Canadian tax preparers are now able to register with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) in order to comply with new mandatory electronic filing requirements.
Starting January 2013, tax preparers who receive payment to prepare more than 10 income tax returns in one year will be required to file them electronically. This new requirement applies to both T1 individual income tax and benefit returns and T2 corporation income tax returns for 2012 and for subsequent tax years. Individual taxpayers and volunteers who do not charge a fee to prepare income tax returns for others are not required to register for an “Efile” number.
In order to file T1 individual income tax and benefit returns electronically with the CRA, tax preparers must register for an Efile number and use certified Efile software.
When filing T2 income tax returns electronically, tax preparers must use approved commercial software and transmit the returns using the CRA's corporation Internet filing service or through the available service in the represent a client section on their website.
More and more Canadians going online
Last year more than 11 million individual returns were filed using the Efile service, while more than 1.1 million corporations filed their returns using the corporation Internet filing service. Electronic filing provides filers with immediate confirmation of filing, eliminates delays and traditional delivery expenses, and reduces printing costs. Electronic filing means refunds are issued faster, according to CRA.
There is no cost to register as an electronic filer, and tax preparers can do so for the 2012 tax year as of Oct. 22, 2012. To maintain ongoing eligibility as an electronic filer, tax preparers currently filing electronically must renew their account every year.
Tax preparers who do not comply with mandatory electronic filing may be charged a penalty.