Canada Revenue Agency tweaks tax return process — here’s what to know

The Canada Revenue Agency[1] (CRA) announced Monday that it is changing the way thousands of citizens will file their tax and benefit returns[2] this year.

About 950,000 Canadians with low or fixed incomes[3] will be eligible for the CRA’s new “File my Return” automated service, Minister of National Revenue Diane Lebouthillier, explained in a press release.

READ MORE: Indigenous Canadians face barriers, challenges at tax time, report says[4]

The individuals will be able to file their tax return, as long as it is unchanged year-to-year, by answering short questions and giving some personal information by telephone. They will not need to make any calculations or fill out paper forms, but will still be able to see what deductions, benefits and credits they can receive.

Those who are eligible for the service will be notified with letters by mid-February. The service will run every day from 6 a.m. to 3 a.m. ET during tax-filing season.

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The CRA also announced Monday that those who filed their returns directly by mail in past years will receive the “General Income Tax and Benefit Guide,” and other forms in the mail this year. In previous years, Canadians have had to pick up the tax package from a Canada Post, Service Canada, or Caisse populaire Desjardins outlet.

The agency noted that some forms (in both official languages) will still be available at these locations starting Feb.26, in case they are needed. But starting in 2019, all forms will be mailed from the CRA.

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Canadians who do not receive the package in the mail by Feb. 26 can order them online, or call the CRA at 1-855-330-3305 (1-855-330-3310 for French service).

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