Tax News, Turbo News

Access to NETFILE Has Changed

For those of you wanting to get a head start on filing your taxes, the Canada Revenue Agency’s NETFILE service opens on Monday. Haven’t received your NETFILE access code in the mail from the CRA? Don’t panic.

An access code is no longer necessary to NETFILE T1 income tax returns.

Instead, when you go to NETFILE your return, you’ll be asked for your Social Insurance Number and date of birth as identification.

When your income tax return has been successfully filed, NETFILE will still give you a confirmation number (which you will need to keep as a record).

After you’ve filed your income tax, you can find out about the current status of your return through the CRA’s My Account service.

By getting rid of the access code requirement, the Canada Revenue Agency hopes to make NETFILE even easier to use and encourage more of us to use NETFILE.

Will Your Tax Information Still Be Safe?

The Canada Revenue Agency says that this change does not lower their security standards in any way.

The CRA uses the most secure forms of data encryption available today, the same levels of data encryption that your financial institution uses to protect your banking information.

And using NETFILE is a one-way, one time transaction of information. There is no way to change any of the information or go back and view it after it’s been transmitted. (In fact, if you need to change any of the personal information on your income tax return, you need to update it with the CRA before you use NETFILE, as there is no way to change anything in NETFILE as you are using it.)

The Canada Revenue Agency also points out that they perform “a number of identification and tax-related validations” to prevent fraud and that their secure procedures include only sending the Notice of Assessment and/or refund to the address or bank account that the CRA has on file – information that only you, the taxpayer, or your legal representative can change.

So there is no danger of someone else being able to access your tax return and get the refund you should be getting, for instance, or trying to NETFILE a second T1 tax return under your name.

(Remember: to file your income tax via NETFILE, you must have prepared your tax return by using tax software that is certified by the Canada Revenue Agency. Intuit’s TurboTax has this designation.)

See the Canada Revenue Agency’s NETFILE pages for more information.