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We often hear from members about the difficulties they are having when it comes to dealing with the CRA. In recent years, and due in no small part to CFIB lobbying, CRA has added tools and resources aimed specifically at small businesses like yours:
Here are some of the initiatives they’ve launched to help small businesses deal with the tax man.
My Business Account is an online portal that allows businesses to communicate with the CRA. Getting written advice though My Business account will be honoured by CRA even if it’s incorrect - meaning you won’t be charged penalties/fees for tax mistakes caused by bad information provided by CRA.
My Business Account also allows you to:
You can access My Business Account by using your CRA user ID and password, and your business number, or you can use a sign-in partner, such as your banking institution’s online banking service.
Through the Liaison Officer Service, CRA aims to help small, unincorporated businesses understand their tax obligations right from the start. By helping avoid mistakes early on, small business owners will face fewer audits, reassessments and fines in the future.
A Liaison Officer can offer a voluntary face-to-face visit to focus on educational and preventive measures, and will:
For more information, please review the Liaison Officer Service FAQ or contact your Counsellor.
Represent a Client is an online portal, similar to My Business Account, which allows authorized representatives (accountant, lawyer, payroll administrator) access to tax information on behalf of businesses and individuals.
Representatives with an active RepID from CRA can log into Represent a Client to send an electronic authorization request along with a certificate page from your client. CRA will review, validate and process the information within five business days.
Business owners can set up authorization for themselves, a group, or all employees through the My Business Account portal.
If you prefer not to have online access, then the form RC59 can be used to request access to a business’s information via telephone or through the mail.
Under a three-year pilot project that began in July 2017, tax professionals can speak with experienced CRA officials in the Income Tax Rulings Directorate to find answers to complex technical questions that arise when completing income tax returns on behalf of clients.
The service is available to Chartered Professional Accountants:
There is no cost to the program, but if you meet the eligibility requirements, then you can e-mail a registration form to the Dedicated Telephone Service team.
Following consultations in late 2016, CRA issued a report entitled Serving You Better, which contains more in-depth information on the positive changes CRA is looking to make. You can also contact your Counsellor if you have any questions.