Tax questions? CRA is there to help (really)

Early in my career, I worked in the Rulings Division of Revenue Canada Taxation, now Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). In the realm of cool jobs, it wasn’t on the level of an astronaut, but learning what I did for a living was a great way to make annoying people disappear at parties. It also gave me insight into the mission of our income tax agency.

One of the roles assigned to the CRA is the administration of our income tax system. It doesn’t make the rules; it helps us follow them. If I haven’t lost you yet, here are some examples.

The CRA website is a great place to start. If you have not yet registered for your My CRA Account, you should. It is a secure portal where you can access services and obtain all kinds of information relative to your personal income tax account. You can track your refund, view or change your return, view your Notice of Assessment, check your account balance, submit missing documents, arrange to receive direct deposits, and more.

Not sure you received all your income tax slips? You can obtain copies of all slips issued to you from your My CRA Account portal.

If you need to speak to a CRA representative, a list of relevant phone numbers is available on the website. Before you call, have your social insurance number and a copy of your most recent income tax return or Notice of Assessment available, as you will be asked to confirm certain information for your own security.

Each year, the CRA teams up with the Halifax Public Libraries through the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) to provide free income tax clinics for those who qualify. For information on how to volunteer with CVITP, or to learn whether you are eligible for help at a free tax clinic, visit the Halifax Public Libraries website.

Let’s face it, preparing and paying our taxes is no fun. Believe it or not, however, the CRA is there with lots of free help.
One last bit of advice: if you get behind in filing your return or paying tax you owe, it’s even more important to contact CRA; they will work out a plan with you. Just don’t ignore them.

Bob Joyce, CPA, CA, CFP®

Bob Joyce
Bob is a CPA and CFP professional. As a CPA, Bob provided tax and accounting services to individuals and corporations before joining a large full-service wealth management firm. With almost 50 years of experience advising clients in the fields of estate, tax, and financial planning, and a genuine desire to understand and help clients, makes Bob distinctively qualified to help you achieve your personal financial goals and objectives.