the mandatory efile rules on the CRA’s webpage.