Why Everyone Needs An Account With CRA, and How To Open One
These days dealing with the Canada Revenue Agency is so much easier if you take advantage of their online services. They have a portal called Your Account, which contains an incredible amount of your personal past and current tax related information, all in one place.
In the mortgage industry we often tell our clients to create their CRA online account, because lenders often want to see their most recent Notice of Assessment, and you’d be surprised how many people have no idea where theirs is.
But there are many other reasons why you would want to access your CRA account. For example,
- You can see your prior years’ tax returns going back several years. (I can see back to 2004 in my account)
- You can see all tax slips filed in your name. T4’s, T5’s etc.
- You can track your HST, Trillium and other tax credits
- You can readily make claims for CERB
- You can arrange direct deposit to your bank account – this will soon be mandatory so don’t wait any longer
- You can check your RRSP and TFSA contribution limits and carryover amounts
- You can read all correspondence from CRA using their online email system
- You can track disputes etc.
And the list goes on and on – see the bottom of this article for the full list as published on the CRA website
To get started the easy way use one of their “Sign-in partners”. That means you can login using your online banking info. It does not work for all banks, but TD, Scotia, BMO RBC and Tangerine are included.
The first time you login, your view is restricted. You cannot see everything. For that privilege, you apply for a Web Access Code, which you can apply for by calling 1-877-322-7849. Or you can apply for it online. WAC online service
Accessing the My Account services
To get access, you will need:
- your social insurance number;
- your date of birth;
- your current postal code or ZIP code and;
- an amount you entered on your income tax and benefit return, so have your return on hand (the line requested will vary and it could be from the current tax year or the previous one).
For step-by-step instructions on setting up your CRA user ID and password, go to Registration process to access the CRA login services.
Here is a comprehensive list of information available at Your CRA Account:
Services in My Account
|List of services|
(no security code needed)
(security code needed)
|View status of tax return||Yes||Yes|
|View detailed status of tax return||No||Yes|
|Manage online mail||Yes||Yes|
|Request a remittance form||Yes||Yes|
|View notice of assessment or reassessment||Yes||Yes|
|View detailed notice of assessment or reassessment||No||Yes|
|View Home Buyers’ Plan and Lifelong Learning Plan||No||Yes|
|View Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)||No||Yes|
|Arrange my direct deposit (start, update, stop)||No||Yes|
|View carryover amounts||No||Yes|
|View tax information slips: T4, T4A, T4A(P), T4A(OAS), and T4E||No||Yes|
|View disability tax credit||No||Yes|
|View account balance and statement of account||No||Yes|
|Change my return||No||Yes|
|Address and telephone numbers (view, update)||No||Yes|
|Apply for child benefits||No||Yes|
|Benefits and credits overview||No||Yes|
|View Canada Child Tax Benefit and related provincial and territorial programs payments, account balance, and statement of account||No||Yes|
|View GST/HST credit and related provincial programs payments, account balance, and statement of account||No||Yes|
|View Universal Child Care Benefit payments, account balance, and statement of account||No||Yes|
|View and update children in my care||No||Yes|
|View Working Income Tax Benefit advance payments||No||Yes|
|View authorized representative||No||Yes|
|Authorize my representative||No||Yes|
|Pay by pre-authorized debit||No||Yes|
|Register my formal dispute||No||Yes|
|Change my marital status||No||Yes|
In summary, there are many benefits why you should open an account with CRA, and no downside as far as I can see.