The CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) (which by the way was called the CCRA (Canada Customs and Revenue Agency from 1999 to 2003) has had some form of “My Account” service for a while now. In recent years it has gotten a lot better. You can now access:
- Notice of changes and summary of assessment or re-assessment in full
- Previous returns in full from 2003 onward. Information on refunds and filing dates is available going back to 1999.
- Carryover amounts (such as tuition and education amounts and net capital loss carry forwards)
- Account balace
- Information about instalments
- Current direct deposit information on record
- Home Buyer’s Plan/Lifelong Learning Plan information
- RRSP deduction limit and unused contributions available to deduct
- GST and Child Tax Benefits information
- Request changes to prior years’ returns.
- Register formal disputes.
- Change your address or phone numbers.
Essentially everything that is provided on those notice of assessment forms every year is now available online.
It has also gotten harder to log on to. One used to be able to log in quite easily by providing a social insurance number, a birthdate, and some information from prior tax returns (amount on line 150). Now you need to go through a more in-depth registration process. This requires you to get an ePass, a username and password which gives you access to various government services. I also used my ePass to apply for a new Canadian passport online last year (applying online allows you to jump the queue at the local passport office). CRA also requires you to type in an activation code that they will mail out to you.
Fortunately, their website now works with Firefox (despite a warning that it does not) which it did not last year. If you still have problems and you are using Firefox, try upgrading to Sun Java 1.5 (JRE 5.0).