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Canada eases tax filing for low-income taxpayers

Canada eases tax filing for low-income taxpayers

OTTAWA: The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on January 8, 2018, announced measures to ease the compliance burden for low-income Canadian taxpayers filing income tax and benefit returns.

The changes include the launch of a new automated telephone filing service called File my Return. Over 950,000 eligible individuals with low income or a fixed income that is unchanged year-to-year will be invited to file their income tax and benefit returns simply by answering a series of short questions and giving some personal information. Canadians eligible to use File my Return will receive personalized invitation letters starting in the middle of February 2018. This service allows all the deductions, benefits, and credits that the user is entitled to, without the need for any calculations or paper forms to fill out.

In addition, taxpayers who filed using paper tax forms in previous years will now receive a tax package by mail. Canadians who use paper guides and forms now do not have to visit a Canada Post, Service Canada, or Caisse populaire Desjardins outlets to get the General Income Tax and Benefit Guide and the forms book for the 2017 tax year. This will help all those who file using paper forms. However, to ease the transition to this service, limited quantities of guides and forms will still be available in these locations, the CRA said.

Diane Lebouthillier, Canada’s Minister of National Revenue, said: “Improving service to Canadians is my top priority. We know that Canadians lead busy lives and doing taxes can sometimes be a challenge. This is especially the case for people with reduced mobility, people who live far from service locations, and people without internet access. The CRA is working to make it easier and simpler to find, complete, and file a return. The new services we are now providing are more user-friendly and convenient, especially for Canadians with low or fixed income.”