NETFILE is “open” for those ready to file their personal income tax returns (T1) for the 2018 income tax year, on February 18, 2019.
What does that even mean?
What it means is that beginning today, February 18th, 2019, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is open for business, and this officially opens the 2018 tax filing season.
Canadians who have all of their tax information ready, can now begin to file their income taxes and get them out of the way.
NETFILE was open up until 2 weeks ago so that the CRA could accept the electronic filing of your 2014 through 2017 personal income tax returns, in case they were not yet completed, but the CRA closed NETFILE, gave the system a bit of a breather, and has now re-opened it for the new batch of 2018 tax returns.
The Evolution of NETFILE
Looking back at the evolution of NETFILE, it’s pretty amazing to think how far we have come in such a short period of time. Long gone is the need for an access code from the CRA needed to electronically file information to them, and thankfully so too is the requirement to upload documents in a “.tax” file from our desktop computers.
What you may not have known about NETFILE, is that you can only use it provided that you are using a NETFILE-certified software, of which all TurboTax are. TurboTax is also Canada’s most popular tax preparation software, as well as being the easiest to navigate through, with the best support, and with the most-experienced tax experts available.
Thanks to these upgrades in NETFILE and the expertise of TurboTax, Canadians are filing for, and getting their tax refunds faster than years before, and the information being filed to the CRA is more accurate and more secure than ever.
The Confirmation Process
One additional, and important feature of NETFILE is the confirmation process. Once your personal income tax return has been filed using TurboTax, your return is uploaded to the CRA through NETFILE, and you know this because you receive a confirmation number which is your proof that your tax return was filed and received by the CRA.
This confirmation number is important for two reasons, the first being, that you know your return was submitted and received by the CRA, and secondly, if there are ever any questions from the CRA around the filing of your return, like the date it was filed, you have the proof.
Once you have the confirmation and your return is filed with the CRA, then you can turn your attention back to accurate record keeping, your self-employment or your job, and allow time for the CRA to process your tax return along with those of the entire country. No need to waste time calling the CRA the following day asking for the status of your refund, instead, log into My Account and wait for the return to be processed. That will likely take a week or two, depending on when you file.
It can also take upwards of 4-6 weeks for the return to be processed, so again, keep checking into My Account. Once that return is processed, the CRA will send you your Notice of Assessment (NOA) into your My Account mailbox. The NOA is your official tax notice and if you disagree with anything on that notice, you have 90-days from the date the NOA was issued to let the CRA know, otherwise they accept the NOA as being accurate.
If the information on your NOA looks good, and it’s a refund, then sit back and wait for your refund. If, on the other hand, there is a balance owing to the CRA, then you should contact the CRA before the 90-days runs out to make arrangements to pay. Otherwise, day 91 could be a wage or bank garnishment.
How to Fix or Amend Returns?
Effective February 2018, ReFILE was introduced by the CRA which allows TurboTax to amend and electronically re-submit tax returns, through NETFILE.
You can only utilize ReFILE, if you filed your return using NETFILE (or EFILE, in the first place).
Is Your Tax Information Safe?
The security surrounding your confidential tax information is extremely important to the CRA, and to TurboTax, so the CRA has ensured that NETFILE uses top-line encryption software, and security procedures in order to protect your information at all times.
The CRA, assumes the responsibility for the safety and security of your data once your information is received by them through NETFILE.
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.
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 personal (T1) tax return under your name.
For safety, security, ease, accuracy, and expertise at tax filing time, make sure to use TurboTax and NETFILE.